Oct 022010

Shaker Two here. I am about to share with you a little known fact; until recently I did not own a shaker. I know, I know… how is that possible? Well, until we started this blog, I rarely drank martinis at home, opting rather for wine or (most of the time) non-alcoholic options. Upon starting our little endeavor, I realized that this had to change. It was time to put on my bartending pants and shaker up.

Then I realized that it was not as simple as going out to just buy any old shaker. I mean, after all these years without one, this was special. It had to be perfect. Did I want a small one? An insulated one? Boston? Traditional? So. Many. Choices!

Let the research begin.

I have always dug Boston shakers, they froth it up and you get a lot of extra room for all the ice and liquid to move around but require a hawthorne strainer or a quick strain tin for pouring the drink. The Boston shaker’s thick mixing glass is also conducive to muddling and stirring. A traditional shaker has the strainer built into the lid.

So upon further investigation, there are Boston Shakers that are more expensive and then those that are less so. Same with the traditional models. What is the difference? Don’t they all produce the same end result? Yes and no.

In the case of the Boston shakers, usually the higher quality ones have a thicker tin which helps prevent it from getting as cold on the outside (freezing hands is not always fun whilst mixing drinks.) They are also fit together better for a tighter seal. Sure, you can get tins with no-slip grips, but that can only take you so far when your beverage leaks all over you while mixing.

In the traditional shaker styles, the key with these is not only the seal between the lid and the tin, but also the strainer part. Are the holes small enough to effectively strain out ice cubes but not clog easily when there are muddled berries in the drink. Is there a lip around the strainer to prevent spills when you take the cap off? And finally, and I speak from experience here, does the tin contract so much that you can’t get the strainer lid off?

Then you move into other features like measurements printed on the side, twisting outer tins with drink recipes on them, shapes that make it more of an art piece, or those that add a touch of whimsy to your bar area.

So after looking at a LOT of different options, what was my consensus? Easy.. I waited for my birthday and let Shaker One pick one out for me 😀

Ok, so I took the easy way out. I admit it. Had the timing (read: my procrastination) not been right around my birthday, I would probably still be shaker-less.. I seem to have commitment issues.

Shaker One opted for the traditional style with insulated walls, roomy for generous pours, easy to remove cap and a nice lip around the strainer.. all in all a fabulous addition to the Patio Bar.


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