What is the best cocktail shaker EVER?
January 20, 2014 2:28 PM   Subscribe

I have a friend who is a bartender and who has a birthday coming up. I'd like to get her a *really* nice cocktail shaker for home. Something that would make a bartender say "ooooo fancy". Do you have any ideas/thoughts on brands I could look at?
posted by matt_od to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have a standard issue Silver Bullet style shaker, but I have to say that this one looks pretty darn cool.
posted by jquinby at 2:30 PM on January 20, 2014

This one is really cool.

Here's something fun, to go along with the shaker.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:33 PM on January 20, 2014

most bartenders actually use a Boston shaker, along with a regular bar glass. These are not fancy items. Somebody who's used to using these might not actually use a fancy cocktail shaker, no matter how cool it was.

That said, you could look for an antique shaker - I've seen some beauties. Like these lighthouse shakers (not cheap!)
posted by mr vino at 3:00 PM on January 20, 2014 [5 favorites]

There is a small problem with this plan. Namely, serious cocktail nerds tend to prefer so-called 'Boston' shakers, which basically are just a mixing glass and a metal cup (used with a strainer). These are best for making drinks in (because you can see the drink as you're making it) but due to their simplicity, the type doesn't lend itself to fancy or artistic variations. The more fancy cocktail mixers you will find, though beautiful, will tend to be the 'cobbler' type and objectively worse for serious cocktail-making.

There are various other cocktail implements that might be of more value. Nice glasses, clever straws/spoons, maybe a zester or citrus juicer. Exotic varieties of bitters might be another good option.
posted by kickingtheground at 3:01 PM on January 20, 2014 [4 favorites]

As mr vino and kickingtheground said, many bartenders prefer simple Boston shakers (I've noticed Cocktail Kingdom weighted tins at a number of bars).

Similar ideas: an oversized antique martini shaker/pitcher or a nice mixing glass.
posted by JackBurden at 3:12 PM on January 20, 2014

As a bartender, I would not have much in the way of use for a 'fancy' cocktail shaker. Sorry.
posted by teatime at 3:15 PM on January 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Alessi makes a very nice Boston Shaker with a bevel at the base of each piece. The glass is of fine quality, but it's not delicate.
posted by wryly at 3:16 PM on January 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Williams-Sonoma has a double walled shaker, I'm not a bartender but I use a boston shaker at home and I like the idea:

Amazon has a particularly nice boston shaker:
posted by ftm at 3:19 PM on January 20, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks all for your input so far! It's fun looking at these.
I understand that not all bartenders would have much of a use for a "fancy" cocktail shaker, but no need to apologize! This is something my friend one day mentioned in passing that she'd love to have for her home, so I made note of it as a good gift idea!
It's not for her work, it's something to use in her apartment and would look nice to have out at parties and for entertaining.
posted by matt_od at 3:20 PM on January 20, 2014

Best answer: If you know that she likes making boozy drinks and/or having people over for boozy drinks (like old fashioneds), the Yarai mixing glasses plus a nice bar spoon and julep strainer would be an excellent gift.

The Yarai glasses are gorgeous in person. The first time I saw a Yarai in person, I immediately wanted to buy two. Get one from Cocktail Kingdom. Do not get the version from Williams-Sonoma. They cut corners and you can immediately tell the difference in quality when you hold it.
posted by kathryn at 3:27 PM on January 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The best cocktail shaker period is the Arne Jacobsen one. It's expensive (though cheaper now than it was five years ago, for some reason) but really cool with all that Danish design that everyone's all crazy for.
posted by bfootdav at 3:31 PM on January 20, 2014

The Yarai glasses mentioned by kathryn are exactly what I was going to suggest. They're beautiful, well-made, well-known, and not actually that expensive (but still enough to be giftworthy).
posted by rhiannonstone at 4:42 PM on January 20, 2014

Your friend doesn't need a fancy shaker, your friend needs a fancy peeler!
posted by oceanjesse at 5:51 PM on January 20, 2014

My very favorite Boston style shakers are the Korikos. I made the switch a couple years back and really can't stand shaking in glass any more. It's probably the most functional shaker you could get someone.

However, if I was getting someone a shaker as a gift it would probably be the gold Usagi.
posted by Jawn at 8:15 PM on January 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

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