Boston Shaker vs Cobbler Shaker: Choosing the Right Cocktail Shaker Kit

When it comes to mixing up a perfect cocktail, the type of shaker you choose can make a world of difference. Whether you’re a professional bartender or a home mixologist, understanding the nuances between a Boston Shaker and a Cobbler Shaker is key to crafting exceptional drinks. In this post, we’ll delve into the differences between these two most popular types of cocktail shakers, helping you decide whether to go for a Boston shaker kit or a cobbler shaker set for your bar setup.

What is a Boston Shaker?

The Boston shaker is a two-piece cocktail shaker consisting of a mixing glass and a metal tin.

Renowned for its versatility and preferred by professional bartenders around the world, the Boston shaker is a staple in many high-end bars. They are weighted to provide the perfect seal and are highly durable. They can, however, be difficult for beginners to use.

Boston cocktail shaker kit in a black bamboo stand on a white background

Pros of a Boston Shaker

Versatility: Boston shakers excellent for mixing a wide range of cocktails. Whether you’re a fan of margaritas or your prefer a martini (shaken, of course!) your Boston cocktail kit can make them all.

Durability: The metal tins are robust and long-lasting. They’re made from 304 stainless steel and feel heavy in the hand, so they’re pretty much impossible to break.

Capacity: Its larger size is perfect for making multiple drinks at once. Depending on which recipe you go for you could make up to 3 or 4 cocktails in one go.

Professional Appeal: It's the ideal choice for many bartending professionals. If you want to look the part then a Boston shaker set is a must.

 Cons of a Boston Shaker

Skill Required: It might take some practice to master the perfect seal and shake. This can be frustrating (and messy) for beginners but it’s part of the fun of learning mixology.

Separate Strainer Needed: You’ll need a separate strainer because there is no built in strainer like with cobbler shakers. If your bartender kit includes a Hawthorne strainer then this won’t be a problem and you can use it with your Boston shaker to craft the perfect cocktail.

What is a Cobbler Shaker?

The cobbler shaker is a three-piece shaker comprising a tin, a built-in strainer, and a cap. It’s particularly popular among home enthusiasts for its ease of use and is the most commonly used cocktail shaker in Japanese bars.

Pros of a Cobbler Shaker:

 Ease of Use: It’s beginner-friendly and easy to handle. If you simply want to make delicious cocktails without the hassle of learning to seal and shake a Boston tin, a bartender kit with a cobbler shaker might be the ideal choice for you.

Built-in Strainer: Simply remove the cap on the top of your cobbler shaker and you can use the built-in strainer to achieve the perfect pour without pieces of ice and fruit ending up in your drink.

Less Spillage: The secure lid minimizes the chances of a mess when you’re shaking. There is no risk of the seal breaking and your cocktail ending up everywhere.

Cons of a Cobbler Shaker:

Limited Capacity: Cobbler shakers are smaller than a Boston Shaker, although a 25 oz shaker can still fit 2 - 3 drinks.

Not as Impressive: There’s no hiding from the fact that most professional bartenders prefer a Boston shaker over a cobbler shaker. If you’re looking to impress with your mixology skills it might be worth investing the extra time in learning how to use a “professional mixology set”.

However, cobbler cocktail shaker kits are just fine for those who are new to cocktail making or prefer a more straightforward tool.

Boston Shaker Kit vs Cobbler Shaker Kit: Which Should You Choose?

If you’re serious about your cocktail craft and want to learn the requisite skills of a master mixologist, a Boston shaker set might be the best choice. It’s a symbol of a pro bartender and allows for more versatility in cocktail making. At Hawke & Hanley our Boston shaker kit includes an 27 / 20 oz shaker, 1/ 2 oz jigger and all the other bar tools you need to craft the perfect cocktails.

For casual mixologists or those just starting a cobbler shaker set is a great choice. It's easier to use and is perfect for those who simply want a hassle-free cocktail experience. We have three options for aesthetically pleasing cobbler shaker sets: gunmetal black, brushed copper, and stainless steel.

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