Using a Boston Shaker — Essential Bar Tools | Lesson 03

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Published on December 30, 2017 by

Lesson 03 – Difficulty: Medium

Using a Boston ShakerUsing a Boston Shaker is the second key to mastering essential cocktail tools. The Boston Shaker is also the main components to our Home Bartender Starter Kit. It also plays a part as the most mysterious and scary bar tool newbie home bartenders purchase. Many new cocktail enthusiasts are intimidated by the infamous Boston Shaker because it has so many parts that magically come together to shake a drink.

It’s not really that difficult, it just looks like it is a challenge. There are techniques to using a Boston Shaker to do it more efficient and speedy. However, in this case we just need to know how to use a Boston shaker to get the job done. The Boston Shaker arrives in 3 parts: 28 ounce tin, 16 ounce tempered pint glass and a hawthorne strainer (aka “cocktail strainer”).

Now you are ready to make your first cocktail using a Boston Shaker and hawthorne strainer!

Using a Boston Shaker Step by Step

Step 1 Build your cocktail in the smaller portion of your cocktail shaker (the tempered pint glass). This also gives your guests an opportunity to see the contents of the drink as you build it.

Step 2 Fill your cocktail shaker tin with about 3/4 full of ice.

Step 3 Place the tin on top of your pint glass, allowing the ice to fall into your cocktail creation. Don’t place your shaker tin directly down on top of your glass, it should rest at a slight angle.

Step 4 Give the tin a firm tap to complete the seal; do not pound your tin onto your pint glass as you can cause the glass to shatter with too much power or, at least, make your drink very hard to unseal later.

Step 5 Hold the shaker tin so the glass faces your shoulder and the tin points towards your guests (or anyone witnessing the magic happen). Give the shaker a few small rolling shakes to get it started. Then shake it up to wake it up! Shake for 10-12 seconds aggressively.

Step 6 Hit the shaker where the metal tin meets the glass to break the seal (the tin should be on the bottom, the glass on the top.) Give it a firm tap with the heel of your hand. If you fail to break the seal, repeat until it opens (changing the point on the shaker and the firmness of the tap to work it out). It gets easier as you improve your technique.

Step 7 Place your hawthorne strainer on top of the shaker tin that holds your new liquid creation. Pour the liquid over fresh ice or, in the case of a no ice cocktail (e.g. manhattan, martini) and strain until all the liquid is out of your Boston Shaker.

Step 8 Celebrate! Time to drink!

As you continue to shake up some new cocktails you’ll get better at your Boston Shaker technique. Soon, you’ll be the best home mixologist around and you’re friends will continue to invite you to parties…but you’ll have to do some work!

Watch Lesson 01: Essential Bar Tools For Beginner Cocktail Enthusiasts.

Watch Lesson 02: Using a Japanese Double Jigger – Essential Bar Tools.

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