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Best cocktail shaker 2023: Brilliant barware for your next pre-drinks party

Unleash your inner mixologist with our pick of the best cocktail shakers to buy

A well made cocktail is one of life’s great pleasures. Whether you’re mad for margaritas, can’t get enough of a classic caipirinha or prefer to sip a whiskey sour, when cocktail o’clock strikes it pays to be prepared. A ready-stocked home bar means you can enjoy your favourite mixed drinks without paying inflated bar prices – all you need is a decent cocktail shaker and a little know-how.

But not all cocktail shakers are made the same. There’s two-piece shakers, three-piece shakers, different styles and a huge selection of accessories that you may or may not need alongside the shaker itself. So how to choose? We’ve taken the headache out of your next cocktail party by rounding up a few of our favourite shakers that should cover all bases.

Best cocktails shakers: At a glance

How to choose the best cocktail shaker for you

What style do I need?

Broadly speaking there are two types of cocktail shaker. The original, popular two-piece shaker is known as a Boston shaker and is formed of two large sections which are forced together to create a seal. This type of shaker is often used in bars, as it allows for large volumes to be made at once, and is quick and simple to use. The downsides of the Boston shaker are that it does not include a strainer – so you may want to add one to your shopping list – and that if the pieces haven’t been joined together correctly then leakage can occur when shaking.

The other main style of shaker is the three-piece cobbler shaker. These tend to have a smaller top section, are easier to fit together for shaking and include an internal strainer. The negatives of this style are that the strainer can be fiddly to clean, and that sometimes the proportions of the shaker don’t allow for much actual shaking – which is not conducive to making perfectly frothy espresso martinis, but not so much of a problem if vodka martinis are more your M.O.

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What should I look for in a cocktail shaker?

Once you’ve worked out which style is your preference, it’s often down to looks. Cocktail shakers come in all shapes, styles and colours so take your pick online and around the high street from Tiki-inspired shakers to glitzy gold, sophisticated dark wood and classic understated stainless steel (ideal for chilling drinks quickly). Consider pourability and grip too, as things can get slippery when the cocktails start flowing and condensation builds up.

How we test cocktail shakers

Shaking up a storm is the only way to get to grips with cocktail shakers and expose any potential design flaws or annoying foibles. That’s why we personally make it our business to test each and every cocktail shaker that crosses our path in the hunt for mixology magic.

When shaking up our mojitos, juleps and cosmos, we look for how quickly and efficiently the shaker cools the cocktail, how easy the body is to grip and how well it joins together. We also consider if there are any technical details that aid drink delivery, such as a pourable top or non-slip materials. Extra points are given for useful accessories, as well as on-jug markings to guide you. Finally, we consider each shaker’s value for money, as well as how stylish it looks on our bar, all balanced against its overall efficacy.

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The best cocktail shakers you can buy in 2023

1. BarCraft Boston 650ml Cocktail Shaker: The best cocktail shaker for parties

Price: £24 | Buy now from Cook Serve Enjoy

We really like this BarCraft glass shaker. A classic Boston design with inbuilt strainer and handy pour lid, this 650ml capacity shaker has five handy cocktail recipes printed around the body with accompanying measurements to allow you to mix up several crowd-pleasing drinks in two shakes – no poring over phone screens or having to stickily thumb through ancient cocktail recipe books required. Made from robust glass with a rust-resistant copper coloured stainless steel lid, this cocktail shaker is practical and easy to use – just take care not to let it slip from your hands when you’re channelling your inner Tom Cruise. Become the master of Margaritas, Mai Tais, Sex on the Beach and more simply by pouring the appropriate ingredients up to the lines marked on the shaker.

Buy now from Cook Serve Enjoy

2. Funkin Passion Fruit Martini Cocktail Mixer: The best cocktail shaker for on-the-go

Price: £3.15 | Buy now from Waitrose

For cocktail fun on the hop, pick up one of these handy pre-mixed packs that handily includes a basic shaker – all you’ll need is your spirit of choice to knock up enough cocktails for four people. We like the Passion Fruit Martini variety (of course we do, and it’s their most popular cocktail) but you could opt for Strawberry Daiquiri, a Peach on the Beach, Espresso Martini, Mojito and more. A quick slug of vanilla vodka (measure up to the line in the shaker, or add eight caps) into the pre-mixed liquid and some serious shaking means you’ll be sipping on delightfully frothy Passion Fruit Martinis in just a matter of seconds – perfect for parties, picnics and travel. While it doesn’t chill well being plastic it’s fine if you use lots of ice; it doesn’t leak and is cheap as chips: party time indeed.

Buy now from Waitrose

3. Tower Cavaletto 13 Piece Cocktail Set: The best cocktail shaker set

Price: £30 | Buy now from Tower Housewares

Committed cocktail-makers may like to take a look at this set from kitchenware pros Tower. A truly exhaustive list of gadgets and accessories is provided in this 13-piece set, comprising traditional hawthorne strainer, a bar blade bottle opener, double measuring jigger, bar spoon, waiters friend corkscrew and six bottle pourers (a nice touch for parties). The cocktail shaker itself is formed of a basic three-piece 500ml shaker with internal strainer, or you can swap it out for the 850ml shaker also provided. All parts are stainless steel which looks clean, smart and is easy to maintain, while also cooling drinks quickly and efficiently. The Cavaletto set come in an on-trend navy and coordinated with other items available in the range, or is simple enough to stand alone. We think this makes a great gift – for others or yourself.

Buy now from Tower Housewares

4. VonShef Mango Wood & Graphite Cocktail Set: The best looking cocktail shaker

Price: £33 | Buy now from Vonhous

If your home bar set up tends towards the understated and cool rather than glitzy glam then this is the shaker for you. With a sophisticated graphite body and sleek dark mango wood cap, this set is giving us Mad Men vibes and you could do a lot worse than mix up an old fashioned or two in it. The body remains surprisingly non-slip even when wet, and the metal body chills spirits and juices down fast. The pieces are a tight fit – great in terms of non-leakage – but may require a bit of elbow grease to put together and pull apart. Comprising an internal strainer, this shaker is really all you need to make most cocktails, but this set also includes a few handy accessories to really nail your craft. A classic 25ml/50ml jigger in the same graphite grey allows for accurate measuring, a hawthorne strainer means fruity cocktails can be perfectly smooth, while the stylish mango wood handled muddler and bar spoon help create the perfect flavour and texture for your desired drink – there’s also a recipe book provided to get you started. Pick up the matching mango wood and graphite ice bucket to complete your home bar look.

Buy now from Vonhous

5. Barfly Gold 2-Piece Parisienne Cocktail Shaker: The best two-piece cocktail shaker

Price: £30 | Buy now from Drink Stuff

 Barfly have taken the classic bartender two-piece shaker and reworked it to produce this golden number. Rather than having two equal sized halves, the Parisienne shaker retains a larger bottom section for superior mixing, with an oversized top for maximum frothiness and has a large 700ml capacity. This shaker slots together snugly and is precision formed to prevent leaking and allow for easy separation once your drink is mixed. A premium item with a premium price given that it has no accessories, this reflects its heavy duty stainless steel body which is durable and resistant to pitting and corrosion – this shaker is built to last but you’ll need to stock up on a few more items if you’re looking to make anything beyond the basics.

Buy now from Drink Stuff

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