In this guide, we’ll provide the scoop on the best cocktail shaker sets for any budget.
Prior to the modern cocktail renaissance, you could throw just about anything into an oversized glass and call it a Martini. But thanks to the efforts of a group of bartenders that love and appreciate the craft of cocktails more than their alcoholic payload, you can learn how to make perfectly balanced classic cocktails in the comfort of your own home.
First and foremost in your journey into craft cocktails, you’ll need the barman’s favorite tool: A professional cocktail shaker. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best cocktail shaker sets, making sure to include high-quality options for every range of budget. A cocktail shaker is an essential tool for any home bar.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to choose the best cocktail shaker set for your needs, as well as:
- Our favorite professional cocktail shaker set
- What to look for when buying your first shaker
- The best, longest-lasting cocktail shaker brands
Ready to get mixing? Then let’s get started!
If you’re too thirsty to read through the entire article, we understand! Here’s the tl;dr for which cocktail shakers you should get right away:
- Best Overall: Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins
- Also Great: Top Shelf Bar Supply Premium Cocktail Shaker Set
- Budget Pick: CucinaPrime Cocktail Shaker Set
- The Upgrade: Cocktail Kingdom Gold-Plated Koriko Weighted Shaking Tin Set
Every one of these shaker tin sets has its own pros and cons, making each a better choice for a particular person; we’ll cover all that in detail below.
Before we get into that, though — why do you need to buy a cocktail shaker set in the first place?
A Brief Overview of Cocktail Shaker Sets
A good-quality stainless steel cocktail shaker set is the workhorse of professional bars around the world, allowing bartenders to quickly and efficiently transform ingredients both arcane and mundane into delicious cocktails.
Because cocktails have been enjoyed around the world, you’ll find three major styles of shaker sets:
- The stainless steel set, consisting of a larger mixing tin paired with a smaller tin that creates a seal for shaking.
- The Boston shaker set, pairing the same large mixing tin with a tempered pint glass.
- The Japanese style shaker, a three-piece affair that allows for precise control and has an integrated strainer to filter ice particles out of your drink.
While each of these types of cocktail shakers has a certain feel to it, none is definitively better than any other. However, I’ve listed them in order of difficulty: Meaning that stainless steel shaker sets are best for beginners, while Japanese shakers take a more skillful hand.
What to Look for When Buying A Cocktail Shaker
Even before the modern craft cocktail renaissance, it was easy to find a lot of low-quality, pretty darned useless cocktail shakers on the internet — with everything from leaky seals, to fragile glass, to plastic that will give an off flavor to drinks.
So while you’re searching through your options for cocktail shaker sets, keep these three measures of quality in mind:
1. Durable Construction
No matter which style of cocktail shaker you choose, looking for the sturdiest construction possible should be your first priority. If you’re mixing your cocktails properly, you’ll be applying a lot of force while shaking — and the last thing you want is for a piece of your shaker to go flying across the room!
Effectively, this means choosing shaker sets made from heavy gauge stainless steel, and tempered glass if you’d prefer a Boston shaker set.
2. Reliable Sealing
Even if your martini shaker is made from durable materials, it won’t mean much if it can’t hold a water-tight seal. Without being able to rely on a shaker’s sealing, you’ll end up wearing your cocktails instead of drinking them.
There’s no one trick to use for determining a shaker set’s sealing without having tested it in person, so we’ve only recommended shakers in this review that come from reputable companies known for their quality construction.
3. Easy to Use Sizing
Last but not least, resist the temptation to buy a mega-sized cocktail shaker set! The best cocktail shaker is not the one which makes the most drinks at the same time, but the best drinks every time.
About the largest tin you’ll want to use will be the standard 28 oz large mixing tin, whether pairing with glass or a smaller tin. Japanese shakers work a bit differently, and we don’t recommend going over 20 oz for them.
Top 5 Best Cocktail Shaker Sets Right Now
These are our personal favorite cocktail shaker sets available on the market today. Read through each review for a brief comparison and contrast, and you’ll be able to decide on which style is best for you.
1. Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins
From the O.G.s of the craft cocktail equipment industry, Cocktail Kingdom’s shaker tin sets can quite literally be found in the world’s best cocktail bars. They’re the industry standard for good reason: Durable, impeccably well-designed, and with a perfect seal every time, they’re often the top choice of professional bartenders.
Oddly enough, however, Cocktail Kingdom sells each tin as an individual piece. While this makes it easy to replace a tin if you lose one, it means just a slight bit more work when ordering online.
Are Cocktail Kingdom’s Koriko shaker tins right for you? Here are the pros and cons:
- Built from durable 18/8 stainless steel
- Incredibly reliable sealing
- Affordable and long-lasting
- Ordering online is a bit of a hassle
- You’ll need a hawthorne strainer to complete your cocktail kit
Here’s the bottom line: Cocktail Kingdom’s Koriko Weighted Shaking tins are the industry standard for professional cocktail bars, and are an incredibly well-made and reliable option.
2. Top Shelf Bar Supply Premium Cocktail Shaker Set
Modeled after the wildly popular Koriko tins (our top choice pick, above), Top Shelf Bar Supply’s 2-tin stainless steel cocktail shaker is an admirable runner-up that’s available at a slightly lower price. The 304 grade stainless steel is quite durable, and their all-in-one packaging is convenient.
If both of the tins were weighted, we might even be inclined to make this our number one pick — but as it stands, the lower price and greater convenience factor make it a worthwhile alternative to our top choice.
Is Top Shelf Bar Supply’s shaker set right for you? Here are the pros and cons:
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Convenient all-in-one packaging
- Very affordable for a steel shaker set
- Only the bottom tin is weighted
- Slightly difficult to unseal
Here’s the bottom line: If you’re on a tight budget, but still want all the longevity and benefits of a stainless steel shaker, Top Shelf’s cocktail shaker set is a great option.
3. CucinaPrime Cocktail Shaker Set
A true “Boston style” shaker set, CucinaPrime’s stainless steel base and tempered glass make it easy to observe your ingredients while you’re mixing. While the glass-on-tin style isn’t every bartender’s favorite, devotees say that they feel it gives them better control while free-pouring ingredients for a cocktail.
The quality of construction for the CucinaPrime is spot-on, as is the price. If you’d like a durable, reliable shaker at the best possible price, this is almost certainly the right option for you.
Thinking about adding the CucinaPrime cocktail shaker set to your home? Here are the pros and cons:
- Tempered glass and stainless steel construction
- Most affordable shaker set option
- Lets you see your ingredients while you measure
- Mixing tin feels just a little bit too large for small hands
- Boston style shaker takes some getting used to
Here’s the bottom line: CucinaPrime’s Cocktail Shaker Set is the epitome of Boston shaker style: Low-tech, reliable, and affordable, but with a learning curve for shaking and opening it.
4. Cocktail Kingdom Gold-Plated Koriko Weighted Shaking Tin Set
Remember Cocktail Kingdom’s weighted shaker tin set, our number one pick for best cocktail shaker? Well, if you’ve got fancy tastes — and a little extra money to spend — you’re going to love their line of gold-plated equipment!
Made to the same exacting specifications as their unfinished stainless steel counterparts, these tins’ gold-plating is both their greatest strength and their greatest weakness. They look awesome, and can make a great centerpiece for your bar — but you’ll have to wash them by hand, as the gold-plating is not dishwasher safe.
Looking to add some bling to your bar with these gold-plated Korikos? Here are the pros and cons:
- Coolest looking cocktail shakers around
- Excellent performance and durability
- Easy separation after shaking
- Pricier than other shaker sets
- Hand wash only!
Here’s the bottom line: Cocktail Kingdom’s Gold-Plated Koriko Weighted Shaking Tin Set is bold, beautiful, and ostentatious. If you’re looking for a signature piece for your bar and don’t mind dropping the extra cash, it’s a fantastic choice.
5. Newness Small Cocktail Shaker
Japanese-style cocktail shakers hold a special place in my heart. You can find them in a huge range of sizes, from single-cocktail affairs to a behemoth that holds 32 drinks. And while they can be finicky to use at first, once you get the hang of how to open them they turn into a super efficient cocktail mixing machine.
This eight ounce capacity Japanese-style shaker from Newness is designed to mix exactly one perfectly cold martini. If you’re only an occasional cocktail drinker, it does a fantastic job of keeping everything in one place thanks to its integrated strainer.
Is Newness’s small cocktail shaker right for you? Here are the pros and cons:
- Heavy duty stainless steel construction
- Complete three-piece system
- Integrated strainer
- Steep learning curve for effective use
- Only makes one drink at a time
Here’s the bottom line: Newness’s Japanese-style shaker is a niche pick for the drinker who insists each cocktail be absolutely perfect. Once you get the hang of using it, though, it’s unparalleled in convenience and performance.
Closing Thoughts: The Best Cocktail Shaker Set for Your Home
With the five cocktail shakers listed above, combined with your newfound knowledge of what to look for, we’re confident that you’ll be able to choose the perfect shaker for your needs. Good luck in all your cocktail mixing endeavors!