The Big Difference Between Boston And Cobbler Cocktail Shakers

While Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown elevated shaking to a Cirque du Soleil-level of acrobatics in "Cocktail," there is more to the task than showmanship. Bartenders shake drinks to mix, chill, and sometimes mellow the intensity of the ingredients. Depending on their experience (and preference), there are two main types of shakers that a bartender might use: a Boston shaker or a cobbler shaker.

The difference between the two is easy to see once you know what to look for. A Boston shaker looks like two cups of different sizes, with the mouth of the smaller one slipped inside the larger. Often these cups will both be made of stainless steel, but sometimes the smaller one can be glass or plastic. On the other hand, the cobbler shaker looks much more like a thermos. It features a three-piece design and does not have a second cup, just a smaller opening on the top for pouring.

Why the design difference important

The difference between a Boston shaker and a cobbler shaker goes beyond appearance. The lids are designed with specific benefits for the mixologist. For instance, a Boston shaker is much quicker to use. The wide openings make it easier to clean and reuse. The larger size also means you can make more than one serving at a time. Because of these aspects and the fact that it requires greater skill, a Boston shaker is best for professionals or experienced bartenders.

The cobbler shaker is an all-in-one unit. It has a built-in strainer, and the lid doubles as a jigger. Plus, it's virtually spill-proof, making it suitable for a novice. Additionally, this option is smaller and more difficult to clean, and each drink takes a little longer to make. While none of these are deal-breakers (some are actually desirable), this makes a Cobbler shaker better suited for home use.