The Cobbler Shaker may not be as popular with bartenders as its shaker-cousin, the Boston Shaker, but with home bar enthusiasts, it certainly is!

The Cobbler Shaker is a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ kind of cocktail shaker, combining multiple functions in one device. And even if it’s not the most used shaker, all bartenders should master this bar tool.

Learn more about the Cobbler Shaker below, including history, use and appearance…

The history

Bartender pouring with the Cobbler Shaker

The Cobbler Shaker has had a long, long existence, travelling through different ages and cultures. It’s a cocktail shaker that’s been heavily influenced by other similar tools and styles popular at the time.

Just like with the Boston Shaker, the concept of shaking a drink in two vessels has evidence dating back 9000 years ago. However, for the Cobbler Shaker, we can skip over a few thousand of those years. As a bar tool, its origin comes from the Boston Shaker, created in the nineteenth century. This method of using two glasses together to mix drinks became very popular in cocktail culture at the time. Once this travelled to Europe, a custom-built shaker tin with a tight-fitting lid was created. This was the French Shaker.

The Cobbler Shaker was influenced by the design of this cocktail shaker. Edward Hauck, in 1884, officially invented the Cobbler Shaker we know today by adding a built-in strainer to the design, making a three-piece shaker. Its name is said to derive from a popular cocktail of the time (the Cobbler) which was primarily made by being shaken in these cocktail shakers.

Cobbler Shaker appearance

cobbler shaker and cocktail on bar

The Cobbler Shaker is a very simple design. It’s a three-piece cocktail shaker, made of a shaking tin, integrated strainer and cap. Every part is removable, so once a cocktail has been well shaken, the lid can be taken off to strain it.

Cobbler Shakers rarely see any variations in functionality and size from one another. Any variation is simply aesthetic. Cobblers can come in a variety of different colours, designs and finishes, great for Cobbler-enthusiasts looking for a personal touch.

However, note that buying cheap Cobbler Shakers can be a big mistake. Cheaper versions of the cocktail shaker show manufacturing flaws, mainly being the tight seal. If the seal isn’t tight enough, the delicately measured ingredients of a complex cocktail will spray out of the side and possibly over awaiting guests, not ideal. Remember to buy quality when considering a Cobbler Shaker.


How to use a Cobbler Shaker

bartender using cobbler shaker

Cobbler Shakers are much easier to use compared to Boston Shakers. The trick with a Boston Shaker is to master the technique of opening the air-tight seal to strain the cocktail. The Cobbler Shaker eliminates this issue by having its own integrated strainer by simply removing the cap. To make this simple cocktail shaker even simpler, we’ve given you a very easy four step guide to using the Cobbler…

1. Fill the shaker tin with the cocktail ingredients and ice.

2. Fix the strainer and cap onto the shaker tin.

3. Ensuring everything is fixed on well, shake the shaker.

4. Finally, remove the cap and pour out the ingredients into a serving glass. Voilà!

Despite its convenience, the Cobbler Shaker lacks the ability to double strain. This is why bartenders prefer to use a Boston Shaker, as a Hawthorne Strainer can be easily attached to provide this valuable service. As the Cobbler can only single strain, a Fine Strainer is often needed to complete the straining, to ensure no particles have fallen through to ruin the drink’s aesthetic. Using a Fine Strainer with the Cobbler Shaker adds a little more time when making cocktails, which is why bartenders prefer the Boston Shaker.


Cobbler Shaker vs Boston Shaker

bartender holding shaker

Whilst they’re both cocktail shakers and iconic bartender basics, the Cobbler and Boston Shaker offer slightly different applications. Cobbler Shakers come as a ‘three-piece cocktail shaker’, with the shaker tin, strainer and lid. The Boston Shaker, however, is a two-piece, made of just two stainless steel tins.

There’s no significant benefit of one over another. Bartenders prefer to use the Boston Shaker as it’s a much lighter cocktail shaker and has the potential to be double strained quickly. However, this is all personal preference.


Cocktails that use a Cobbler Shaker

cocktail margarita con due lime

There are cocktails out there that need a little bit of a heavy hand to get their true potential out. Bartenders must ‘shake it to wake it’ with these ones. Cocktails with citrus and egg whites, in particular, need to be ‘woken up’. This isn’t a strict rule, but it’s a good rule of thumb. Below, are some cocktails which enjoy a good shaking.

  • Martini - different types of Martini may use a stirring method, however. 
  • Margarita
  • Aviation
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Gimlet
  • Whiskey Sour

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