You’ve seen it used in bars, you’ve heard it mentioned in videos, and you’ve read about it in articles and recipes – but what exactly is a Boston Shaker?
At its simplest, a Boston Shaker is a two-piece cocktail shaker, consisting of a glass and a metal tin.
A useful and common combination is a 16 oz. mixing glass, and a 28 oz. metal shaker tin.
Some bartenders and cocktail lovers may also use a second shaker tin in place of the glass half, for a metal-on-metal Boston Shaker.
Note here, that while they look visually similar, a mixing glass is not the same thing as a pint glass. Specifically, a mixing glass has been created for the explicit purpose of use in a Boston Shaker, so the glass itself is usually created and heat-treated differently. If all you have is a pint glass, it will work, but be aware that due to the nature of how you open the Boston Shaker, your pint glass may eventually chip, and you'll lose that batch of cocktails inside, and will of course need to replace your glass.
MIXING YOUR COCKTAIL
The Boston Shaker can be used for shaking or stirring a cocktail. This is part of the reason it’s so popular: it’s a multi-tasker.
When using a Boston Shaker you’ll need a strainer to keep the ice and other non-liquid ingredients out of the drink while you pour it into the appropriate serving glass. There are two types of strainers for the Boston Shaker:
The Hawthorne Strainer – This is the style with the coil around the edge. You place it in the metal half of the Boston Shaker, coil side down, so it can hold back the ice while you pour your shaken drink into the glass. You use a Hawthorne strainer when you've shaken a drink, because the fine coil holds back pieces of ice or other ingredients that might be in your shaker.