How To: Master the Boston Shaker, Minus the Mess

Using a Boston shaker is easier than you think.

For many at-home mixologists, the hardly leak-proof, three-piece cobbler shaker—ubiquitous in Bond films—is the go-to mixer. But Rob Krueger, bar director at Extra Fancy in Brooklyn, says most bartenders prefer the Boston shaker. This metal-and-glass number won’t spill when wielded correctly, results in faster drink making “and allows for a better free-pour, so it’s easier to eyeball measurements,” Krueger says. With a jigger of confidence, you too can master this pro skill. Here’s how:


Seal It

Pour your ingredients into the shaker’s glass. Place the tin on top of the glass, so one side of both tin and glass are flush against each other. With the heel of your palm, firmly—not too hard—hit the end of the tin to form a tight seal.


Shake It

With one hand on the tin, the other gripping the glass, shake your cocktail in any direction, up down, or sideways. That fancy over-shoulder-shake? “You’ll get style points,” says Krueger, “but you can shake however you want.”



Smack It

With the glass upended in the tin, find the spot where the tin and glass seem to separate. With the heel of your hand, smack this sweet spot to break the seal. Strain the drink into your glass, sip and enjoy.  

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