Shakers and Jiggers

Shakers and jiggers - Enhance your bartending skills

Whenever you plan for a perfect party, the first thing that strikes your mind is stocking your bar with all the necessary ingredients for making a cocktail to toast the arrival of your guests. But your guests would probably like to have a more complicated and accurate mixture of the cocktail instead of some gin and tonic. And to give them that very accurate mixture, you need a perfect bartending tool. It is a common misconception that creating a cocktail in the absolutely right proportion can be done only by professional bartenders. But cheers to the two magical tools of wine trade-shakers and jiggers; now the craft of cocktail creation is open to everybody. Anyone who is fantasized with cocktails can mix them at home, in the perfect proportion. Sometimes people become an expert on their own, mixing their signature cocktails and thus become adept at various cocktail recipes; all with the help of these two simple equipments- shakers and jiggers.

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Cocktail Shakers

Cocktail Shakers are the most essential tool for making cocktails. They are the most used pieces of the barware set no matter what you are shaking or mixing- Aviation or Martini or Manhattan.

Cocktail Shakers are useful for mixing usually alcoholic drinks that have ingredients hard to mix smoothly, like- liqueurs, creams and fruit juices. In order to use a shaker, simply put the desired ingredients and then ice cubes in the cocktail shaker. Then shake it vigorously depending on the mixing ability and temperature of the mixture. A nice shake for 5 to 10 seconds would be enough.

Cocktail shakers also cool the drinks just before serving and make them taste concentrated and crispy. An art in itself, cocktail shaking needs some practice if you wish to device your own cocktail shaking style and enthrall your guests. Cocktail shakers come in handy in both commercial and home bars for mixing drinks and every bar should have at least one standard sized cocktail shaker for entertaining, and possibly more for making a large amount of mixed drinks.

Types of shakers

There are three main types of cocktail shakers. These types vary in terms of a built-in strainer.
  • Traditional shakers or Cobbler shakers-

    This type of shaker is not very suited for professional use and is mostly found in homes. It is comprised of three pieces: a metal base, a tight fitting cap or bar tin in the top and a built in strainer. The top fits over the strainer. Sometimes the cap is used to measure liquids.

    This shaker is very easy to use. The cap is removed, the ingredients are poured in along with some ice, the shaker is capped and shaken briskly, and the drink is poured through the strainer.

    Since this type of shaker is a very simple accessory, the parts are easy to fit and no further tools are required for the shaking. But it is often difficult to open it once it has cooled from the ice put in it.

    Another disadvantage of this kind of shakers is that since they get very cold on the outside too, they are almost painful to touch. Also due to the small in built strainer, the ice can block the way of the pour, thereby making it the slowest to pour of all shakers, even if you almost invert the shaker. For busy, high traffic bars, cobbler shakers are very cumbersome, so the least preferred.

  • Boston shakers-

    A Boston shaker has two parts: a metal tumbler or base and a thick, often tempered nestling glass or plastic mixing cup, but without a built-in strainer. The operation is similar to the cobbler shaker but here one needs to tap in the nestling cup into the base after pouring the ingredients and ice to create a vacuum seal that keeps the two parts together. The drink is then shaken briskly until the metal base is cold, the shaker is tapped again to break the seal, this time using the wrist and hitting against the edge of the metal tumbler where it comes in to contact with the mixing glass, to reopen it. This can be a difficult task at first, and one may think the two parts are permanently sealed together. However, with a bit of practice the process soon becomes easy. The drink is then poured through a separate bar strainer into a glass.

    Separate bar strainers are vital when using Boston shakers, since they ensure that drinks become smooth and uniform, especially if crushed ice is used.

    This kind of shaker serves a dual purpose because of its two components- the mixing glass and the metal tin. The glass can be used alone for stirring or muddling drinks over ice and the two pieces can also be used together for shaking ingredients with the tin fitting over the glass.

    The Boston Shaker is generally used by professional bartenders to pour the mixed drink into a cocktail glass without making a mess. These shakers are easier to clean too. With a Boston shaker it is much faster and easier to make drinks, especially if one wants to create several drinks, one after another.

  • French shakers/Pitcher shakers-

    This is the final type of shaker and is the least popular one. This can be called to be a cobbler shaker minus the built-in strainer since it is of a large mixing metal pitcher shaped tumbler and a metal cap and has not strainer. A separate strainer is always required for this type of shaker, to keep the ice out of the drink when pouring.

    The advantage of the pitcher shaker is that cocktails may be prepared in a large amount at a time and the pitcher may be left on a table for guests to serve themselves.

    The disadvantage is that one may find it hard to open unless one has a good grip.

Whatever be the choice amongst the above three types of shakers, it is important to make sure it is big enough to allow for plenty of ice to be packed in, and for plenty of space to shake the ice around.

Materials used in shakers

The most common construction material for cocktail shakers is metal, since metal container colds well and a cocktail shaker is primarily intended to chill a drink while mixing it.

Other materials such as glass and plastic are sometimes used.

Designs and shapes of shakers

Cocktail shakers sometimes come in ornamented or etched designs and are often sold in a set with other bar tools which match. They also come in a variety of sizes, from personal models for mixing single drinks to larger bar sizes for handling bigger volumes.

Cocktail shakers are also available in novel shapes. Many fun and whimsical shapes like penguin shakers, fire hydrants, and bullet shapes are available in the market now.

There are also cocktail shakers that can play music, come with built in stirrers and are adorned with ornate decorations.

When buying cocktail shakers

While purchasing a cocktail shaker, one should consider how many drinks he or she needs to mix at a time. For people who only mix drinks rarely and casually, a small traditional shaker is probably a good choice, since it is easy to use. For larger mixing volume, better go for a Boston shaker.

Besides the type, the quality of material is also an important consideration. Stainless metal tumblers are durable and highly effective. If you wish to save money but do not want to compromise on efficiency, cheaper nickel-plated tumblers can be advocated for.

Cocktail Jiggers

The entire balance of a complex drink can be completely messed up if you pour excess or insufficient alcohol to it. The ratio of drink ingredients and accuracy are the most critical things in drink recipes, and to make a perfect blend with the perfect amount of mixture in the cocktail, one needs a bartending device that can accurately and precisely measure the various ingredients in the drink. This essential and aesthetic piece of a bar set that helps ensure precise measuring of liquids and creating consistent cocktails is called a jigger.

A jigger or a measuring cup is measuring device made of metal or glass that has two cones on each end. It is an indispensable device typically used by bartenders to decanFgiftt accurately 43ml (circa 1.4 ounces) of a beverage into a drink recipe. The larger cone can hold around 1 -1/2 ounces of liquid ingredients and is called a jigger, while it's smaller counterpart can hold 1 or 3/4 ounce (30ml approx.) and is referred to as pony. This smaller part is used to measure out a "pony shot,"- a less potent variation on the standard recipe.

But jiggers are available in other sizes as well and may not necessarily measure wet ingredients or fluids. A jigger is standard equipment in most bar sets, although individual gradations and capacities may vary. For example, a British jigger may measure out 50ml and 25ml of liquid instead of the Imperial ounce.

Sizes and shapes of jiggers

Some jiggers come in a larger size than the standard shot glass standard, either to measure out non-alcoholic mixers or "doubled" amounts of alcohol in a special order. A jigger sometimes has an attached metal rod between the two cups for easier pouring into a blender or martini shaker. Some jigger sets also have gradations marked on the side of the cups instead of standard measurements. A conventional style of bar jigger is one made of stainless steel, with the two opposing cones on either side of the jigger featuring an hourglass shape on the end of a rod.

Types of jiggers

For measuring ingredients, jiggers primarily come in two types based on the sides showing the quantity and unit to use as measurements.
  • English unit jiggers-

    Such jiggers come in a variety of sizes based on the following measurements:

    • ½ oz - 1 oz
    • Ύ oz – 1Ό oz
    • Ύ oz – 1½ oz
    • 1 oz – 1½ oz
    • 1 oz – 2 oz
    • ½ oz – Ύ oz
    • 1½ oz – 2 oz
  • Metric unit jiggers-

    The metric unit jigger sizes that come are:

    • 20 ml – 40 ml
    • 25 ml – 50 ml
    • 30 ml – 60 ml

    Besides the two above said types, there are other varieties available:

  • British jiggers-

    On the larger side, a typical British jigger measures 50ml while on the smaller side it shows 25ml of measurement.

  • Australian jiggers-

    Australian jiggers usually measure 30ml and 15ml respectively.

  • Scandinavian and European jiggers-

    Scandinavian and European jiggers use the metric system of measurement and the measurements are 20ml and 40ml respectively.

The purpose of jiggers

When we talk about only 3 to 4 ounces measurement of ingredients to mix in drinks, even the smallest difference in measures can make a very big difference in the resultant taste of the cocktail. To avoid this, a jigger is essential.

A jigger should be always used by beginner bartenders, particularly because here, the skills and experience of the one mixing the drinks are questionable.

The main purpose of a jigger is to measure the precise amount of alcohol into the cocktail shaker. This precise measurement is important in order to get a well-balanced drink. An excellent jigger can help you make cocktails in a jiffy.

It is often thought that a professional bartender doesn't need to use a jigger. But it is mostly the professional bartenders who use a jigger, because they know just how important it is to properly measure the ingredients when making a properly balanced cocktail. A jigger proves to be a source of pride for a skilled bartender, which can make him or her capable of free-pouring drinks with accuracy.

When buying jiggers

When purchasing a jigger, the following points are needed to be kept in mind:
  • Buy jiggers with good lips -

    Firstly, always go for a jigger with a well formed lip that can pour a clean stream of cocktail into the glass.

  • Jiggers with handles are a good option –

    And secondly, you can opt for a jigger with a handle attached to it. This handle can keep your fingers from getting sticky if you accidentally slop some cordials on the side of the jigger.

Shakers and Jiggers from Vital Wares

Vital wares offer you a whole range of rare and beautiful shakers and jiggers that will turn you into a star bartender without much effort. While our shiny stainless steel shakers fit well and shake your delicious cocktails nicely and smoothly, the hygienic and trendy jiggers will enliven you bar with elegance. These are easy to clean, durable, high quality and easy to maintain products. They do not chip or crack with time and bestow an everlasting class and sophistication to your bar area by their beauty and shine.

These equipments allow clean pouring of the contents into them and the jiggers have been stamped with the correct measurement to avoid any confusion.

Available in competitive rates, this barware from Vital Wares will go easy on your wallet. So don’t wait any further. Outfit your bar with our range of professional quality and unique designs of shakers and jiggers and get creative today, with perfection. After all, perfect tools maketh a perfect bartender and the perfection which is required most is in the smoothness and appropriate quantity of ingredients in a cocktail.


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