Online Bartending Lesson: How to Use a Shaker

Shaker with Limes
Shakers are used to mix a variety of ingredients to create virgin drinks, martinis, or even shots. It is also a great way to instantly transform warm ingredients into a chilled beverage. Since many people don’t know how to use a shaker, the guide below will give you a step-by-step lesson on creating your first drink in a shaker.

The Shaker

Shakers consist of a top and a bottom half. While the top half is usually larger and has a built-in strainer, the bottom resembles a large pint glass. The cap should remain on the shaker until the mixture is ready to pour into the serving glass.

1. Add Ice

Begin by filling the lower half of the shaker about three quarters of the way with ice. This allows enough room to add plenty of liquid and still have room to shake the ingredients. Without enough ice, your drink will not chill and will become watered down.

2. Pour The Ingredients

Add the proper amount of your ingredients to the shaker, ensuring that you do not fill it more than three quarters full. This will cause problems when you attempt to shake it.

3. Close the Shaker

Place the top of the shaker over the filled bottom half and firmly seal it closed. You should feel the shaker snap or lock shut. Test it by slightly tipping it to the side and watching for any drops of liquid escaping from the seal. Always test it before shaking to avoid large messes.

4. Correctly Grip the Shaker

Place one hand around the bottom and the other around the top forcing the shaker tightly shut the entire time you are holding it. Again, you want to ensure the shaker stays closed and the cap stays over the strainer while mixing.

5. Shake it!

You can mix the ingredients by quickly moving the shaker up and down just a few inches above the surface of the bar, or by bringing it over your shoulder and using a side to side movement. With about 8-12 shakes, the ingredients will be thoroughly combined and chilled and ready to pour.

6. Open and Pour

Carefully bring the shaker back down to the surface of the bar and break the seal between the lower and upper halves without spilling. Oftentimes the shaker can be too tight to break apart by hand and may require a gentle bump against the edge of the bar. With the two ends slightly open, pour only the liquid into your serving glass while preventing chunks of ice from falling out of the shaker. This can be tricky at first, but with practice it becomes second nature. Drinks with too many chunks of ice are not considered acceptable at most establishments as it lowers the quality of the beverage.

7. Serve It

The drink should now be mixed, chilled and ready to serve to the customer. Enjoy!

Additional Tip!

Customers often order multiple drinks, you can save time by mixing several quantities of the same beverage in a single shaker. Make sure that you add the correct proportion of all ingredients. You can place the serving glasses side by side and pour the drink through the strainer in a single line to save time.

Continue on with the Bartending Lessons

How to Open and Close the BarHow to Muddle a Drink


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