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Bartenders choose tin as best cocktail shaker

Bacardi Brown Forman Brands (BBFB) predicts that the ubiquitous ‘glass and tin’ shaker is on its way out, as bartenders choose ‘tin and tin’ as their best cocktail shaker.

Bartender best cocktail shaker strainer
Bartenders are finding that the best cocktail shakers are those made from tin

The finding comes from the drinks conglomerate’s Cocktail Culture Workshop which has been touring England for the past six months gathering data on different shakers and shaking styles.

Hundreds of bartenders at the workshop have shaken 50ml of vodka in a shaker of their choice with ice, with temperature and dilution being recorded afterwards.

“‘Tin and tin’ gives the most consistent results, giving cold, reasonably diluted drinks regardless of the shake time and the quantity of ice”, explained Ian McLaren, head of training for BBFB during a masterclass held during London Cocktail Week to uncover London bartender’s best cocktail shakers.

“Most bars stock ‘glass and tin’ as that’s standard issue kit, but in truth they’re heavy, especially if you’re making cocktails all evening, the thick glass takes longer to cool down after coming out of a hot glasswasher, the glass will break if dropped, and it’s bulky, limiting space in often small work stations.

“With ‘tin and tin’, you can stack them so they take up less room, as well as the fact that they cool quickly and mix the drink very effectively.”


The research has also shown that there seems to be a general misunderstanding about dilution amongst the bartending community.

“It seems that many bartenders are still trying to avoid dilution – while no-one wants a watery drink, the ideal dilution is about 100% volume increase, so if you start with 50ml, you should end up with 100ml of liquid. This is because the botancials and more delicate flavours in a spirit are best experienced at about 20% abv, rather than the full 40% bottle strength. An ideal cocktail will have an abv of about 15%,” commented Mclaren.

Another finding was that those who gripped the shaker too tightly when shaking invariably ended up with warmer drinks as the heat from the hands transferred to the liquid inside the shaker.

“The research is still ongoing, and we hope to open up to the rest of the world with a virtual database where bartenders will upload their data and the more we get, the clearer an idea we’ll have about the effects of different shakers and shaking styles”, concluded Mclaren.

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