Cockail 101: How To Get The Lid Off a Cocktail Shaker

Step by step guide to the cocktail shaker.

There are two types of cocktail shakers; the standard one (a Cobbler) is a metal cup with a strainer lid and a cap. You pour all the ingredients into the cup, screw the lid on and shake. The other one is called a Boston Shaker. With this, you pour all the ingredients into the glass then fit the steel cup on top, then shake. The lids on both can sometimes become stuck together because of the sugar in some drinks and the contraction. For such a simple looking instrument, these little things can be a struggle to use, especially when it comes to removing the lid from the body. If you’ve never used one before, you probably don’t understand. But if you’re having trouble, follow this simple step by step guide below to help you use your cocktail shaker.


Instructions for a Cobbler Shaker


  1. After preparing your ingredients, pouring them into the body of the shaker and shaking, open the top portion and serve your drink. Once you’ve done this, place the empty shaker into the freezer
  2. Keep the shaker in there for five minutes before taking it out and allowing it to stand for a few minutes, allowing the condensation to start to form on the outside. The lid should pop off easily now.
  3. If NOT, run hot water over the top of the shaker for a few seconds and twist it off.


Instructions for a Boston Cocktail Shaker


  1. After shaking up your ingredients, leave the shaker on the work surface, glass side down
  2. Try twisting the two tumblers apart and if it’s not too tight, this should pry them apart.
  3. If NOT, hold the metal part of the shaker tightly and rap the metal tumbler with the heel of your free hand near the rim of the glass. This should cause the two parts to separate.

Hopefully, this has been of help to you. Once you get the hang of using your shakers, the easier it will become to separate the parts. Plus, keeping your shakers clean and washing them in hot water will stop the sugar from drinks  building up, a main cause for these shaker lids to get stuck.

Click here if you’re looking for cocktail recipes to make with your shakers (now you can get the lid off)

Happy cocktailing!

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