A cocktail shaker does as the name implies, it shakes and mixes your alcoholic, and even your non-alcoholic, cocktails. Cocktail shakers consist of two parts, a bottom tumbler made of a metallic material, which can be made from stainless steel or even silver, and it consists of a top tumbler, which can be made from metal, plastic or glass. A Boston shaker usually has a metal bottom combined with a mixing glass. They also have a separate strainer, typically a Julep strainer, or a Hawthorne strainer. This makes life easier when using ice.
The history of the cocktail shaker is a colorful one. Traced back to the jar gourd in South America around 7000 BCE, there is also evidence that the ancient Egyptians were using prototypes for shakers in 3500 BCE. In 1520, Spanish conquistador Cortes wrote a letter to the king of Spain detailing a special drink that was shaken and poured from a cylinder of gold.
In the late 19th century, the shape of the cocktail shaker as we know it was patented, and during the Jazz era, owning and using one was just as important as knowing popular dance steps. After the Prohibition was lifted in the United States, these drink mixers for cocktails became a sign of luxury and refinement, but the onset of World War II saw a decline in them as their manufacturers joined the war efforts to make artillery shells.
Today, there are many different styles of these drink mixers used by professional bartenders, as well as in the home. Not only do they work to quickly chill your drinks, but they also efficiently combine the ingredients of your drink. The two most common of these are the Cobbler and the Boston. The Cobbler version typically consists of metal parts, but can sometimes be made from glass, and the Boston version, as mentioned above, consists of a metallic tumbler and a glass tumbler.
The Boston versions are best used if you desire a larger amount of drink. To shake a drink you would add some ice and your desired ingredients, and then you would tap the two pieces together to seal the shaker. Simply shake your concoction for a good ten to twenty seconds, tap again to separate the pieces, and use your strainer to pour your drink into a glass filled with new ice, as the ice you used to mix with is not the ice you use in your drink.
Boston versions can be found in an array of designs and styles these days. They are made to be of stylish, modern designs with measuring scales and handy booklets detailing popular drinks and their measurements in parts. There are even ones that come with rubber gaskets for the purpose of tightly sealing the two tumblers together, as well as for ensuring the two pieces do not get stuck together.
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