We Tested 10 Cobbler Shakers to Find the Best Ones for Shaken Cocktails

Our winner is the Cocktail Kingdom Usagi Cobbler Shaker.

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a cocktail being poured in a coupe glass from a cobbler shaker

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Straight to the Point

Our favorite cobbler shaker is the Cocktail Kingdom Usagi Cobbler Shaker; you can't beat its quality. We've also reviewed Boston shakers, and you can check our our top recommendations here.

There’s a certain appeal to a cocktail shaker, especially the sound of a good shake—ice clanking against metal, signaling a drink is on its way.

The two styles of shakers you're likely familiar with are Boston and cobbler. The Boston shaker (which is composed of two pieces: a larger tin and a smaller tin or glass) has more of a learning curve, but can craft cocktails quicker and in higher volumes. The cobbler shaker is made up of three pieces: a tin, a built-in strainer, and a small cap atop the strainer. Professional bartenders tend to prefer Boston shakers, while the cobbler shaker is more popular with home bartenders because it's easy to assemble. So, we tested 10 popular cobbler shakers to find the best ones for making shaken cocktails.

The Winners, at a Glance

The Best Overall Cobbler Shaker: Cocktail Kingdom Usagi Cobbler Shaker

Cocktail Kingdom Usagi Cobbler Shaker - Stainless Steel

It was tough narrowing down our favorite cobbler shakers, but Cocktail Kingdom’s Usagi shaker reigned supreme with its shape, durability, and sheen. There are many things to love about this shaker: it has a low profile, quality finish, and large capacity. We also liked that, since it's made of stainless steel, you can really tell when your drink has been properly chilled just by hand feel.

The Best Cobbler Shaker with Added Features: Elevated Craft The Elevated Cocktail Shaker

Elevated Craft The Elevated Cocktail Shaker

Also available at Elevated Craft and Huckberry.

The folks behind this shaker took all our typical qualms with a cobbler shaker and did a stellar job of solving them. We love the clever design, with insulated walls and a threaded seal, which made removing the lid easy. A large, built-in jigger clearly laid out all standard measurements, up to six ounces. And at 28 ounces, it's also large enough to make three or so drinks at a time.

The Best Budget-Friendly Cobbler Shaker: OXO Steel Single Wall Cocktail Shaker

OXO Steel Single Wall Cocktail Shaker

Also available at OXO and Williams Sonoma.

This shaker was thin and lightweight, but still sturdy. While we struggled with the seal of some other cobbler shakers, this seal was pretty easy to pull apart. Add in a handsome design and decent capacity (think space for two drinks), and this is an excellent pick.

The Tests

a cobbler and a boston shaker side by side on a wooden countertop
This is the difference between a cobbler (left) and a Boston shaker (right). For this review, we focused on just cobbler shakers.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

  • Jigger Test: We checked to see if the jigger portion was accurate. Did it offer a range of measurements, in universal units of measurement?
  • Ramos Gin Fizz Test: We made a Ramos Gin Fizz to see if the shaker could whip up enough froth, and to see if it could strain out pulp and seeds from lemon juice. 
  • Dry Shake Test: We made a cocktail that required a dry shake to find if the insulation sufficiently irritated the ingredients. We also considered how the weight felt in our hands while shaking the cobbler shaker.
  • UX Testing: While completing all of these tests, we considered the usability of the shaker. Did the cobbler shaker fit ergonomically in our hands? Was it uncomfortable to shake with? When shaking, how easy was it to get a full, hard shake in? Did it feel clunky? Did the lid fit snuggly?When the cocktail was chilled, how easily did the top cap come off?
  • Cleaning Tests: After each test, we hand washed each shaker to see if they were easy to clean. At the end of testing, we also ran dishwasher-safe ones through a cycle to see if they became discolored or otherwise damaged.

What We Learned

We Preferred a Classic Shape and Stainless Steel

While a handsome cobbler shaker is all well and good, comfort is also important; you want a shaker that feels good in the hand. We found that classic shaped cobbler shakers, like the one from Cocktail Kingdom, were the easiest and most comfortable to grip. Material was also important, and stainless steel took the cake; it allowed us to gauge the temperature of the cocktail (a frosty exterior= a properly chilled drink) easily.

A Good Seal Was One That Was Easy to Break

The seal is one of the biggest make-or-breaks when it comes to cobbler shakers; no one wants to struggle pulling off the lid of a shaker to get your drink. (Fun fact: I have a shaker in the back of my glassware cabinet that I have never ever been able to get apart. Many house guests have tried, none have succeeded.) Conversely, you don't want the lid or strainer part to fly off, as we found with the Rabbit shaker. The models we tested ranged from traditional pressure-sealed shakers to threaded twist-offs. With a pressure-sealed shaker, the liquid creates a natural seal. They can be tougher to get apart. (Tip: tap the heel of your hand against the side of the shaker and it should loosen the top right off). If the traditional seal frustrates you, newer options (like the one from Elevated Craft) with threaded, twist-off seals allow you to quickly twist off the lid with minimal effort.

We Didn't Care Much About Accoutrements

A closeup of a cobbler shaker with a built-in citrus juicer top
Add-ons like a built-in citrus juicer were nicer in theory than practice. We'd rather just buy a separate, better-performing juicer.

Serious Eats / Kate Dingwall

Many of these shakers offer slight bonuses for buying them, like a built-in jigger with measurement markings (like on the Elevated Craft’s The Elevated Cocktail Shaker) or an included citrus reamer for in-shaker squeezing (the Tovolo Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker). While some of these are useful—namely a built-in jigger—others are nice in theory, but poor in execution. We'd rather have a well-made, high-performing shaker than one with a bunch of doodads (just buy a jigger and citrus juicer separately).

The Criteria: What to Look For In A Cobbler Shaker

A serious(ly) good cobbler shaker: well-insulated, comfortable to hold, large capacity, easily removable lid

Serious Eats / Kate Dingwall / Grace Kelly

A good cobbler shaker should have a watertight seal, but also be easy to take apart once you’re done shaking. It also should be comfortable to hold, ideally with a slightly rounded, jar-like shape, which allows for optimal control over the final quality of your drink. And if there are any added doodads or features, they should be useful (and in the case of jiggers, accurate). Finally, the shaker should do a good job insulating and integrating ingredients—no one wants a glob of egg white in their cocktail.

The Best Overall Cobbler Shaker: Cocktail Kingdom Usagi Cobbler Shaker

Cocktail Kingdom Usagi Cobbler Shaker - Stainless Steel

What we liked: This cobbler shaker checked all of our boxes. It had a low profile, a shiny finish, and a large-ish capacity (max three drinks, though the manufacturer says two) . It made quick work of a cold shake and was well-insulated, resulting in a nicely chilled cocktail.

What we didn’t like: It’s a heavier option, and the single-walled design means if you drop it, you may dent it. It's not cheap.

Price at time of publish: $60.

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 28 ounces
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 0.85 lbs
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
a stainless steel cocktail shaker against a white background

Serious Eats / Kate Dingwall

The Best Cobbler Shaker with Added Features: Elevated Craft The Elevated Cocktail Shaker

Elevated Craft The Elevated Cocktail Shaker

Also available at Elevated Craft and Huckberry.

What we liked: Instead of a pressure-sealed lid, it uses threads and gaskets that allow you to twist off the top rather than muscling it off. A double-walled design kept the drink insulated, and a large, built-in jigger clearly (and accurately) laid out standard measurements, up to six ounces.

What we didn’t like : It's a little large and it’s almost silly to make a single drink in. It's also expensive.

Price at time of publish: $70.

Key Specs: 

  • Capacity: 28 ounces
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 1.46 lbs
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
a tall stainless steel cocktail shaker against a white background and on a white countertop

Serious Eats / Kate Dingwall

The Best Budget-Friendly Cobbler Shaker: OXO Steel Single Wall Cocktail Shaker

OXO Steel Single Wall Cocktail Shaker

Also available at OXO and Williams Sonoma.

What we liked: The shaker was thin and lightweight, but still sturdy. We found its seal easy to pull apart and liked its rather spacious capacity, which was large enough to for two to three drinks. At $23, it's the best shaker we found for its price.

What we didn't like: The built-in jigger was a nice touch, but it was far too slanted to keep liquid in effectively. We recommend just buying a separate jigger.

Price at time of publish: $23.

Key Specs 

  • Capacity: 24 ounces
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
a stainless steel cobbler shaker with a silicone cap on a white surface and against a white background

Serious Eats / Kate Dingwall

The Competition

  • OXO Good Grips Cocktail Shaker: While OXO’s Steel shaker was top-notch in our books, the entry level option was not. The shaker itself was far too light to control the shake, and the seal of the shaker came apart too easily.
  • Rabbit Double Walled Twist-to-Lock Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker: This was a handsome shaker, but there were a few design flaws that took it off our top list. First, the strainer tended to let lemon seeds sneak into drinks. Our main qualm was the strainer wasn't tightly attached to the rest of the shaker, so it came off when you pulled off the lid.
  • Oggi Groove Insulated Cocktail Shaker: This worked, but it was clunky compared to more classic cobbler shakers.
  • Simple Modern Cocktail Martini Shaker: This was a perfectly serviceable shaker, but it was tough to open, and the exterior finish started to peel after washing.
  • Tovolo Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker: Another strainer that was nice in concept—who doesn’t want a two-in-one appliance, with a built-in citrus reamer? But there were minor flaws that made this cobbler shaker more trouble than it was worth, namely the too-tight seal and poor ergonomics.
  • Williams Sonoma Encore Bar Double Wall Cocktail Shaker: This shaker almost almost made it into our winners, but the strainer wasn't securely sunken into the base, meaning it had a tendency to leak, and well, we’d like to drink our drink, not wear it.
  • BrüMate Shaker: While we’re keen on BrüMate Shaker for its built-in drinking lid, it wasn’t exactly useful in a real-world application; who really needs to take an entire cocktail shaker to-go? It’s essentially an insulated mug with a shaker top. It's nice, but not as practical as a shaker meant for at-home cocktail making. 

FAQs

How do you use a cobbler shaker?

It’s relatively simple. Start by adding your ingredients to the tin. Then, add ice (or skip this step if you’re dry shaking) to the tin. Place the lid on top and securely seal it—a strong smack should do. 

Then, place your hands on the top and bottom of the shaker and pull it up beside your ear. Shake vigorously for about 10 to 15 seconds—longer if you’re fluffing an egg white cocktail. Unless the shaker is double-insulated, you should be able to tell the drink is ready when the sides of the tins are highly condensed and cold to the touch.

Once the cocktail is ready, pull off the top cap of the strainer and strain the drink into your preferred serving vessel. Alternatively, you can remove the entire lid and affix a separate strainer to the top of the tin to hold back the ice and any other ingredients as you strain it into a glass.

Why is it called a cobbler shaker?

The name stems from a Sherry Cobbler, a classic shaken cocktail that requires a base spirit, sugar, and citrus, shaken hard and served over crushed ice.

How do you properly clean and care for a cobbler shaker?

It depends on the shaker! A stainless steel cobbler shaker is typically dishwasher-safe, though this will vary from brand to brand. If a shaker is plated—perhaps gold or copper—hand washing is recommended to preserve the finish. As far as care, we recommend not letting ingredients sit too long in the shaker to avoid build-up.