The Boston Shaker is a piece bar equipment that ever bartender needs. It is the bartender’s choice, consisting of a pint glass with a metal canister that covers the top to create a seal. This shaker serves a dual purpose because it is comprised of a 16-ounce mixing glass and a larger, flat-bottomed bar tin. The glass can be used alone for stirring and mixing drinks over ice, and the two pieces are used together for shaking ingredients with the tin fitting over the glass. The Boston Shaker is typically used by professional bartenders and requires the use of a Hawthorne or Julep strainer for crushed ice and other non-liquid ingredients.
Boston Shaker History
Versions of cocktail shakers have existed for thousands of years. In ancient Mexico and South America, it’s believed that hollowed-out gourds were used to add spices and sweeteners to drinks. In the U.S., the shaker was a rarity until about the 1840s. Before that time, bartenders mixed drinks by pouring them between two cups. Once they adopted the shaker, Americans preferred a combination of a glass and a metal tin that’s now known as the Boston shaker.
A long time before the Boston tin cocktail shaker as we know it today was even invented, the original cocktail shaker had already been invented in South America. It is believed that this early cocktail shaker could be traced back as early as 7000 BC. However, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the cocktail shaker we think of today became a mainstay behind many a bar. Up until this point, the favored method of making mixed drinks or cocktails was by tossing the liquid back and forth between two glasses.
Boston shaker is one of the types of a cocktail shaker, which has been traced back to the year 7000 B.C. in South America. It has even been found to be used during the Egyptian Civilization as early as 3500 B.C. Back in the 19th century, “Boston shaker” signified the smallest possible glass that would both hold the drink and form a seal with the tin. Oddly, the first known instance of its name actually referred to a catalogue listing for an all-metal shaker advertised in Britain in the 1920s.
So Who Named It Boston Shaker
The Boston shaker as we know it today became popular by the end of 19th century. It was possibly by an innkeeper who used two tumblers to mix a drink, by shaking them back and forth. He noticed that the mouth of one tumbler was smaller than the other, and it fitted perfectly into the larger tumbler, making it easier to shake the concoction without dripping any liquid.
The New York Times credits George Foster with the first description of the modern shaker, written in 1848: “With his shirt sleeves rolled up, and his face in a fiery glow [he] seems to be pulling long ribbons of julep out of a tin cup.”
The Boston Shaker may be made of silver or stainless steel where both the metal bottom and the mixing glass are made of the same metal. Alternatively, Boston shakers are also found with a metallic bottom and the mixing glass made of heat resistant glass.