Shaker. Varieties, history, rules of work and care.
We are starting a series of articles about the Bartender’s Tools that should help you meet them closer and develop new skills or even choose your own (in case you have not done it). Today we start with one of the most common tools – Shaker. And as this topic is quite big, we split it into two parts.
Enjoy your reading.
What is the Cocktail Shaker?
This is a tool for making cocktails using the shake method. In the shaker, cocktails are prepared from hard-to-mix ingredients of various densities: juices, liqueurs, cream, protein, strong alcoholic beverages, syrups.
What does Shaking do to the cocktail?
Ice, which takes up about 75 percent of the volume of the shaker, quickly cools and mixes drinks. Shaking is so efficient, in fact, that cocktails rapidly approach thermal balance inside the shaker. Once the balance is reached, chilling or dilution will take place, whether your ice is big or small, whether you continue to shake or not.
Also, do not forget about Aeration. In addition to diluting and chilling, shaking adds texture to a drink in the form of tiny air bubbles. Sometimes you can see these bubbles in the form of foam on the top of your drink, sometimes you can only see the bubbles when you look under a microscope. But one thing is certain: without the air bubbles, you do not have a proper shaken cocktail.
The most common shakers: classic three-part Cobbler, two-part Boston and Parisian.
Materials used to make cocktail shakers
This is the most common material. Stainless steel is hygienic, it does not darken over time and most importantly, it does not break and costs a reasonable price.
Usually, this material is used in the production of the upper part of the Boston shaker or the lower part of some vintage-style Cobblers. The major drawback of glass, of course, is that it is easy to break. Although it is worth noting that usually in the production of shakers, tempered glass is used, which can withstand the temperature change of “boiling to ice-water”.
You will hardly find silver shakers in an ordinary bar shop. Such shakers are worth looking for in antique shops and collectors. They are not cheap and darken, like all silver, over time, so do not forget to clean them periodically.
We will mention this material only for the sake of justice. And for the sake of it, we note that nowadays plastic shakers have nothing to do with any professional tool. This is either a ” toy ” or sports equipment to carry smoothies to the gym.
The History of the Cocktail Shaker
Long before Boston, the French, and the Cobblers, the first prototypes of beverage mixing tools were invented in South America. Fragments of gourd vessels with traces of alcohol in them turned out to be the first containers for mixing drinks in 7000 BC.
In the 1520s, the explorer Hernando Cortez, returning to Spain, described a drink based on whipped cocoa, which the indigenous people of South America prepared in “golden cylindrical containers”.
But the cocktail shaker as we know it today entered the bar inventory lists in the mid-19th century. Before that,
bartenders prepared drinks by the method of “throwing” (pouring)
a cocktail from one glass to another. Presumably, the idea of a shaker came out when someone (perhaps a hotel owner or an enterprising bartender) decided to put two glasses together. This device made it possible to mix drinks more efficiently and quickly and was spread around the bars.
New York Times first described the bartender George Foster in 1848, who prepared cocktails in a shaker. But since metal shakers were already standard equipment for bars in the mid-1850s, they probably appeared a little earlier.
The new style of mixing drinks became popular not only in bars but also moved to home bars: it became much easier to mix drinks at home in a closed shaker than to prepare them by transferring them from one glass to another. Cocktail books also did not ignore the new method of making drinks. For instance, in the book “How to Mix Drinks”, Jerry Thomas advised readers to mix drinks in a shaker.
WHAT DO THINK ABOUT SHAKERS AS A BARTENDER?
HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE SHAKERS IN YOUR BAR?
SHARE YOUR FAVOURITE SHAKING RECIPES.
Remember, at Bar.Skills we make our customers care about what they drink.
IN ADDITION, CHECK OUT SOME COCKTAILS YOU MIGHT ENJOY, MAKING BY SHAKING METHOD.
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