Behind the Bar Rail: Boston Shaker

A shaker is a much-needed necessity in the art of preparing cocktails. One of the many shakers used throughout bars is a Boston shaker. It consists of 2 parts, a metal tin, and a glass cup. The Boston shaker has the largest volume out of all shakers and is considered the finest choice among professionals. 

Due to its use of a 16 oz (American pint) glass it is also considered the American style of a cocktail shaker.

It is considered invaluable during busy times in bars because more than one drink can be shaken at once.


Boston Tin Shaker

The Boston Tin, or shaker tin, is usually around 28 oz in volume and is made from metal. A smaller glass fits inside making the rim approximately 9cm to 10 cm in diameter. 

A shaker tin should be conical in its shape. This is so the accompanying glass can slot inside but will stop about a quarter of the way down. The slight flexibility of the Boston tin allows it to grip on to the glass. Creating the seal is the key to the Boston tin.


Boston Glass Shaker

A Boston Glass is plain in its nature. It is a 16 oz glass soda-lime glass and looks every bit like it, what makes the difference is the toughened glass. The impact of ice cubes and the need to tap and bash the glass repeatedly to make or break the seal sets it apart from a regular glass. 

Because a Boston glass can sometimes break, it will most likely be replaced more often than a Boston tin. 



  • Large Volume – an average Boston tin is 28oz, meaning several drinks can be shaken at once
  • Tight Seal – a strong tap gives a Boston shaker a tight seal
  • Single Hand Shaking – if sealed properly, a professional bartender can shake a Boston in one hand, leading to a Boston shaker in each hand
  • Mix and Match – Boston shaker components are usually uniform in size, meaning different tins and glasses can be bought separately and used together
  • Keep Watch on The Cocktail – the shaker glass allows the bartender to view the contents an ensure good color. This also creates a good show for the clientele
  • Easy to Clean – simple shape means no dirt traps
  • Stackable – the basic conical shape means the tins and glasses can be stacked and stored efficiently



  • Breakable Glass – while a Boston glass is usually toughened, it is more liable to shatter, meaning regular replacements
  • Professional – not recommended for beginners – making and breaking the seal requires practice
  • Less Decorative – not known for being decorated, a Boston shaker is quite plain
  • Need Separate Strainer – amateur bartenders might prefer the built-in strainer of a Cobbler shaker


Want to use a Boston Shaker? First, make sure to get alcohol certified. We can help!

Know your way around the equipment of a bar with our Behind the Bar Rail series!

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