A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a class about making cocktails. I found it fun, original and liked it so much that I decided to buy a cocktail shaker and start making cocktails.

However, looking for shakers here and there, I noticed there was a big price difference between them. Some were really cheap, others were quite expensive. Being unexperienced in this domain, I didn't know shakers could be so different. I learned there were indeed many differences and decided to share it by writing this article.

Example of a Cheap Cocktail Shaker

Winco BS-310 3-Piece Cocktail Shaker Set, 10-Ounce
Amazon Price: $5.02 $0.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 5, 2016)

Example of an Expensive Cocktail Shaker

Oggi Marilyn Tall and Slim Cocktail Shaker
Amazon Price: $20.00 $12.33 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 5, 2016)

How to Justify the Price Difference?

Actually, this is the kind of product where you can easily spot the differences between cheap and expensive items.

Here are a couple of factors that explain the price difference:

  • leaking: shakers are made to be shaked. And not even gently. If the different parts are not perfectly matching together, the drink may be leaking
  • cold hands: in case you don't know it, when making cocktails, you put ice and drinks in the shaker. Which means that the inside of the shaker is very cold. If you buy a cheap product, it will not have any kind of temperature isolation and you may as well wear gloves if you intend to make many cocktails in a row
  • quality of the material: this is not something you will notice at once, but nice mixers use high quality material (generally stainless steel) so that it will last long and won't deteriorate with time
  • not so important for the drinks but expensive mixers generally look better. The company making them spend some time and money on the design and the result is more pleasant to the eyes
  • the size: the bigger the shaker the more expensive. This is quite natural. The Oggi Marilyn Tall featured above can contain up to 26 ounces, knowing that a Martini glass is about 6 ounces and a cup about 8. This means you won't have to make drinks one by one.
Drink on the Beach
Credit: Vera Kratochvil

Which Cocktail Mixer Is Best for You?

If you just want to make cocktails for fun and don't want to spend too much money on it, it is natural for you not to want to spend too much money on it. However, when you see all the problems with cheap mixers and that a good one isn't so expensive either (less than $15 as of today 06 August 2013), you may want to go for the good one.

Also, remember this is a one-time purchase. Not something you will need to pay for every month, or something you need to replace every quarters. 

Related Item

If you want to start making your own cocktails, another item that can help you is a jigger. You can use it to measure the amount of alcohol (or other) you put in your drinks. The one below is a very good one both in terms of quality and in terms of price.

It has two sided to make more measurements, uses high quality material, has a nice grip area, can be washed in the dishwasher and is very affordable. What more to ask for a jigger?

OXO SteeL Double Jigger
Amazon Price: $8.99 $4.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 5, 2016)


This was all I had to say about differences between cheap and expensive cocktail shakers. I hope you now understand better the reasons behind the price difference and hope this helped you in choosing a mixer for your cocktails.

Have some nice drinks!