Shaker Thoughts

Glass shakers vs. Metal shakers?  Which is better?  I think part of the answer depends on whether you store the shaker in the freezer (or fridge).

If you store it in the freezer then the greater thermal mass of the glass shaker will help you chill the martini as you shake it.  The typical metal (aluminum or steel) shaker is pretty light with little thermal mass.  So freezing it would add little chilling the drink when shaken.  Furthermore a ‘warm’ metal shaker will give up very little heat into the martini when shaking.  If you’ve got a metal shaker I’d save the freezer space for more important things, like ice cream.

I use a metal shaker.  I’ve dropped it several times while cleaning and I’d shudder to think what would happen if it were glass.


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3 thoughts on “Shaker Thoughts

  1. Thank you for addressing the question regarding the use of glass and metal shakers and how they affect the temperature of a martini. Looks like I will continue to store my metal shaker in the cabinet, as I too love ice cream!!

  2. It’s probably worth pointing out that at many fine bars and restaurants (Ruth’s Chris comes immediately to mind), Martinis are brought to the customer in an individual-sized shaker, carried by a waiter or bartender who is vigorously shaking the container right up until the moment he pours it in your chilled glass. The result is a drink with a cloudy, milky look from the entrapped air bubbles; it gives the drink a silky smooth mouth feel and a delicious flavor.

    If the Martini is icy cold, as it should be, it will often remain cloudy for a considerable time in the glass, and it really does have an exceptional flavor when it’s thus aerated. Stirring does not introduce air into the liquid, which leaves the Martini tasting dull, flat, and undistinguished. It’s like drinking a fine wine right out of the bottle versus decanting it and letting it breathe for ten or fifteen minutes. The same thing happens if the Martini is poured and then sits around too long before it is served, or if it arrives lukewarm. If you get one like that, send it back.

    Really serious bartenders will intentionally add a bit of shaved or cracked ice in the shaker so that when the foamy drink is poured, it will have a few “slushy” ice chips floating on the top. Those chips are the proof that your barkeep is a perfectionist–one who cares enough to make your drink the proper way and serve it at the perfect temperature and the peak of flavor.

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