Published: July 18, 2015
There is a new shaker in town and it is not your grandfather's cocktail shaker, that is for sure!
Shaker 33 is just out of development and getting ready to go to production and I recently had the opportunity to test out one of the prototypes. The design transforms the traditional three-piece cocktail shaker into a modern-looking, leak-proof, frost-free tool that I believe some people will really enjoy.
There are many benefits and a few drawbacks to Shaker 33 and I can fully appreciate the developers' attempt to fix some of the issues that come up with traditional shakers.
What I enjoy most about Shaker 33 is that it is leak-proof. When using either a traditional three-piece or a Boston shaker, there is always the chance for a small splash (and the occasional catastrophic dump) if the seal is not made properly. Shaker 33 uses a rubber gasket on the lid that fits snuggly inside the large-capacity mixing container. Even on the hand-assembled prototype, I had no leaks while shaking.
The lid is also easy to get off after shaking. With stainless steel shakers it is inevitable that the cold will cause the pieces to stick and require a whack on the bar top to loosen. Shaker 33 solves that issue and even after the longest of cold shakes, the lid came off with ease.
The strainer is probably the most revolutionary part of the design.
It is more conical, resembling the shape of a colander that you may use for draining pasta. This primary shape is ideal because ice does not clog the holes while straining, unlike flat strainers that often need to be jostled to release those last drops of mixed drink.
There are two different sizes of holes on the strainer as well and the are cut at an angle.
Amazingly, no herbs and just a few teeny berry seeds made it through these holes in testing, which in and of itself is revolutionary. For some drinks a fine strainer may still be necessary, but I have not come across that issue yet.
The last benefit of the strainer is that in between uses the lid can be inverted, set on the counter and the strainer can be rested inside the lids' 'nest.' This keeps the strainer clean before coming in contact with your drink.
The entire shaker is made of Tritan, a new development in plastic that is designed to be safe and tough. While it may take more time than I've had to really put the shaker's durability to the test, it does seem like a tough one. I generally dislike plastic shakers because they break too easily, but this is one that seems to be able to stand up to the rigors of the bar. Amazingly, it even took a muddler without harm and that is almost unheard of with plastic.
The other benefit to the material is temperature. If you are like me and suffer from chilly hands, then you know that steel shakers can get very cold. Shaker 33 doesn't.
The entire design is easy to hold in one hand, even for a woman with skinny hands, and it is lighter weight than steel when filled to capacity.
Shaker 33 is billed as a cleaner shaker, meant to keep the bar top and bartender cleaner than the normal shaker. I agree that in most aspects it does this very well. The one exception I have to it is in the strainer itself and it is the only thing I dislike about the shaker.
There is a curved bar inside the strainer that you grab, twist, and pull to remove it and clean out the shaker between drinks. The problem is that after pouring the top side of the strainer can have some residual liquid and, depending on the drink, it can be sticky and get on your hands. While the bar itself stays relatively dry, it is the top side of the strainer that can get your fingers wet. This is a minimal issue, though one that someone with larger fingers may find to be more problematic and you may be washing your hands more than with a traditional shaker (not that that's a bad thing because hygiene is good in the bar).
The only other caution I have regarding Shaker 33 is to make sure that the strainer locks completely. I had a few issues on the prototype with the strainer popping off during the pour, though that was more operator error because I did not get it locked. Listen for the snap and all should be good.
I like the Shaker 33. It is fun, modern, tough, and I think it would last a lot longer than any other plastic shaker I've used (and broken). There are some definite benefits that home bartenders in particular are going to enjoy like the ability to throw it in the dishwasher and the frost-free and spill-proof aspects. Pros may also really enjoy it.
Everyone is different and has certain issues with different styles of cocktail shakers. While I don't think that this is going to replace my collection of well-used and reliable Boston shakers, I will probably use it instead of some of my three-piece shakers that have some of their own issues like a constantly sticking lid and super cold surface.
If I were the average home bartender who mixed up a drink once or twice a week, I would give Shaker 33 some serious consideration and certainly purchase it over almost every other plastic shaker out there.
There are some style choices to Shaker 33 as well. I'm not the biggest fan of the clear option, but the frosted looks nice and that black is awfully sexy and would look great on the bar.
More About Shaker 33
- Three-piece cocktail shaker made of Tritan 'plastic.'
- Released in summer 2015.
- Retails for about $40.
- Visit Their Website
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.