What To Use If You Don't Own A Cocktail Shaker

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Everyone loves watching a master mixologist craft perfectly blended cocktails, and cocktail enthusiasts often strive to achieve the same results at home. Not everyone has a cocktail shaker set handy, though. And so what can you use to blend cocktails if you don't own a cocktail shaker?

Difford's Guide explains that classic cocktail shakers are composed of three parts: a metal shaker, a topper, and a strainer. Cocktail shakers are designed to blend and chill liquids quickly before straining them into a prepared cocktail glass. According to The Boston Shaker, there are several styles of cocktail shaker sets available today. A Cobbler cocktail shaker, for example, has a built-in strainer in its topper, whereas the Parisian shaker and the Boston shaker — which uses a glass similar to a pint bar glass as a topper — don't have strainers and need a Hawthorne or Julep strainer to complete the job.

Cocktail shakers are designed for efficiency and speed. Fortunately, there are a few kitchen tools that can easily replace a cocktail shaker if you don't happen to have one on hand.

Repurpose your travel mug to mix your drinks

Per Tampa Bay Times' food editor Michelle Stark, one simple solution to mixing cocktails at home even if you don't own a cocktail shaker is to use a spill-proof travel mug instead. After all, a travel mug has similar components to a cocktail shaker. To repurpose your trusty travel mug, simply add ice and your cocktail ingredients to the mug, secure the lid, and shake. Make sure to hold your thumb over the sipper slot on the lid to prevent spills. Once you're ready to pour, uncover the spout and the travel mug's lid will separate the cocktail from the ice—no strainer needed.

Countertop and hand blenders are handy for cocktail blending, too. This residential (and pro) method works best if the ingredients are pre-chilled or served on the rocks. Frozen drinks like piña coladas, daiquiris, and frozen margaritas that contain fruit, herbs, and vegetables need another style of crafting and work best when prepared in a blender. As Liquor.com says, when it comes to blending frozen drinks, what you want in the end is a smooth consistency, which a blender was made for.

Shake (and serve) homemade cocktails in a Mason jar

Cosmopolitan suggests that another great option for mixing cocktails without a cocktail shaker is to use an old-fashioned glass Ball Mason jar with a ring or solid screw-top lid. While Ball Mason jars were invented for canning fruits, vegetables, jams, and preserves, they've become quite popular as retro beverage glasses, so much so that Ball Mason even makes them with handles.

As for using the glass jars as an inventive cocktail shaker, one great thing about the jars is that they can easily be filled and chilled in the refrigerator or for a few hours in the freezer. In fact, companies even produce cocktail shaker lids specifically designed to work with the Ball Mason jar.

When you're ready to mix your cocktail with your homemade cocktail shaker, just add ice and the cocktail's ingredients to the Mason jar and secure the lid before shaking vigorously. Strain the liquid into a prepared cocktail glass using a cocktail strainer (one of the specially made lids) or a metal spatula or knife to separate the liquid from the ice. Alternatively, you can always serve the cocktail straight from the jar.