Bartender pouring a cocktail from a cocktail shaker into a martini glass.

Cocktail Shaking Guide For Your Bar

Follow our tips and guidance to help your bar team master the essential art of cocktail shaking.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Shaking is a well-used technique that all levels of bartender need to master early on in their career. As a bar owner or manager, it’s important that your team feels confident with shaking cocktails.

Below is some useful info on shaking, including instructions on how to use a cocktail shake, plus a step-by-step guide to shaking methods that can be shared with staff. There’s also a list of the different types of shakers and how to keep them maintained.


Bartenders that are learning the ropes can get to grips with cocktail shaking in under a minute by watching this short, how-to video.

And for your more experienced bartenders, we’ve put together some step-by-step guides which cover the basic shaking method and the more flamboyant ‘double shake’. Worth keeping on hand for when it comes to staff skills training.


  • Ice in straight shaker hits the bottom of the shaker hard, cracking the ice.
  • Ice in angled shaker hits a glancing strike against the side of the shaker and curls around.
Simple japanese shaking movements.


  • Four tier shake.
Hard shake movements.


There are a few different types of cocktail shaker that every bar needs to have on-hand. They’ll get plenty of use, so below are the key ones along with some top tips to keep them all clean and in good shape.


The simplicity of the shaker means that they are quite easy to use, but there are important best-practice tips to ensure bar staff take good care of them.

  1. Stainless steel tins are quite durable and don’t take much maintenance. However, always ensure they are cleaned well after use, especially after shaking eggs, cream or other ingredients that leave more stubborn residue.
  2. Never stack wet tins. A vacuum can form which has led to many permanently stuck sets! Store upside down to let water drain out and allow to air-dry.
  3. Always shake with the top of your shaker facing up and away from your guest. A slight leak or excess liquid could wet a guest if your shake is directed towards them.
  4. Never bang a tightly sealed shaker against a counter to loosen it. A light tap with the heel of your hand at the point just off from where the glass and tin meet should be all that’s required to loosen most Boston shakers.


  • Ensuring all your staff are proficient cocktail shakers is key to great cocktails, and an efficient bar service.
  • Keep useful guides and info on cocktail shaking to-hand for any staff skills training.
  • Maintaining your cocktail shakers properly after use is good practice and something that all bars need to keep on top of.