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Aug 21, 2007 09:54 AM

Can't get the top off my new cocktail shaker!

I'm not sure if this is the right board, but I need a little help. Just bought a new Caphalon martini shaker in a stainless metal. It was pricier that most but I liked the way it looked and I like their other stuff. Well after one martini or other drink, you can't get the bloody top off. I took one back and got another that had a slightly looser top, but still can't take it off until it warms up--which takes quite a long time since there is ice inside.

Previously we had the kind that uses a strainer. Are the ones with metal tops impossible? Any other ideas or brands?

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  1. I wouldn't waste my time with the 3 pc. shaker sets. I have never had luck with them either, nor have I ever seen any serious bartenders using. Try a 28 oz. stainless steel shaker tin, or two (they're cheap online). The metal shaker tins fit standard bar mixing glasses (pint type beer glass). Good luck!

    1. Bang it on the counter a couple of times it should come right off.
      Just a question are you talking about the small top (at the very top) or the larger one that fits onto the bottom piece?
      When I get a 3 piece I always make sure the top piece is the male end and the bottom shaker is female I find these easier.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sweetnspicy

        Yeah it is the larger one that fits over the bottom piece. Interesting that my bottom piece is a male connector so it must be doomed from the start.

        1. re: Cheesy Oysters

          Hi Cheezy Oysters. I do have an easy-open-non-stick shaker from Target. It has a gasket or rubber ring around the top which never fails to open. Problem is, it is PINK , (Oh, the horror), . small, and double-sided with not enough capacity. I feel silly using it. Martinis are serious business!

      2. A gentle tap on the side of the bar or counter top should loosen the cap.

        When I worked in a bar we used the cheap stainless steal cocktail shakers and only the bottom halves. We would take a pint glass, measure the drink into it, drop the cocktail shaker over the top and shake vigarously. Then, tap the pint glass gently on the bar to loosen the seal and strain the drink.

        I found I got less mess using that method than the standard three piece cocktail shaker.

        3 Replies
        1. re: adventuresinbaking

          "A gentle tap on the side of the bar or counter top should loosen the cap."

          Not necessarily. In my years of bartending, I've seen those stupid things get stuck seemingly for days. Nothing short of hitting the cup hard enough to dent it would loosen it.

          I would recommend a Boston shaker and strainer. The only issue would be learning how to seal and and break the seal of the cup and glass when shaking a drink. But that's all part of the fun.

          1. re: adventuresinbaking

            Um, the pint glass *is* the top half of the cheap stainless steel shaker. It's called a Boston shaker, and is what pretty much any bartender who shakes drinks will use.

            Seriously, go to a restaurant supply store and pick yourself up a set of the metal shaker part, the glass, and a Hawthorne strainer (the kind with the springy loop around the edge of it). It will set you back ten bucks or less, and you'll look like a real bartender when you shake. Like ultramagnetic says above, it does take a little practice to get it to seal right and to pop it back open, but it's very easy to learn. BIG HINT: When breaking the seal, put the whole thing on the counter glass side up. Have the glass pointing either directly toward you or directly away from you. Gently hold the glass with one hand, and then bang the *side* of the top of the metal part with your other hand. It should pop right open. When I first started making drinks, I would have the glass point in the opposite direction from where I'd bang it; it's much harder to open it that way.

            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

              i know the op isn't trying to be a killer speed demon bartender, only look competent, but there is no real reason the shakers should leave your hands at any point while mixing. you put them down for the first time after the drink is poured and strained, when you dump the ice and leave in the barback's area, & switch to a clean setup for the next drink. going through the process of putting the glass down on a counter, changing hand positions, etc. just slows you down, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but remember the ice is rapidly melting into someone's drink this whole time. prepare the glass(es), ice the shaker, pour quickly, shake quickly, bang the shaker gently on your side of the bar and strain quickly into the prepared glass. all this and a monetary transaction can be completed in less than a minute by a skilled bartender. the tricks and flourishes are great and all, but better drinks are seldom built that way.

          2. Here`s what worked for me when my cocktail shaker stubbornly decided to deny me my cocktail. I cussed like a sailor at it, banged the crap out of it then threatened to replace it with a more cooperative shaker. Somehow it worked!

            Seriously the hot soak followed by a sideways whack did the magic.

            1. All together, total brains, we cannot solve this problem PLEASE: someone figure out how to PREVENT the sticking in the first place. I have four individual shakers, which my guests love, until they cannot open the tops to pour their second 'tini. STUMPED.

              1 Reply
              1. re: zimexlady

                We sit there shaking, twisting with cold hands, etc. I have made certain that I have washed the sticky vodka/olive juice off each rim before using. That helps a bit. As for the large shaker lid sticking, I have purchased art deco shakers problem solved, and drama of the pour increased, by simply unscrewing the spout. A more thorough sake can be achieved by th handle giving a sturdy cold hands, just shake away for thirty shakes.