Instructables

5 Minute $5 Cocktail Shaker

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Picture of 5 Minute $5 Cocktail Shaker
One of my favorite side hobbies is mixing cocktails.  I run a cocktail blog, mix up quite a few recipes and, as such, get asked to bring cocktails to lots of events.  When I'm asked to bring cocktails I pack up the appropriate ingredients and all the necessary tools and off I go.  The tools piece got me to thinking.  A cocktail shaker that doesn't suck is an essential piece of a good cocktail tool set.  And, honestly, it's the only piece that you likely don't already have in your kitchen.  The cheap shakers that you find are generally crappy.  They leak, they're awkward, definitely non-optimal.  More expensive shakers solve those problems, but are costly enough as to put folks off of picking one up on a whim.

Enter the 5 Minute, $5 Cocktail Shaker.  You can make your own quality cocktail shaker in a few minutes from items you may already have floating around.  And, worst case, if you buy everything it'll be less than 5 bucks.  The great thing about this shaker is it lets you bring cocktails to a friend's house and leave the shaker with them.  Spread the cocktail goodness far and wide!

Step 1: Materials and Prep

Picture of Materials and Prep
Let's get started.  Here are the materials and tools you need to collect.

Tools:
  • Drill
  • 1/8" Drill Bit
  • Center Punch (or a nail)
  • Round Needle File [Optional]
Materials:
  • Wide Mouth Mason Jar (1 quart is best)
  • Two Wide Mouth Jar Lids
  • One Wide Mouth Jar Ring

Some thoughts about the choice of materials and tools:

Jars - Make sure to go with a Mason jar.  The brand you choose doesn't much matter, there are even some cool antique ones out there.  The reason you want a Mason (AKA canning jar) is because you can buy replacement lids and bands, which we're going to make use of.

Drill Bit Size - I opted for an 1/8" bit for my strainer lid mainly because it's large enough to allow good flow while still stopping floaty bits like juice pulp.  If you find a better size or, for that matter, combination of sizes I'd love to hear about it.

Round Needle File - You'll need this to finish off the holes, but it's not 100% required.  You could also use sand paper or even a pointy rock in a pinch.

Prepping the lid for drilling:

This step is semi-optional, but very much encouraged.  Take your center punch or nail and tap indents at each place you want a hole drilled.  For mine I spaced the indents about 1/4" apart and filled the bottom third of the lid.  Following that make 2-3 holes at the top of the lid to allow air to flow in.  This will make the strainer pour much easier.  Check Step 2 for a picture of my hole pattern.
 
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Just ran across this project--what a great idea! I have so many jars and lids around, and I love being able to re-purpose. I might try with a regular lid, as well as with a plastic one I have lying around to see if I have a preference. Thanks for sharing!
Drill a few holes in an extra lid from a 32 ounce Nalgene water bottle. Not quite as elegant but no rust.
ShadowedOne (author)  northernlite1 year ago
Great idea! You could also use one of the plastic lids from Ball to the same effect.
Chef Somer1 year ago
So cool! I love being able to use things I already have around my kitchen. No uni-tasker tools here. Thank you for the great idea.
Awesome hack! Do the holes ever get rusty?
ShadowedOne (author)  Foil_is_Shiny1 year ago
I haven't had any rust yet but I live in a very dry place and I've only used the shaker for a few days. That said, I think it's pretty much inevitable that the strainer will rust at some point. At that point you can drill a fresh one and keep on shaking.