The Tin-on-Tin Cocktail Shaker

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 18, 2023

The tin-on-tin shaker is presumably the most used cocktail shaker in bars around the globe. The easy handling and its sturdiness make it a perfect tool for high-frequency cocktail bars.
Tin-on-Tin cocktail shakers

The tin-on-tin shaker is known under many names. Some call it a double tin shaker, some shaking tins, others a tin-in-tin shaker, and occasionally people confuse it with a classic Boston Shaker.

But no matter what you call this supreme cocktail shaker. The tin-on-tin is the most-loved shaker of bartenders. It's easy to clean, easy to handle, and almost impossible to break.

In modern bars, this cocktail shaker is the weapon of choice of almost every professional bartender. So let's have a closer look at this stainless steel shaker duo.

What is tin on tin shaker?

The tin-on-tin cocktail shaker consists of two stainless steel mixing cups of different sizes. Visually, it's a cross between the classic Boston Shaker and the elegant French or Parisian Shaker.

Boston Shaker and French Shaker

This shaker is also the most common cocktail shaker when it comes to flair bartending. The similarly shaped tins made from stainless steel are perfect for flair elements.

What is a Toby Tin?

A Toby tin, also called cheater tin, is a metal tin you can use to upgrade your Boston shaker to a tin-on-tin shaker.

As the Boston shaker consists of a mixing glass and a tin, the Toby tin can replace the glass and turn your Boston shaker into a tin-on-tin shaker.

The glass cup in a Boston shaker is prone to break and has a significantly different weight. By replacing it with a Toby tin, your "new" shaker is more robust and easier to handle.

How do you use a tin-on-tin cocktail shaker?

To mix a cocktail, put both shaker tins on the table and pour ice into the larger one. Masure the cocktail ingredients with a jigger and add them one by one into the smaller cup.

Once all ingredients are in the cup, pour them into the large cup and seal the shaker.

You certainly want to avoid your cocktail shaker getting stuck. So make sure that both tins form a straight line when closing them.

sealed Boston shaker

This way, you ensure that the shaker is easier to open once you have finished shaking.

Together with the Parisian shaker, the tin-on-tin shaker is the easiest cocktail shaker to use. The cups won't break, the shaker is super easy to clean, and the cups form a tight seal when shaking.

Is a Boston shaker better?

No, the Boston shaker is not necessarily better. The tale of the superior Boston shaker is only told because people treat the tin-on-tin and Boston shaker as the same thing.

The next time you go to your favorite cocktail bar, check the tools they're using. You will find that the majority will use a tin-on-tin.

However, that used to be different. In the US, the classic Boston shaker was the favorite bartending tool for quite a long time.

In Japan, you'll still come across many bartenders using Cobbler shakers. But overall, the tin-on-tin shaker is the weapon of choice of most professional barmen.

For a more in-depth comparison, head to the review of the different cocktail shakers available.

How do you break the seal on a cocktail shaker?

Breaking the seal of a shaker after shaking a cocktail can sometimes be a pain.

If you put the shaker tins together correctly, tap the shaker with the heel of your right hand.

You want to aim for the spot where the two tins meet to break the vacuum seal.

The size of a tin-on-tin shaker

The two tins forming a double tin cocktail shaker are of different sizes. This way, one cup fits into the other, which creates a tight seal when shaking a cocktail.

Be aware that the sizes of the larger and smaller tin can vary. So always check the cocktail shaker set before purchasing. Still, typically, the larger one can hold 28oz, and the smaller holds 18oz.

Tin-on-tin shaker recommendations

If you want to buy a tin-on-tin shaker, better stay away from the cheapest offers. They are typical of low-quality, and some will eventually start to rust.

And when you now need help with choosing your tin-on-tin cocktail shaker, here are the best options.

Koriko Shaking Tins

The Koriko shaking tins from the Cocktail Kingdom are my preferred tins. I've already been using this set for a couple of years, and they never let me down.

Plus, you can buy them as a set, including a mixing glass and jigger. Or you buy each tin separately. This way, you can be fancy and combine different colors.

The most affordable combination of stainless steel Koriko tins is between $20 and $25 at the moment for a large and a small cup. The golden or copper-colored ones are a bit more expensive.

Leopold Shaking Tin Set

Another set from Cocktail Kingdom. If you're into antique designs, the Leopold shaking tins will be a fantastic fit for you.

The set consists of two copper-colored tins made from 18/8 Stainless Steel.

The capacity of the tins is large enough to make two drinks at the same time. That saves time and effort, making your bartending life a bit easier.

Barfly Cocktail Tin Shaker Set

The shaker set from Barfly is another great option and excellent value for money.

It comes in a variety of different designs and colors. You can buy them as a set or separately.

Again, choosing the tins separately gives you countless possibilities to mix and match. It enables you to select your very own combination and choose a unique fit.

More information on Barware

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