Cocktail shakers and strainers are two of the most important pieces of bar equipment in the mixologist’s arsenal. Shakers come in different shapes and sizes and have different purposes for each. Sometimes a small shaker with an integrated lid/ strainer can be an attractive element of an upscale bar. One way to use this would be to mix the drink at the bar and then serve by placing the shaker and an empty glass in front of the customer. They then pour the drink themselves which adds an interactive element and lets them feel like a bartender to some extent. A more common style of cocktail shaker for the average bar is a stainless steel mixing cup combined with a 16 oz mixing glass. This set up allows for mixing of multiple servings of a cocktail drink or shooter at one time and this is helpful for high-traffic bars. Shakers with built-in strainer lids or combined with mixing glasses do not require a separate cocktail strainer but strainers are useful too. A cocktail strainer is used in lieu of the creating a crack in between the shaker and mixing glass method for keeping ice out of a drink when pouring. Cocktail strainers are designed to fit in the top rim of a mixing glass and use a piece of spring like coil to stay in place while pouring.
The key to a mixed drink or cocktail is the proportions of ingredients and measuring is paramount to success. The two main methods for achieving accurate quantities of liquors in a drink are free pouring and jigger pouring. Free pouring is much more time efficient and often necessary in a high traffic bar. In order to free pour, a pourer tap is needed. All bottles in your bar require pourer taps and should be equipped as such. In addition to giving you a cleaner method of pouring, the tap provides the important function of regulating the flow. If used properly, a pourer tap will pour a specific amount based on time. Experienced bartenders can accurately pour the required amount of liquor into a drink as long as a tap is installed. The second and most accurate method of pouring requires the use of a jigger. Jiggers are available in various sizes and generally have two sizes of measurements in one. A common size is a 1 oz and 1 ½ oz jigger because 1 oz, 1 ½ oz, and multiples of these are common amounts in drink recipes.