Cooler shakers; tried & tested

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The Independent Culture
A cocktail shaker should be one part functional, three parts decadent, and capable of transforming even the most unlikely combination of liquids into an exotic concoction. Happily twirling their miniature umbrellas at the prospect of being shaken and stirred were Mathew Iredale, Charlotte Hastings, Lucio Venanzi, Will Iredale, Kezia Comisky and Viv Gilchrist. Barman Richard Preston did the professional road test, and ensured that the Vodka Collins and Manhattans were drinkable. They all hoped to avoid leaks, drips and losing their grip - and, more importantly, their cool

..... EPICUREAN

Stainless steel "professional" pounds 16

Lucio: 'Light but solid. Fixes together securely, giving you confidence that your cocktail isn't going to hit the wall'

Viv: 'The ridge provides a finger-hold when shaking, and it's easy to control the pouring even with slippery hands. Big enough to make a decent batch'

Richard: 'Ergonomically sound, with a bonafide catering feel. The shaker behind the man behind the bar'

Available at John Lewis: 0171 629 7711

.... DEBENHAMS

Mesh and glass pounds 25

Kezia: 'Beautiful shaker with brains; the mesh gives really good grip and provides excellent insulation'

Richard: 'A classic. It took three strapping young men to undo the top, though, and we couldn't get the pouring lid off at all'

Viv: 'Substantial, luxurious-looking shaker; one for the cocktail show-off '

Stockists: 0171 408 4444

.. BODUM

Glass pounds 8.99

Mathew: 'Excellent, inward-fitting top makes for a leak-free cocktail

shaking experience. Feels practical, yet classy'

Viv: 'Like shaking a milk bottle. Just too domestic for the cocktail experience'

Kezia: 'Not nearly decadent enough, and I would be very nervous of dropping it after one too many'

Stockists: 0171 376 3825

. CONRAN

Pewter pounds 39.95

Will: 'Looks great. I don't know if it's subliminal, but my cocktails taste better out of this one'

Richard: 'Glamorous to use, but the pewter makes it uncomfortably cold to hold'

Viv: 'Too large for small hands and too streamlined for its own good. I didn't feel confident giving it a good old shake. The loose-fitting top didn't help either'

Stockists: 0171 399 0710

... HOUSE OF FRASER

Frosted plastic pounds 5

Charlotte: 'Looks like something for a kiddies' party. Lacking in any glamour'

Will: 'Slightly see-through, so good for cocktail novices who don't know how much they're pouring in. Nice grip and impressively precise pouring'

Mathew: 'A bargain shaker that also performs. Didn't leak, came apart easily and easy to clean'

Stockists (selected stores only): 0171 963 2236

. BHS

Stainless steel pounds 16

Charlotte: 'The Austin Metro of cocktail shakers. Classic - but not in the Sean Connery league'

Viv: 'So small you only get a thimbleful of cocktail out of it, although it is nicely curvy and squat, like a Fifties starlet'

Lucio: 'The worst leaker of all. You have to be careful not to fill it up too much'

Stockists: 0171 262 3288

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