How To Get Glass Out of a Cocktail Shaker: The Necessary Steps

How To Get Glass Out of a Cocktail Shaker

Cocktail shakers are good tools to prepare cocktails and they are used by bar professionals worldwide, but at some point every bartender has experienced that annoying moment when it’s almost impossible to get the glass out of the cocktail shaker.

Because your hands are wet, it’s hard to get any grip on the smooth glass surface, and no matter how hard you try it just doesn’t want to come out. Well, it’s time to take action! I put together some tips and tricks that will help you solve this problem once and for all!

Cut The Ice, Don’t Pour It

If you shake your drink with ice in it, remove your ice before trying to get glass out of cocktail shaker. It’s much easier to handle an empty glass. If you can’t get rid of all your ice, pour some liquid out and go from there.

You’ll have less cleaning up to do if there’s less drink left in your shaker! (Remember that advice next time you want to add water or seltzer.)

Tap And Twist The Other Way

The simplest way to get glass out of a cocktail shaker is to first turn your glass over and tap it against a bar or flat surface. This will help release most of any excess liquid that might be stuck inside and, if you’re lucky, even eject some ice cubes.

If you’d like, try to time your tap so that you hit dead center on an ice cube; try tapping at different speeds until you find one that works best for you.

Hold The Glass Under Water

Always hold your glass under running water for at least one minute to ensure that it is completely empty. You can’t get all of your old drinks out, but if you’re careful, you can get most of them out.

If there’s still some drink left in your glass after soaking it in water, put on your oven mitts and gently shake it around until you feel like you’ve gotten as much as possible. Don’t forget that alcohol evaporates quickly so don’t skip over washing just because there’s no visible drink left!

Find A Cleaner

If there’s an easy way to get glass out of a cocktail shaker, we can’t find it. But in our book, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

If you’re looking for instructions on how to get glass out of a cocktail shaker without taking it apart (because sometimes you just don’t have time), try pouring boiling water into your shaker or letting ice melt in there for about ten minutes.

The steam and chill will loosen up even the most stubborn pieces. If all else fails, toss your broken cocktail shakers in with some food scraps to keep them from going straight to landfills!

Use A Golf Club Grip

Many golfers are able to get their golf balls out by using a similar grip. Simply grab hold of both ends of your cocktail shaker, then try and turn it over using your palms and fingers.

If you twist hard enough, there’s a good chance that both glasses will come loose. This is because you’re literally twisting on both arms of the shaker at once. Though it doesn’t always work, if you have nothing else to try, give it a shot!

Wrap It In Cloth

Sometimes, trying to jam glass out of your cocktail shaker can result in small cuts and scrapes. Prevent that from happening by wrapping it with a cloth. Keep it still with something like tongs or oven mitts. This should reduce jagged edges from snagging your skin.

Also, if you’ve got stubborn glass you don’t want to damage or scratch, go ahead and use some plastic wrap on top of that cloth for an extra layer between your skin and shards of glass.

Sometimes it’s not just about getting all of your glass out, sometimes it’s about how well you get it out without damaging anything else in the process (including yourself).

Take A Cold Soak

If you just can’t get that pesky glass out, put your cocktail shaker in an ice-water bath. Adding a little salt to the water may help separate your glass from whatever is stuck inside.

Note: Don’t add ice directly to your shaker, as it could break from the sudden drop in temperature and force shards into your cocktail—not cool.

If you don’t have an ice-water bath, try rolling up some aluminum foil and twisting it tightly around one end of your shaker. Dip that end in cold water (or use tongs) and wait for nature to take its course.

Wrap Tightly In Tin Foil

Stuffing your cocktail shaker with tin foil will help get rid of your glass inside. This method should be done at low heat, to avoid melting or burning anything inside. You can also put dry ice in with it (once it is in a place that is safe and secure) to help keep more pressure on it for longer periods.

Note: doing either of these things will allow you to shake without having glass all over you. Or, you could freeze it overnight—the cold will help harden up and make it easier to remove.

Also, use leather gloves and any other protective gear while handling frozen or hot objects because they can cause serious damage if left unattended.

Hit With Hammer

First, put on your protective gear. This can include heavy duty gloves, eye protection and clothing you don’t mind getting damaged (or stained). Look at where you’re hitting it on your own glassware before hitting another person’s.

To break glass out of a shaker easily, try tapping it around 3-5 times in different spots with a rubber mallet. The impact should cause it to crack and you should be able to take off some large chunks by lifting out where they came loose.

For smaller pieces that are more likely to be left behind, use an exacto knife and start scraping gently in various places until you clear them all out.

Final Word

There’s one other way to get glass out of a cocktail shaker: Don’t put it in there in the first place. Really, is it necessary? Just because we all have those glasses doesn’t mean they need to be used. Use your imagination and creativity when crafting your next cocktail.

I guarantee you’ll think of something else to use besides that really pretty, but really dangerous glass! So save yourself some trouble and don’t put them in there at all!

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I'm Devin. I'm a wine enthusiast, researcher, and writer. I love to write about various topics during my free time, but when I'm not working you can find me traveling the world or reading, watching movies, or swimming.

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