It’s a common phenomenon for cocktail shakers to explode during or after shaking. This doesn’t happen often, but it can be alarming and dangerous. The reason for this is that the air bubbles in the drink are heated by the friction from shaking which causes them to expand and eventually escape through the top of the shaker.
When an excessive amount of air bubbles get mixed in with the booze, they create a foam called “froth” which can cause pressure to build up in your cocktail shaker. Well-made shakers will release this excess pressure when shaken without exploding, while cheaper models will n
Preventing a Cocktail Shaker From Exploding
As with most problems in life, prevention is the best remedy. Here are the best ways to prevent an explosion in your cocktail shaker. A good shake habit is important for keeping your cocktail shaker safe. Waking up and shaking a cocktail before you take a sip is a necessary evil, but it can be very hard to consistently adhere to in a hectic morning routine.
To make things easier, place your shaker on a smooth surface when not in use so you can remember to shake when you need to. Handles on your cocktail shakers shouldn’t be smooth, but rugged and textured to distribute the shaking motion in a controlled way. Avoid cheap and flimsy handles in favor of solid metal ones that will last you years. They’ll also tend to stay cooler on your hands.
Related: The 10 Best Cocktail Shaker Set
The Danger of a Cocktail Shaker Exploding
The thing is, the pressure in a good cocktail shaker is high enough that the air can’t escape through the top without first pushing the top off, which is what happens in a cheap shaker. So that foam that the cocktail shaker releases could be a danger to the drinker, while also making your drink foam out the side of the shaker and burn your hand.
Here’s what to do to avoid this: If you are only using a cocktail shaker for a one-off cocktail or one of those super fancy drinks where the booze is heated on the rocks, then you might be fine. But if you use a shaker almost every day, or you shake your drinks to mix them, you are going to want to make sure that it is strong enough to withstand the cocktail shakes you put it through. So how strong should your shaker be?
What Is Froth?
While bar equipment such as mixing glasses can sustain a bit of “foam” when shaken, even the highest quality cocktail shakers will normally not produce significant levels of foam. Foam occurs when small pockets of liquid, such as chocolate milk or sweet tea, sit in air pockets before being blended with ice or alcohol.
These air pockets are called “chocolate pockets” and can be caused by any kind of friction such as using a pick or mixing an open container with a closed one. These pockets are very thin and fragile and when shaken up they expand to tremendous sizes with ease.
Furthermore, any type of storage vessel can provide foamy pockets. Bottles of beer or wine have tiny bubbles around the top to keep the fizzy beverages carbonated. Unused soda bottles can also release tiny bubbles.
When to Stop Shaking?
When shaking is completely unnecessary. Start by stopping shaking all the liquors that have been placed in the shaker. If you still need to shake an extra handful of ice cubes, then do so, but this is the most difficult option.
After emptying all the contents of the shaker, place the top on and shake it a few times to cool it off. It’s Not Always About the Foam Sometimes when shaking a drink, you will notice a difference in how the foam is formed.
Sometimes, your foam will be more foamy than usual and sometimes it will not be so foamy at all. The foam is completely normal and natural, it’s simply a product of the mixing process. If you notice your foam is more dense or foamy, you can simply empty out the rest of the cocktail and shake it again.
How Can I Avoid an Explosion in the First Place?
This usually happens due to faulty shakers and inadequate cleaning. The most dangerous thing you can do is put alcohol in a tight-fitting container without mixing the air bubbles with the liquor. This can cause the air to rise above the liquor and expand in your drink. While this is the most dangerous, there are other factors that can cause the problem.
Let’s take a look at a few: If the lid of the shaker is plastic or not made out of steel If the shaker is old If the wire whip or airtight seal is missing If the liquid in the shaker is not properly sealed If the shaker has not been cleaned If you notice any of these situations, take it out of the reach of children or pets and replace it. There are a few things you can do to prevent it, or at least reduce the damage if it does happen.
Aside from not over-shilling your drink, the only other way your cocktail shaker can explode is if you over-fill it with alcohol, no matter how good your mixing technique is. This is especially true if you’re using cheap, disposable shakers.
Make sure you check your shaker thoroughly for loose pieces of paper or coins to avoid any potential injuries. Any questions about how to properly use a cocktail shaker? Do you drink at all? Have you ever wondered what kind of cocktail shaker you have and how it works?
While a cocktail shaker is one of the most useful tools for a home bartender, these tools are pretty expensive and can be hard to find at a reasonable price. Therefore, it’s very likely you will end up buying your own.