Why Do Cocktail Shakers Get So Cold?

Why Do Cocktail Shakers Get So Cold?a

Have you ever had a cold cocktail shaker? It’s not your imagination, but it is a scientific mystery. The inside of the shaker is filled with ice and chilled water, which are mixed together to create the perfect cocktail. What makes the shaker so cold?

There are many theories from refrigerators and ice cubes to cheaper metal being used in manufacturing.  Here, are some interesting facts about cocktail shakers and why they get so cold.

What is a cocktail shaker?

A cocktail shaker, also known as a barware, is a specialized container for shaking cocktails and other liquids. Shakers come in many different sizes and shapes and can be used for everyday cocktails or more complicated ones. They can also be used to hold ingredients such as eggs, lemons or other citrus, citrus juice, cream, coffee, sugar and extracts.

There are two parts to the cocktail shaker – the inner and the outer. The inner part of the shaker is usually filled with ice or water. The rest of the shaker can be filled with whatever you need for the cocktail, as long as it is ready to shake. In the most popular style, the shaker is made of a stainless steel with a porcelain or Bakelite handle. The porcelain or Bakelite comes from plastic.

Why do cocktail shakers get so cold?

The problem starts when bartenders pour liquids into cocktail shakers. The ice and liquids are mixed together, and the mixture is squeezed into the shaker with pressure. The mixture is left in the shaker at low temperatures until it reaches the desired temperature.

Once the ice and liquids have been squeezed out, the mixture is cooled and then sealed in the shaker. As soon as the pressure is released, the mixture is likely to freeze. A cocktail shaker with an average pint glass has an interior temperature between 0° and -8° F.

Of course, this is very different than the temperature inside your kitchen refrigerator. The colder your refrigerator, the colder the interior of the refrigerator. In a sense, the same ice and liquid mix could be stored at the same temperature.

The Science of Cocktail Shakers

By now, you are probably wondering why your cocktail shaker doesn’t warm up. While this makes it impossible to make cocktails, this fact actually helps the shaker be “quiet.” Unlike a mixer that makes noise when the ice falls to the bottom and mixes with the cocktail, the cocktail shaker is sealed with a removable top so any noise is kept to a minimum.

The reason a cocktail shaker can stay cold for so long is that the ice in the shaker is created by freezing the water first. This process takes about 1 minute, then the shaker is filled with ice and water again and allowed to freeze again. This time, the mixers are added and the mix is constantly mixing until the ingredients have chilled.

Related: The 10 Best Cocktail Shaker Set

Theories on Why Cocktail Shakers Get So Cold

Many cocktail shakers are designed for precisely and not for routine use. The shakers have a high temperature and precise mixing point, so there’s always going to be some degree of variation. When the ice is melting and the water is cooling down, the balance of these two temperatures is lower than it should be.

This causes the water to compress and expand with the increase in temperature and the ice to compress and resist the change. The result is that the internal ice and water temperatures are lower than they should be.

Some bars buy shakers with additional cold water or ice blocks for the bartenders and leave it at that. This keeps the internal temperatures of the shaker more stable and doesn’t allow the shaker to get as cold as it would naturally.


Cocktail shakers used to be made out of cast iron and brass. The heat from the melted ice mixed with the metal could get pretty high. Most shakers today use stainless steel or aluminum.

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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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