How to Remove the Lid From a Drink Mixer

There are two types of drink mixers or shakers. A standard or cobbler shaker has a metal cup, a strainer lid and a small cap that fits over it. Bartenders pour all the ingredients into the cup, fit the two lids over it and shake. The Boston strainer, used most commonly by professional bartenders, consists of a metal tumbler and a slightly smaller mixing glass. Bartenders pour the ingredients into the glass, fit the metal tumbler over the top and shake the drink. The lids of both types of shakers become stuck occasionally because of contraction and sugar in the drinks, and there are specific methods for separating each type.

Open the small top portion and pour out the drink inside. Serve the drink and place the empty shaker into the freezer.

Let the shaker stay in the freezer for about five minutes. Remove the shaker and stand it on the counter for another few minutes until condensation starts to form on the outside. You should now be able to twist the lid off.

If the top still does not come off, run hot tap water over the top of the shaker for a few seconds. Now it should twist off easily.

Place the shaker on the bar with the glass side down.

Try twisting the two tumblers apart. If they are not stuck together very tightly, they will come apart with this method.

If the shaker is still stuck, hold the shaker firmly by the metal tumbler. Rap the metal tumbler with the heel of your free hand near the rim where the glass tumbler meets the metal inside. The two tumblers should snap apart.


Avoid getting the Boston shaker stuck when you put the two sections together. When you place the metal tumbler over the glass tumbler, give the metal one a firm tap with the heel of your hand to seal them. Do not push it down as hard as you can to get the tightest seal possible.


Do not bang the shakers on the edge of a table or bar to loosen them. This could cause a dent in the metal parts or break the glass part of a Boston shaker.

Things You'll Need

  • Freezer
  • Hot tap water
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About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.