Champions Of Kitchen Design: The Cocktail Shaker

The history of the cocktail shaker


Symbolic of speakeasies and the silver screen, cocktails have seen a resurgence in recent years with the shaker remaining an essential element for any bar. Before its invention in the 19th century, drinks were either stirred with long-handled spoons or tossed back and forth between two tumblers. This made for excellent showmanship as well as an excellent mess!

The concept of the cocktail shaker came about when an innkeeper discovered that it was much easier to mix a drink by fitting a larger glass over the top of a smaller one. Soon hundreds of designs flooded the market as bartenders sought to perfect the device. The three cocktail shakers still in use today are the Boston, the Parisian and the Cobbler, a two-part design with a built-in strainer. Although most are now made from stainless steel, their forms are not far removed from their original invention almost two hundred years ago.

As the rebellious culture of alcohol began to grow during the Prohibition era, so did the shaker’s popularity. Keen to sneak an illegal sip, liberated youngsters would drink cocktails with names like Fox Trot and Zanzibar in hidden saloons. Even the shaker’s design appeared to be breaking away from the norm, as tuxedo clad penguins and German zeppelins influenced the shape. The Second World War saw an end to these heady days, and it would be replaced by the push-button age of the 50’s and 60’s, when blenders took all the fun out of mixing drinks.

Today however, nostalgia is stirring up a thirst for cocktail culture. Mixologists are once again serving up drinks with style, and even at home, we’re experimenting with fixing our own concoctions. Cheers to that!

Bonus: 5 Winter Warmer Cocktails



1 part Advocaat

3 parts chilled lemonade

Squeeze of lime juice

Ice cubes


Irish Mule

2 parts Irish whiskey

3 parts ginger beer

Juice of half a lime

Ice cubes

Lime slices and mint sprigs to garnish


White Russian

1 part coffee liqueur

1 parts vodka

1 part heavy cream


Cranberry Mimosa

2 parts champagne

2 parts orange juice

1 part cranberry juice

A splash of vodka


Candy Cane Martini

1 part vanilla vodka

1 part white chocolate liqueur

1 part peppermint schnapps

Mini candy cane to garnish


Read Our ‘Champions Of Kitchen Design’ Articles:


Donna LawDonna Law
19:12 14 May 24
Great service. Such beautiful well made kitchen. High quality highly recommend
John WertheimJohn Wertheim
16:50 29 Apr 24
We love our Black Rok kitchen! Jamie showed amazing patience and design expertise over the two years that it took us to create our vision, at the same time as building our house. Jamie was able to incorporate everything that we wanted, providing great advice and suggestions along the way. The installation was amazing - nothing was too much trouble and the coordination with our builders went perfectly. We have both a beautiful and fully functional space and would thoroughly recommend Black Rok.
Dan ElsonDan Elson
07:31 20 Apr 24
Great service. All the team at Black Rock highly professional. The end result is fabulous. Many thanks Dan
D.M.N.M GutteridgeD.M.N.M Gutteridge
22:08 21 Mar 24
Thoroughly recommend the Black Rok team. We put in a new kitchen and got excellent advice through the planning process. We asked to see a number of different layout options on the computer and Jamie was very patient and helpful. The installation team were first rate and took great pride in their work. Overall very satisfied.
Linda WoodhouseLinda Woodhouse
16:39 05 Dec 23
Having downsized, I was somewhat daunted by the prospect of turning my narrow, shadowy, U-shaped, very basic kitchen into one that I actually wanted to spend time in. I now have a light, airy, functional space with practical ‘innards’ and modern, intuitive appliances. Thanks to Jamie and Ed the kitchen layout has been totally transformed and the best use has been made of the space with a sleek handle-less design and contemporary narrow worktops. Both Jamie and Ed have communicated professionally and openly at all stages of the project and Ed was even instrumental in steering me towards my final colour choices! I would thoroughly recommend Black Roc for their design and fitting capabilities.
steven eckhardtsteven eckhardt
15:00 20 Nov 23
WOW! Black Rok did a really fabulous job job with both design and fit. We have a high quality contemporary kitchen and appliances. The fit was done in just a few days with care and precision. We have had no issues but Black Rok have kept in touch and visited to ensure we are satisfied which of course we are. Fabulous colour and all very functional. Great decision to use Black Rok and we have no hesitation in recommending them.
Nigel BraggNigel Bragg
16:08 17 Apr 23
We have nothing but positive things to say about the team at Black Rok Kitchen Design. Having spent 3-4 years dithering over getting a new kitchen, we finally decided to take the plunge last year. We had 2 criteria: a sleek, modern, German style kitchen provided by an independent, local business with impeccable references. After coming across the Black Rok website, we were immediately taken by the striking designs and reassured by the volume of glowing customer testimonials along with photographs of recent projects. From the moment we met with Jamie in the Uckfield showroom, it was clear that he understood what we were looking for. Although we had some pretty fixed ideas on design and layout, Jamie was able to take those ideas and enhance them seamlessly into an overall design scheme that exceeded our expectations in all departments. We had a few design meetings, several phone calls and email conversations, and within fairly short order were signing off on a final specification for delivery in early 2023. In the lead up to installation, communication was great and the technical drawings provided by Jamie for layout of plumbing and electrical services were described by our builder as the most detailed and accurate he had come across. Indeed the Black Rok team came onto site during the preparation works to meet with our builder and electricians to ensure a smooth installation process. Everything was delivered on time and exactly to the agreed budget. The cabinets and interiors are really well made and constructed with an engineered precision you might expect of a German manufacturer. The installation team of Ed, Zac and Jake were really personable, treated our home with great respect and worked extremely efficiently to ensure the kitchen was installed quickly and accurately. They solved every problem posed to them, displaying great attention to detail and tidying up diligently at the end of each day. We are utterly delighted with the new kitchen, which certainly delivers a "wow" moment when friends and family come to visit. The quality of the workmanship is incredible value for the overall price paid. We still pinch ourselves when walking into the room and are so pleased with ourselves for choosing Black Rok.
philip mccabephilip mccabe
07:30 11 Jan 23
Fantastic, intelligent and responsive service from Jamie and Ed from start to end. The kitchen design stood out from the beginning for its attention to detail and a real understanding of what we wanted from the space. They recommended excellent builders and then worked with them to make sure that the end result was picture perfect to the design. Fitting was spot on from a skilled, diligent team and we were never kept waiting. Issues with 3rd party appliances were dealt with in a way which made it crystal clear that our satisfaction was the priority. Brilliant. Easy 5 Stars.
Helen DaviesHelen Davies
19:03 24 Oct 22
We are so pleased we elected to go with Black Rok kitchens, as they have designed and installed the kitchen of our dreams! Throughout the process, from design to installation we were reassured by the professionalism of Jamie and Ed. Jamie created a fantastic design for our kitchen and suggested ideas we had not previously considered and the installation by Jake, Zak and Ed has been completed to an exceptionally high standard! Nothing was too much trouble. If you're considering upgrading your kitchen, don't hesitate to contact Black Rok, you won't regret it.