What are Oxo Shakers?
Oxo is a brand name of the company that makes various types of kitchen utensils. They have been selling their products since 1946. There are many different kinds of kitchen tools made by them, but they mainly focus on making knives and cutting boards.
The first type of tool they make are cocktail shakers. These are small plastic or metal containers with a handle that hold drinks like wine, beer, liquor and so on.
They come in different sizes and shapes, from the smallest one that holds just two ounces of liquid to the largest ones which hold up to four ounces of alcohol. The most common kind used for mixing cocktails is the 360° glass bottle.
There are several types of these shakers. Some of them are designed for mixing vodka, gin, rum and other liquors; others for mixing whiskey, bourbon and other whiskeys; still others for mixing tequila, mezcal and other spirits.
All of them work similarly: the drinker puts some liquid into the container (usually water), then pours it into another cup or bowl where it’s mixed with ice cubes until it tastes right.
How do they Work?
Cocktail shakers work in a similar way to soda syphons, with a few differences. A common soda siphon consists of a gas-charged bottle that forces the liquid inside under high pressure. You mix the drink by forcing the gas and liquid out of separate holes using a handle.
The same thing is achieved with the shaker, but instead of having different holes for the gas and liquid there is just a single hole in the lid; this forces some of the liquid out when you shake it. You then open the bottle’s stopper (or put the top on if it’s not a twist-off style), and the gas inside forces all of the liquid out.
You never taste the gas because it escapes before the drink does.
The gas inside these containers is usually carbon dioxide (CO2). This works because it’s heavier than oxygen so floats to the bottom of the container, and because it’s odorless and tasteless you can’t taste it in your drink.
How are they Used?
Using a cocktail shaker is fairly simple. You’ll need ice, liquid and a cocktail shaker. Put the liquid and ice into the container, then close it. Hold it firmly with one hand and shake for up to half a minute. Some cocktails, like Mojitos, are meant to be shaken for longer than others. Once you’ve shaken it for the right amount of time remove the lid, pour it into a glass and enjoy.
Are they Safe?
Cocktail shakers are perfectly safe to use as long as you concentrate when you’re pouring the liquid out. Always hold the shaker with both hands and tip it away from you before opening it, and never pour the drink near your face. If you’re using a bottle that doesn’t have a twist-off cap, be careful when opening it not to cut yourself on the edge.
Also, remember that not all liquids are safe. Don’t use the container for anything other than water or other drinks, because some liquids will hurt the plastic, metal or glass of the container, and others might actually be dangerous.
If you get liquid on the outside of the container, wipe it off right away. Alcohol is very bad for your skin so don’t let it touch your hands for long.
You probably shouldn’t use a metal shaker if you’ve just used a jar of hot sauce, or anything else with a strong smell or flavor, because the taste might get into the container and transfer to the next drink you make with it. Manufacturers often tell you what the container is safe to use with, so read the instructions that come with it.
Are They Better Than…
…a normal glass and a spoon? Yes, because you can make lots of different drinks with a cocktail shaker, and they look much more impressive.
Cocktail Shaker Images Courtesy: By Zumbado (ecklax) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Sources & references used in this article:
Dressed for Deco.” Art Deco: 1910-1939″ by Charlotte Benton, Tim Benton and Ghislaine Wood (eds). by C Weng-Ho – 2003 – dspace2.flinders.edu.au
A NOTE ABOUT THE AUCTION by W Hemingway – 2003 – Rotovision
Shakers and Maracas: Action-based Categorisation Choices in Triads Are Influenced by Task Instructions by B Wishes, G Luck – docs.rwu.edu
Cocktail shaker by F Vallée-Tourangeau – researchgate.net