The Boston Shaker Gift Guide – 2015 edition

We’ve highlighted some of our favorite cocktail stuff of the season. Continue

Yep, the holiday season is upon us but never fear, the staff at The Boston Shaker are here to help you get just the right thing for the lover of drink in your life.

We have highlighted some of our favorite cocktail stuff of the season below for your perusal. But also, we would like you to know that helping you find that perfect gift is the thing that makes us the happiest, so please, please, (please), feel free to call or email us if you are looking for a real live person to answer your product questions, make recommendations, or do anything in our power really to make sure that you are finding just what you need.

Now… on with the list!

Hella Bitter Bar SetBitters sets are one of our favorite go-to gifts because it is such a great way to give a sampling of some fun and interesting bitters flavors without committing to using a full bottle. This season we are happy to feature the Hella Bitter Five Flavor Bar Set. This gift pack includes their classic aromatic, citrus, and orange bitters along side some more adventurous selections like the ginger lemon and smoked chili.

Element shrubWe are excited to be seeing a big increase in the popularity and availability of shrubs (also known as drinking vinegar —  it’s delicious, trust us). One of of the newer additions to our shrub offering is Element [Shrub], a small batch maker who started making the syrups when his wife was pregnant and lamenting the lack of interesting non-alcoholic drink options. We absolutely love the fun and delicious flavor combinations (Honeydew Jalapeño? Umm… yes, please!)

Neat Clear Ice KitFor the cocktail geek in your life who seems to already have everything, we recommend the Neat Ice Kit. Created by Studio Neat and funded by a Kickstarter campaign, this kit contains all of the stuff required to make crystal clear ice in your very own freezer. Each set contains an ice mold, chisel, ice bag, and ice pick. Perfect for recreating a fancy craft cocktail experience in the cozy comfort of your own home.

Cocktail Chronicles by Paul ClarkeWe were so thrilled to get our hands on Paul Clarke’s latest book The Cocktail Chronicles, part recipe, part history and context — we highly recommend it for cocktail fans of all levels (like, we think everyone should have it). Paul is the guy behind the blog of the same name and executive editor for Imbibe Magazine, and he combines his long history of observing and documenting the ins and outs of the craft cocktail movement with a straightforward writing style that brings his extensive knowledge to the masses in way that is both interesting and accessible.

Mine & Also MineFunny, quirky, and unique. We’re delighted to feature the Love and Victory Decanter Sets. This Brooklyn-based design shop puts a modern spin on the classic decanter set with clever hand-engraved labels. We love the Mine and Also Mine set which includes an 8oz rocks glass engraved with MINE paired with a 32oz decanter labeled ALSO MINE. Get it as a gift or buy it for yourself to tell everyone else that they can’t have any of your whiskey today…. or tomorrow either.

The Wingman Cocktail SpoonOkay, so we are all about learning proper stirring technique and will quickly admit it’s quite possible to master once you get some guidance and practice. However, we still can’t help but fall in love with the design and concept behind the Wingman Bar Spoon by Standard Spoon, the spinning spoon that makes stirring a drink almost effortless. It works perfectly as designed and is super easy and fun to use. And admit it, sometimes at the end of a long day, even stirring a drink feels like too much work. Life can be hard, give a friend a Wingman and make the time between long day and delicious cocktail a little easier.

The Boston Globe writes up Vacu Vin’s coconut opener.

We were hooked the first time we tried it. Continue

Vacu Vin’s coconut opener, finally the right tool - Food & dining - The Boston Globe

We were hooked the first time we tried it.

Sure, if you have a machette in your kitchen use that – but for the rest of us – it’s a much easier way to enjoy fresh coconut (and tropical drinks served in them!).

Via Vacu Vin’s coconut opener, finally the right tool – Food & dining – The Boston Globe.

A Gift Guide for Cocktail Lovers

Here are a few of our favorite picks for the cocktail lover on your list! Continue

The Boston Shaker Holiday Gift Guide 2014

The holiday season is upon us, and we know that buying gifts under time pressure can be tough.  So here’s a bunch of ideas for the cocktail lover on your list:

Dutch's Spirits American Era Cocktail Bitters Variety Pack

Dutch’s American Era Variety Pack – $18

We really love this line of bitters from our friends over at Dutch’s Spirits. Each variety is inspired by flavors from a different era of American history. Get their three flagship flavors in this versatile variety pack.  Or, If they already have these in their collection, check out Dutch’s Spirits Limited Edition Busted Bitters.

The Bar Builder Set from The Boston Shaker

The Bar Builder Set – $45

For the aspiring home bartender, this kit has all of the basics to get them set up and ready to mix some cocktails. The set includes a Boston Shaker, strainers, muddler, channel knife, bar spoon and jiggers.  It also comes with one of our favorite intro guides, David Stolte’s Home Bar Basics (and not-so-basics), which provides just the right combination of fun and practical know-how to get them crafting great cocktails.

Craft Your Own Bitters Kit by Hella Bitter

Craft Your Own Bitters Kit by Hella Bitter – $64.99

This DIY kit created by the guys that make Hella Bitters is perfect for folks ready to try making their own bitters but are not sure where to start. Contains everything you need to craft an aromatic and citrus bitter, including the botanicals, jars, dropper bottles, strainer, and funnel.

The Carry On Cocktail Kit – $24.00

For the world class traveler, get ‘em the gift that will turn their in-flight whiskey on the rocks to a full-blown old-fashioned cocktail.  Comes with a bottle of bitters, sugar, spoon, and even an elegant little cocktail napkin. Wheels up!

Boston Maps Glass - by Uncommon Green

Maps Glasses by theUncommonGreen – $12.50

These are hand-etched, 10 oz D.O.F. glasses, with custom wraparound street maps of kick-ass cities. A great way to celebrate your hometown or grab an assortment of your favorite cities around the country.  And as an added bonus, they also do a fine job holding your Old-Fashioned while you drink it.

Death & Co by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day

Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails – $40.00

This newly released cocktail book is an expansive collection of the recipes and cocktail wisdom from the minds behind the world class cocktail bar, Death & Co. Its clothbound design and beautiful photography makes it a perfect gift for any cocktail lover.  We haven’t met anyone who hasn’t fallen in love with this book at first sight.

Need more help selecting the perfect gift? As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or if you need help selecting something for the hard-to-buy-for cocktail enthusiast in your life. We are happy to help!

Gifts for Dad: For the love of Beer!

A gift round-up for beer loving Dads Continue

Ok, so your Dad’s not a big cocktail guy… Not a problem! We carry some awesome gifts for the beer loving fathers out there too! Check out these beer-friendly (and New England themed!) gift ideas:

Crafty Bastards by Lauren Clark
Crafty Bastards by Lauren Clark
Beer has been an important part of New England life ever Since the moment the voyaging Pilgrims ran out of beer and settled in Plymouth. “Crafty Bastards” details the long history of “Yankee ingenuity” that brought beer to the New World, made it a booming industry, and brought back the craft movement in recent times. This book is a great read for fans of New England breweries and localvores alike!



The Uncommon Green Boston Pint Glass

Designed by Boston-based company, these pint glasses meld functionality, sustainability and design. The maps are etched directly onto the glasses, so they are fully dishwasher safe and will never fade. Check out the other MAPS glass too!

Round Concrete Coasters by Culinarium

Culinarium Concrete Coasters

Hand-made in New England, these concrete coasters are attractive, absorbent, and relatively stain resistant — making them both handsome and useful – just like him.

Gifts for Dad: for the Gin and Tonic lover

Help Dad spice up this summer cocktail favorite with handcrafted tonic syrup. Continue

Jack Rudy, John's Premium, and Tomr's TonicLooking for a unique way to celebrate Father’s Day this year? For the Dad who loves G & Ts, inspire him take to this delicious summer favorite to the next level with one of our all-natural handcrafted tonic syrups!

All Dad needs to do is combine the tonic syrup with carbonated water (and gin!), and he is good to go.

Can’t decide which syrup to choose?  Here’s a rundown of the different varieties we have to help guide you:

Jack Rudy Tonic Syrup is all the things you like about traditional bottled tonic, just amped up a little. Bright and citrusy with notes of orange peel and lemon grass.

John’s Tonic Syrup is very citrus forward balanced by a nice quinine bite. Quite tart and pleasant for drinkng in the summer sun.

Tomr’s Tonic is bold and full bodied with a strong presence of earthy cinchona bark and a beautiful amber color in the glass. If Dad likes his drinks with a refreshing bitter bite, this is a great tonic for him.

Pair it with a highball glass, perfect ice cubes, and a long stainless steel spoon straw, and Dad is sure to be enjoying his gin and tonics on the patio this Father’s Day and for the summer beyond!

Gifts for Dad: Celebrate the Old-Fashioned Way

A collection of our our favorite tools and ingredients to get Pops set up to make the quintessential classic cocktail. Continue

It’s time to celebrate the dear dads in our lives! And for this very special occasion we have put together The Old-Fashioned Kit, a collection of our favorite tools and ingredients to get Pops set up with just about everything he needs to mix up an Old-Fashioned, a wonderful addition to the repertoire of any home bartender. This quintessential classic cocktail is a perfect gateway for those dads that have traditionally enjoyed drinking their favorite spirit on the rocks.

Old-Fashioned Kit

The kit includes:

If your Dad is already wise in the ways of Old-Fashioned making, you can check out these gifts selected to ramp up his cocktail game:

Learn about the history of the classic cocktail and plenty of variations in Robert Simonson’s new book, The Old Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore

The Old-Fashioned by Robert Simonson


As ergonomic as it is beautiful, Chris Gallagher’s handcrafted Pug! Muddler is regarded by many bartenders around the world as the best muddler available.

Pug! Muddlers

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, imported from Italy, have become the industry standard for craft cocktail bars, and for good reason.  These cherries are so delicious that once Dad tries them, he will never go back to his old standby cherry again.

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

Don’t think an Old-Fashioned is up your Dad’s alley? Get him started making his cocktail of choice with our Bar Builder Set, or our always Pop-pleasin’ Gift Cards!



6 Highball Cocktails That Are Perfect for Spring – Bon Appetit

Great drinks to put in some of our favorite glasses… Continue

Featured item: Highball glass

Pretty pretty pictures of lovely beverages.  We’re fans of the Americano around these parts, but the Paloma ranks pretty high up there, too.

View the whole slideshow here -> 6 Highball Cocktails That Are Perfect for Spring – Bon Appétit.

Cool New Bitters Showcase Salty, Sweet, Savory, and Sour | Serious Eats: Drinks

Kevin Liu @ Serious Eats is diggin’ on the Bar40 Bitters. Continue


Take a look at this quote from Kevin Liu’s (author of Craft Cocktails at Home) article below – please be sure to check out the whole thing!

Don’t let the simple names of these bitters fool you: they are far from one-note wonders. Rather, these are full-flavored bitters packed with spices and herbs, though they are formulated more for base notes than to add an aromatic punch.

The ‘sweet‘ bitters taste only mildly sweet, but they add a rich, cotton-candy like sensation to a drink (the effect is subtle, not overpowering). ‘Sour‘ most closely resembles an orange bitters, but with less bitterness on the palate and slightly more acidity than you’d typically find in bitters. It makes your mouth water. The ‘Salt‘ bitters taste the most like their namesake, but with the addition of supporting flavors (I suspect cinnamon and rosemary, but it was hard to tell). I could see it being used as an upgraded version of saline solution.

Of the four bitters I tried, the one that really stood out was ‘Umami.’ Best described in English as ‘savory,’ the umami flavor naturally occurs in seaweed, mushrooms, tomatoes, and some cheeses. As I tasted the umami bitters, I found myself picking out different nuances of those ingredients as the flavors played on my tongue. It was earthy and rich, like a slice of well-aged country ham. I found myself wanting to taste it again and again.

Emphasis his, added links ours.

Please be sure to check out the whole write-up via Cool New Bitters Showcase Salty, Sweet, Savory, and Sour | Serious Eats: Drinks.

Falernum: A Short Summary

A quick overview of a core Tiki ingredient. Continue

B.G. Reynolds FalernumAlthough the word falernum can refer to a number of different things, in the context of Tiki drinks, it’s usually either a syrup featuring lime, ginger, and spices, or a low-alcohol cordial from the West Indies called Velvet Falernum that has a similar flavor profile.

If a recipe calls for falernum without specifying which kind, try it with the syrup first. Besides the essential lime and ginger, the other ingredients in a falernum syrup will vary slightly from maker to maker, but often include allspice or clove, and sometimes orange blossom water or almond.

We recommend B.G. Reynold’s excellent take on the syrup– it’s fresh and full-bodied, with just the right balance of sweetness, spice, and tartness. Give it a taste!


Dutch’s Bitters @ The Boston Shaker

Dutch’s Bitters have arrived at The Boston Shaker! Continue

Just hitting our shelves, Dutch’s Bitters. They’re made at a craft distillery on an old bootlegging farm in New York. Each one is inspired by a period in American History and extra tasty.

When the samples arrived into the shop we cracked them open immediately. Every one of us who tried them did an audible “Wow!” after each taste.

Dutch's Bitters

We like them and think you will too.

Buy ’em individually or grab the American Era Variety pack to get 1-ouncers of all three flavors in one shot.