How to Remove Stuck Cocktail Shaker Cap: Simple Solutions

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: January 20, 2024
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Shaken, not stirred? More like stuck and frustrated! Learn the easy tricks to effortlessly remove a stubborn cocktail shaker cap and impress your guests with your bartending skills.

Are you tired of struggling to remove the stubborn cap from your cocktail shaker? Say goodbye to frustration and hello to impressing your guests with your bartending skills. In this blog, we’ll show you easy and effective ways to remove a stuck cocktail shaker cap, so you can return to enjoying your perfectly mixed drinks.

Several methods can be used to break the seal on a cocktail shaker. Some of the common methods include the hot towel method, another method is the temperature change method; additionally, you can use a sharp and thin blade, like a pairing knife, to run around the edge of the shaker to loosen the seal or use a wine bottle opener by inserting it at the centre hole of the built-in strainer. Finally, you can use the tapping method, where you put the shaker on your countertop, hold the tin shaker with one hand, and then, using the heel of your other hand, tap the top tin. One of these should do the trick to break off a tight seal.

Why Do Cocktail Shaker Lids Get Stuck?

Cocktail shaker lids getting stuck can be a frustrating experience for any bartender. Some reasons include the following:

  • Mismatched body and lid or cap when using many unorganized cocktail shakers
  • The cocktail mixture is too thick and gets stuck between the metal where the lid and the body meet.
  • Incorrect sealing of the shaker resulting in difficulty in opening it due to tapping it too hard or forcing the two parts to close
  • Temperature: Ice is used when shaking cocktails, and metal shakers conduct cold quickly, leading to metal shrinkage and creating a tight seal while shaking.

Why Do Cocktail Shakers Get So Cold?

A cocktail shaker can reach extremely low temperatures, depending on the ingredients used. When using ice in the shaker, the ice will cause the shaker to become cold. Even if you are not using ice, the alcohol in the cocktail can still make the shaker cold. Shaken drinks can drop to as low as minus 7°C during the shaking process due to the presence of ice.

Now that you know the reasons, let’s get that cap unstuck!

How Do We Remove a Stuck Cocktail Shaker Lid?

How do you break the seal on a cocktail shaker? You can try some of these things depending on the kind of shaker. Remember to be careful with the glass as it could break from temperature changes and strike it to break the seal, so consider putting a towel over it or wearing safety glasses to protect yourself.

Cobbler Shaker

  • Hot towel method: Wrap a clean hand towel soaked in hot water around the part where the cap and body of the shaker meet. Wait for 3-5 seconds, and try tapping around with a bit of force using the heel of your hand to loosen the seal.
  • Temperature change method: Freeze the cocktail shaker for approximately 10 minutes, then run the top part of the shaker in hot water. A temperature change can be beneficial when removing a stuck shaker cap.
  • Knife: Use a sharp and thin blade to fit in between the lid and body of the cocktail shaker. Carefully run the knife around the edge while trying to lift the lid to loosen.
  • Wine Bottle Opener: Use a wine bottle opener by inserting it at the centre hole of the built-in strainer until halfway through, hold the cocktail shaker’s body firmly and pull the corkscrew until the lid comes off.

Boston Shaker

  • Use the hot towel technique to separate the body from the lid
  • Leverage method: Use a bottle opener or a spoon to create leverage, insert it in the small gap between the cap and the body, and twist it to apply force to the cap while pulling.
  • Tap method: Tap the shaker with a bit of force to break the vacuum seal, be careful not to put too much force if using a glass shaker. Hold the tin shaker with one hand, and tap the top tin, so it leans on the other side using the heel of the other hand.

Other Things To Try To Get a Stuck Shaker Cap Off

If none of the above works, here are some more things to try:

  • Soak the cocktail shaker in hot water up to the area where the body and lid meet. Wait until the seal loosens, and the lid should come off easily.
  • Fill the cocktail shaker with water halfway, freeze it overnight, let it sit at room temperature until the ice inside slightly melts and loosens, then shake the cocktail shaker upside down. The solid ice inside should help in breaking off that tight seal.
  • Let the cocktail shaker sit at room temperature until the ice melts. The metal shaker will return to its normal state in due time, making removing the stuck cocktail shaker lid easier.
  • Other people have suggested using WD-40 or Coca-cola to loosen a stuck cap.


In conclusion, a stuck cocktail shaker cap can be a frustrating experience for any bartender, but with the right knowledge and tools, it’s easy to remove. The hot towel, temperature change, knife, leverage, and tapping methods are all effective ways to break the seal and remove the cap.

It’s important to remember that the method you choose may vary depending on the type of shaker you have and the material it’s made of, so you may need to try a few methods before finding the one that works best for you.

Being patient and cautious when using force is key to avoiding damaging your favourite shaker. With these simple solutions, you can easily remove a stuck cocktail shaker cap and return to enjoying your perfectly mixed drinks.