The Flip-Top Shaker -- The best innovations in the world of cocktail in the last few years have been historical, archival in nature. That is, the recovery of old recipes, techniques and ingredients through the scholarship displayed in such books as David Wondrich's Imbibe and in events like The Alembic's occasional Savoy Cocktail book nights, where guests are invited to choose antique recipes from the great compendium of the 1930s. Recently, though, I was sent a sample of the Flip-Top cocktail shaker from a company called Metrokane. Lots of shakers come onto the market, and I always just go back to the old bartender's combo of the pint glass and a steel tin. But the flip-top is a handy evolution of the tool. The top screws off easily to fill or dump the container. When on, though, it makes a tight seal. Shaking is easy and there's enough insulation to keep one's hand from getting cold. When it's time to strain the drink, simply flip the top of the lid to reveal a built-in strainer. It works wonderfully and is much simpler, neater and easier than the old rig. I heartily recommend.
Another Gift for the Holiday Drinker: The Flip-Top Shaker