About me


Stephen Visakay

Stephen Visakay was hailed as one of America’s Top 100 Collectors, by Art & Antiques Magazine in 1996, His definitive book Vintage Bar War, an identification and value guide, Collector Books, was published in 1997.

In a new book, The Business of Spirits by Noah Rothbaum, Kaplan Publishing, September 2007, Visakay is sited as a factor in the rise of today’s cocktail culture.
His museum exhibition, Shaken, Not Stirred; Cocktail Shakers and Design,
toured the Country from 1993 to1998 with seven venues, including The Milwaukee Art Museum, The Louisiana State Museum at Jackson Square, and The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The show gathered a deluge of World wide media attention at every location.

His last exhibition was in The Museums at San Francisco International Airport, and was viewed by an estimated twelve thousand people every twenty four hours for eleven months. Visakay is quick to add, “whether they wanted to or not” they had to travel through the concourse to reach the terminals. Many travelers got off the people moving walkways to return to the start and view the long display on foot.

One of the viewers was Stephen Gordon, Restoration Hardware’s founder and CEO, according to an interview with Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine in 2000. “An old martini shaker caught his eye. It was functional, yet stylish…had a sense of history, a story to tell, … Besides, it was cool” He called Restoration’s in-house design team to get down to the airport pronto. A few months later Restoration issued a copy of a 1936 Penguin Cocktail Shaker, followed by a Rooster, then a Zeppelin. A whole line of barware followed.

Visakay also displayed twenty cocktail shakers at the first cocktail dinner held in New York’s Rainbow Room, February 23, 1995, at the invitation of good friend Dale de Groff. Dale’s idea was innovative and unique. Instead of wine a cocktail was paired, by Dale, with each course of the special menu. The timing was perfect. As the new millennium approached there was a trend of nostalgia toward retro music, and retro culture.
Retro cocktails epitomized the elegance of a bygone era. More cocktail dinners and displays of Visakay’s cocktail shakers soon followed as did prominent media attention. The zeitgeist was now moving and shaking.

How did you get started collecting?
My mother had a cocktail shaker in the china closet when I was a small child. It was the only shiny chrome item in there and I always had my nose up against the glass as she was scolding ”Get Away From There!!”
Years later I saw one just like it at an outdoor flea market for fifty cents. I took it home, shined it up and the following week went back and found two more. The collection soon took on a live and drive of its own.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?
I have de-acquisitioned part of the collection and now have only a few hundred, most of them in storage, but have my very favorites in two tower showcases in our living room.

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?
Have one in my book on page 19 stamped 1904 that I love. And the last one I bought was on e-bay; a Farber Bros. Krome Kraft, glass and chrome that we will give away this July at Tales of the Cocktail. Last year we gave away in a free lottery, to all attending our symposium, over one thousand dollars in bar ware prizes. Same thing this year.

Which is your favorite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?
I have made many great finds in search for cocktail shakers, but like to tell the story of a treasure found at the Orangeburg N.Y. outdoor flea market. It was over twenty five years ago on a cold June morning. Focused on a cobalt blue cocktail shaker on the seller’s table, I never saw Nyack antique dealer Arlene Lederman also reaching for it. After a brief tug of war Arlene laughingly let me buy the shaker - and treat her to breakfast. It was the start of an ongoing excellent adventure that continues to this day. We live happily ever after in an Arts & Crafts cottage in Upper Grandview, New York. It’s the one with the white picket fence and red roses out front. And have a nightly ritual of shaking a martini before dinner, sometimes a few. As for the cobalt blue cocktail shaker, it sits in a place of honor. I never could sell it. After all, it helped me with the find and love of a life time: Arlene Lederman-Visakay.

Why did you write you book Vintage Bar Ware? And how did you choose which items to fit into the book?
The book was really done as a catalog for the museum exhibition Shaken, Not Stirred; Cocktail Shakers and Design. The show was comprised of 100 cocktail shakers, but have more in the book to represent the many styles and materials of cocktail shakers.
The book and the seven museum exhibitions helped to popularize cocktail shakers as unique works of art and living history. I mean how many antiques can you collect that are this much fun and can be used on a daily basis? The side effect of all this was that cocktail prices began to rise as they became well known to the general public.

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?
Any cocktail shaker I don’t have is the one I am looking for. Amazing how many new ones we still see on e-bay all the time. After all this time of collecting I understand I can not have them all. Arlene brought one home from a second hand shop, twenty years ago, it was missing the top, and designed by Kem Weber and stamped on the bottom with his name. We are still looking for a top.

What do you think about modern bar design; ie; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?
I love this company. They were pioneers in early new bar ware and were the first to bring out the “bullet” style cocktail shaker. And Love their new Flip Top cocktail shaker. These will all be collector items in the future.

Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?
I am not overjoyed at this and think it reduces prices some what of real vintage shakers.
Many of these are sold as real on e-bay to beginner collectors and as e-bay will not let you contact buyers as the sale is on going, it’s a real problem.
The up side of reproductions is that they make items like the Lighthouse Shaker affordable to all collectors and when Restoration Hardware started to reproduce these starting with the Penguin cocktail shakers, followed by many other knock-offs of vintage shakers, they helped popularize and promote good design cocktail shakers to the general buying public.

What are your future projects and plans.
Another cocktail shaker book would have to have all new items so that is out of the question for now. I enjoy writing articles and have published a story about an obscure pottery company, White Cloud Farm, that produced the bottoms up cups and cocktail shaker. You can find this now on the web. And have others up on e-bay Reviews & Guides.
As for now I am working on a swizzle stick article which should be out in March, will keep you posted on that. And next a Norman Bel Geddes cocktail shaker article that Jimbo Walker will publish in his cocktail shaker booklet that he will hand out at our collectors symposium in July. His booklet from last year is now a hard to find valuable collectors item.


Gary Graham


My name is Gary Graham. My wife, Joy, and I live , along with our Miniature Schnauzer Zelda, in the Northern Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia USA.
Winchester, Virginia is about one hour from Washington, DC.
My wife and I retired from positions in community colleges in 2000 & we devote much time to travel, theatre, reading & collecting.

How did you get started collecting?

We have been very enthusiastic about antiques and collectibles for 40 years. Items from the Art Deco era were always favorites but the prices for these items continued to increase. One day at an antique market, I noticed an especially attractive cocktail shaker (a Chase shaker, I believe) with all its Deco characteristics. I also noticed the very affordable price. From that day I concentrated on developing a collection of vintage cocktail shakers. Of course, the collecting enthusiasm was increased by my love of martinis and manhattans. When Stephen Visakay’s book (Vintage Bar Ware) was published it seems that thousands of collectors became interested in cocktail shakers. By then I had over 300 shakers & enjoyed watching the prices go up.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?

We probably own about 300 cocktail shakers & they are displayed in our office and dining room and, unfortunately, some have to be stored in our basement, garage and storage unit.

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?

I bought a Heisey rooster head cocktail shaker in Baltimore, Maryland in 1978 and it is still on display in my collection. My most recent purchase was a green cut-to-clear glass cocktail shaker.

Which is your favorite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?

My favorite shaker is the small aeroplane traveling bar/cocktail shaker set that was made in Germany in the 1920’s. This set is extremely rare and the one I own has its original leather carrying case in the shape of an airplane hangar.

I have a James Bond-type case that carries a bottle of Plymouth Gin (my favorite), small bottle of martini-Rossi dry vermouth, a cocktail shaker, two glasses & a container for olives. It goes with me wherever I travel and my traveling companions have come to expect very dry, very cold martinis at 5:00 p.m. wherever we are.

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?

For all cocktail shaker collectors there is the never seen but much anticipated discovery of a cobalt lady’s leg cocktail shaker. If I should ever find or see one, I hope I have all my medications available. It will be a shocking surprise.

What do you think about modern bar design; ie; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?

I monitor modern designs only with casual interest.
I have purchased all the Restoration Hardware reproduction cocktail shakers including their airplane shaker.

Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?

I think it’s a good idea as long as they are clearly recognized as reproductions. For the majority of collectors, the only way we will be able to represent the Wallace Brothers Rooster, the Zeppelins, the Airplanes, the Lighthouses, and other very rare cocktail shakers in our collections will be through the reproductions. Since these original shakers are so rare and often held in permanent collections, they are almost impossible to find.

What are your future projects and plans.

I plan to keep my website
(www.thejazzage.com) active and interesting to cocktail shaker collectors. I will always be a buyer for cocktail shakers that are rare, interesting or that fill spots in my own collection. And, I’m always pleased when people who are not collectors enjoy buying vintage cocktail shakers as gifts for friends and family. And, of course, we plan on attending the Tales of the Cocktail Conference in New Orleans in July, 2009.

Photo Caption

Gary & Joy Graham (a few years ago) celebrating New Year’s Eve in Istanbul.
The cocktail was a “First Lady”. This cocktail won the city-wide new cocktail recipe competition and was named for then Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Çiller.
The recipe:
4 cl Gin
1.5 cl Mandarin Liqueur
1 cl Casis
1 cl Archers
8 cl Orange Juice

Jim "Jimbo" Walker
How did you get started collecting?
I started my collection of cocktail shakers and bar ware in 1995. “I just wanted a cocktail shaker to make my own Dirty Martins”. I asked a friend and antique dealer if she could find me one. She invited me over to see her art deco collection of shakers and It was all over. She had a dozen or so Art Deco shakers and I was amazed at the styles and shapes. I asked her were did you get these? She said have you ever heard of eBay? That is were the passion began.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?

My collection started with recipe cocktail shakers and soon expanded to all forms of shakers and bar ware. Now with over 500 shakers, 100+ martini glasses, and hundreds of pieces of bar ware, “there is not a flat surface in my house that does not have a cocktail shaker or piece of bar ware on it”. Yes even the bathrooms.

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?
I really don’t know what my oldest shaker is. I have one that that is in really bad condition that may be from the 1920s. A good number of my shakers are from the 1930s & 1940s. Jim added, that this is his oldest shaker (patent). The other one is his first shaker

The last shaker I bought is a guilt Barman Shaker made by Ghiso in France. It was made in the early 1930s, during Prohibition, for export to Argentina.

Which is your favourite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?
That is almost like asking a parent, “Who is favourite child is?” Out of hundreds of shakers I dozens of favourites but off the top of head I can say I love my Heisey Glass Horse Head shaker. I also really do enjoy the figural shakers. They are unique in form and a whole lot of fun. Also I can not forget the Art Deco shakers. I do love Deco.

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?
Off the top of my head I really can’t think of any that I’ve heard of but not seen, at least in pictures. Now as far as Holy Grails, that list is long! Of coarse the Manhattan set, Wallace Roster, all the Ladies Legs. Like I said that is a long list.

What do you think about modern bar design; i.e.; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?
As far as useful goes they are great. I only own a couple of modern shakers that I use to make cocktails on occasion. Mostly I use vintage shakers though. With over 500 why not?

Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?
I think as long as they are not being sold as vintage they are great. I own a couple of the Restoration Hardware shakers myself. Some the shakers they reproduce are very nice and the originals are just out of my price range.

What are your future projects and plans?

I am currently finishing my book “A Recipe for Design”. It covers the history of recipe cocktail shakers, recipe devices, and some of the classic cocktails. I am also putting together a book the Vintage Bar Ware Symposium at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in July. Stephen Visakay, Mark Bigler, and I will be talking about vintage bar ware and cocktail shakers. We will also be giving away over $1000.00 in vintage bar ware and cocktail shakers. Check out www.talesofthecocktail.com for more info.

Can you tell us a few homepages where we can find further information about shakers and bar ware?
There is Gary Grahams site http://thejazzage.com/ were he sells wonderful shakers and bar ware. Also Mark Bigler has a site http://cocktailshakers.com/ were not only sells cocktail shakers but displays photos from his private collection. Then there is Peter Weissnegger who has photos of his collection online at http://www.shaker-man.at . The Atlanta Antique Gallery has a very good selection of bar ware and shakers http://atlantaantiquegallery.com. Last but not least is my blog Shaken & Stirred. http://shaken-stirred.blogspot.com I talk about shakers, bar ware, cocktails, and the history.

Mauro Mahjoub

A bit about myself:

My 25 years in gastronomy consists of a mere 20 years behind the bar. My career began as Commis de Bar at Hotel Bristol in 1982 in Beirut, Lebanon, where I saw my first cocktail but couldn’t have imagined that a couple years later I’d land behind the bar myself. In 1989, after my military service in Italy, I wound up in Bologna, working at Harry’s Bar. While there I began taking seminars and competing in cocktail competitions. Two years later I managed a four-star hotel bar in my hometown in the Abruzzo region of Italy. I worked between managing hotel and club bars until I left for Munich, Germany, where I was head bartender at a few bars.

How did you get started collecting?

As a passionate bartender and bar owner, I am interested in all things bar-related. I first started collecting bar/cocktail books about 20 years ago and then got into cocktail shakers 12 years ago.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?

I have over 300 shakers-most of which are on display in my academy, the Campari Academy, in Munich, Germany. The rest, and favorites, are on display at home.

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?

My oldest shaker dates back to the 1880s and I recently acquired a group of Parisian shakers from the 1920s.

Which is your favorite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?

I really like the first electric shaker from 1919.
Years ago I got a great deal on a beautiful shaker from the 1920s in Milan, Italy-for just 30 Euros.

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?

The Imperial Cocktail Shaker from the late 1800s-I’m still searching for it!

What do you think about modern bar design; ie; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?
Modern design is interesting but I still prefer vintage shakers.

Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?

No, it takes away from the flair of the old shakers. Another negative aspect is that people can be cheated, being sold a reproduction as an original.

What are your future projects and plans?

I plan to start offering private seminars more often in my academy, the Campari Academy. Loaning out groups of my shakers for exhibitions, like one coming up in Cognac, France, will be a new avenue for sharing my collection. And, as always, to continue my research on the history of the bar, discovering new information increasing my shaker collection.

Can you tell us a few homepages where we can find further information about shakers and bar ware?

My friends’ websites: http://thejazzage.com and www.cocktailshakers.com.
And as far as books go, the legendary Vintage Bar Ware from my friend Stephen Visakay, of course.


Peter Weissenegger

Interview mit Peter Weissnegger Teil 1

Persönliche Informationen:

Mein Name ist Peter Weissnegger, komme aus Klagenfurt, im Süden von Österreich und arbeite seit 20 Jahren in der Casino-Bar in Velden am Wörthersee. Mein Mixerweg führte mich von Velden über div. Saisonstellen und Kreuzfahrtschiffen rund um die Welt. Bin Mitglied der ÖBU/DBU und shakte auch erfolgreich bei diversen Mixwettbewerben.

Warum hast du angefangen zu sammeln?

Natürlich an der Hotelbar, ein Sammler von Fingerhüten (2. Vorsitzender des Deutschen Fingerhutsammelvereins e.v.) erzählte mir begeistert von den Freuden des Sammelns und brachte mir eines Tages ein Shakerexemplar, mit den Worten: „das ist ein Jugendstil-Shaker“.
Das weckte in mir die Sammelleidenschaft.

Freunde, Kollegen, viele Antik-shops und Flohmärkte in ganz Europa halfen mir bei meinem Hobby. Viele gute Tipps bekam ich auch im Laufe der Jahre von meinem Sammler-Freund Steven Visakay.

Seit dem Ebay-Zeitalter ist zwar alles einfacher und informativer aber schöner und vor allen aufregender war das Sammeln vorher. Das Spannende daran ist das Suchen und Finden (wie beim Pilzesuchen ).

Wie viele Shaker hast du und wie bewahrst du sie auf ?

Einige hundert Shaker stehen in div. Kästen und Vitrinen. Eine Leih-Ausstellung kann in der Mozart-Destillerie Salzburg besichtigt werden.
Die meisten Shaker sind wegen des Reinigungsaufwandes hinter Glas in Vitrinen.

Welcher ist dein ältester Shaker und welchen hast du als letzten gekauft?

Vermutlich der erste WMF oder einer der vielen alten Shaker mit deutlichen Arbeitsspuren in welchen v i e l e Drinks geschüttelt wurden.
Einer der letzten Käufe war der rot-schwarze INCOLOR Bakelitshaker aus den 30iger Jahren ohne Rezept-Top.

Welcher ist dein Lieblingsshaker? Hast du einen mit dem du etwas Besonderes verbindest?

*Eigentlich immer der Letzt-Erworbene.
*Natürlich sind es die Top-Shaker (div. Reiseshaker, Zeppelin-, Pinguin-, Lady-Leg. usw.).
*Besonders gefällt mir ein grüner Shaker aus Onyx (sehr schwer).
*Ein tschechischer Kristallshaker (über 1 kg)
*Ein persischer Silbershaker mit ganz tollen Ornamenten

und all die vielen namenlosen/verbeulten mit enormen Cocktail-Outputs
*die persönlichen Shaker von Freunden und Kollegen extra für meine Sammlung

z.B. Shaker des 1. Präsidenten der ÖBU von 1920 (Charly Paysar) und Shaker von Stadelbacher, Peter Roth, Rainer Husar usw.

Gibt es Shaker von dem du viel gehört, ihn aber nie gesehen hast? Sowas wie den heiligen Gral der Shaker?

Die meisten Traum-Shaker stehen alle im Shaker-Shop von S. Khachadourian in London (Kingsroad) und somit außer Reichweite.

Gerne haben würde ich das Original des Eisbären-Shakers vermutlich aus den 20iger des vorigen Jahrhunderts. Dieser Silbershaker, Made in Austria wurde in New York extrem teuer versteigert.

Was hälst du von modernen Cocktailshakern?

Viel, es sind die edlen Sammlerstücke von morgen.

Was denkst du über die Reproduktion von alten Shakern?

Na ja…

Wie lauten deine zukünftigen Pläne und Vorhaben?

Am Flohmarkt oder Trödel-Antikshop den nächsten, noch nie gesehenen Schüttelbecher zum günstigen Preis zu finden. Mein Interesse gilt jetzt vor allem Shaker aus den 50-60iger Jahren aus dem EU-Raum.

Mit besten Shaker-Grüssen

Peter Weissnegger

Lieber Peter, vielen Dank für das Interview
Besucht auf jeden Fall seine Internetseite www.shaker-man.at. Dort findet ihr viele tolle Bilder von Cocktailshakern und Informationen über die ÖBU.


Tomek Roehr

Personal information:

My name is Tomek Roehr and I’m based in Warszawa, Poland. I got interested in all things cocktail related a few years ago while organizing an event with Dre Masso and Henry Besant of The Worldwide Cocktail Club. Over the last few years it has developed into a real passion. Last year I started a blog called Alkoteka. (www.alkoteka.pl) to promote cocktail culture and responsible consumption of alcohol here. I’m particularly fond of old siphons and all kinds of barware.

How did you get started collecting?
It seems to have evolved together with my fascination for all things cocktail related - books, glasses, siphons and shakers. The more I immersed myself in this area the more fascinated I became with the history and tools used to create cocktails.
The first shaker I ever got was a pre WWII shaker which belonged to my grandfather which is a family heirloom. Walking along a street in Warsaw about 3 years ago, I noticed an old shaker which I had seen in various books.

It was this one. The price was very attractive so I bought it. I started surfing the internet and realized that you can find some interesting old shakers in Poland. The availability of shakers here is very limited compared to other countries but it’s still possible to find some interesting pieces every now and again. I buy things mostly for their design and appearance more than historic value.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?
I have about 20 shakers at the moment. They have all just been polished and hidden away in bubble wrap after a small showing for World Cocktail Day in a bar in Warsaw. If my wife and I had more room in our flat I would definitely show them off more but that will have to wait.

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?
The oldest is this one which is from the beginning of the 20th century and has a very interesting “metal branch” inside which is apparently meant to help emulsify eggs. It needs a bit of refitting of the corks to bring it to a useable state.

The last ones I bought are two WMF shakers. I call them big brother and small brother. Identical shakers except one is 0,5L and the other 0,7L. They should be arriving any day now.
Which is your favourite shaker and why?
I think my favourite thing in my collection is actually not a shaker but a set I managed to obtain. It’s made up of a shaker, ice bucket, soda and cream siphon. They may not be very old but the blue metal net around them is really a wonderful thing. They are all in pristine condition.

I’m always on the lookout for sets even if it’s a simple shaker ice bucket duo like one of these below.

And do you have one with a personal story?
Only the one which belonged to my grandfather really that is the most prized thing in my collection for obvious reasons. I often wonder where and how my grandfather might have used this shaker. He travelled around quite a lot so I wonder if this shaker often travelled with him.
I think that one of the attractions of collecting vintage barware it that it’s wonderful to think about how a shaker may have been used a long time ago, by whom and where.
Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?
Actually, living in Poland there are a few bar items that I’ve never seen. The bartending trade was very badly affected by communism here in my opinion, especially considering that in the inter-war period there were many great bars in Warszawa. Until recently I had never seen a real ice shaver but I just happened to come across it in an antique shop the other day. I’m still searching for an antique ice cracker.

What do you think about modern bar design; ie; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?

This particular model I’m not too keep on. I generally prefer shakers made of metal and glass or crystal. Plastic just doesn’t do it for me. The only exception from this rule is the Perlini shaker by Perlage Systems, but that is because of its intended use - carbonating cocktails.
Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?
Yes because some of those designs are just amazing. I like the reproductions that you can find in Japanese equipment shop Naranja.co.jp or http://www.cocktailshaker.com/ for example. I think it’s great that anyone can buy a shaker which is identical to vintage shakers not produced anymore and be able to enjoy them. As long as people aren’t fooled into thinking that they are real vintage shakers then it’s great.

What are your future projects and plans?
The future is to build my collection as much as possible and feasible. I would like to be able to spend more time on finding out about vintage shakers and reading more books on them. However, for the moment it seems that other projects will be taking more of the spotlight. I’m always looking for new things for my collection.
Thank you Tomek, for this interesting interview. I think you showed up well the difficulties for collectors outside of the USA.
Eyck Thormann

Persönliche Informationen
Mein Name ist Eyck Thormann und bin 29 Jahre alt.
Ich arbeite seit 2002 in der Christiansen´s Bar als Barchef und bin 2. Vorsitzender der DBU Sektion Hamburg/ Schleswig Holstein.

Warum hast du angefangen zu sammeln?
Die ersten Shaker bekam ich zu meinem 15. Geburtstag. Damals hatte ich meinen Eltern erzählt, dass ich gerne in der Gastronomie arbeiten würde und sie schenkten mir das WMF Heimwerker-Set.
Richtig angefangen habe ich dann, als ich Uwe Christiansen´s Sammlung gesehen habe.

Wie viele Shaker hast du und wie bewahrst du sie auf?
Ich habe ca. 30 Shaker und ich habe sie in meinem Einbauschrank stehen. Nicht gerade repräsentativ.

Welcher ist dein älterster Shaker und welchen hast du als letztes gekauft?
Auf einem Flohmarkt habe ich einen total versifften, versilberten Dreitteiler gekauft, den ich bisher noch nicht geputzt habe, weil mir die Patina so gut gefällt.
Für 5 € war das eigentlich ein ganz nettes Schnäppchen.
Als letztes habe ich mir eine Kanne mit genietetem Catalingriff gekauft.

Welcher Shaker ist dein Lieblingsstück und warum?
um Arbeiten bevorzuge ich den zweiteiligen Shaker von WMF, weil er gut in der Hand liegt und sich leicht wieder öffnen lässt. Bei den alten Shakern finde ich den Leuchtturm toll, weil er der erste alte Shaker war, den ich jemals in der Hand hatte.
Was hälst du von modernen Shakerdesigns, z.B. dem FlipTop Shaker?
Dieses System finde ich zwar ganz lustig, ich kann mir aber nicht vorstellen damit zu arbeiten.

Und hast du einen mit einer persönlichen Story?
Mein Bekannter, der den Blog hier schreibt, hat mir die Reed & Barton Milchkanne geliehen, mit der ich dann die Landesmeisterschaft HH/ SH gewonnen habe.
Des weiteren hat Uwe Christiansen die Silbershaker, die wir nach 10 Jahren endlich "durchgearbeitet" haben.

Gibt es einen Shaker den du bisher noch nicht gesehen hast und den du unbedingt sehen willst?
Ich würde gerne mal das "Manhattan" Set in natura sehen und irgendwann mal kaufen.
Was hälst du von der Reproduktion von alten Shakern/ Designs?
Finde ich gut, weil man sich so ansehen kann, wie die alten Stücke funktioniert haben. Auch als dekorative Artikel sind sie gut.
Das ist wie mit alten Cocktailbüchern: man kann sie sich selten leisten und Reprints sind günstiger.

Was sind deine zukünftigen Pläne?
Ich werde mir ein paar von den alten DDR-Shakern kaufen, die eine eingebaute Saftpresse haben.
Kannst du uns ein paar Internetseiten über Cocktailshaker nennen?
Eigentlich sind soweit alle Seiten in den vorherigen Interviews genannt worden.
Sollte ich eine neue Seiten finden, werde ich sie nachreichen.

Eyck, vielen Dank für das Interview. Besonders weil du zwischen den ganzen Gästen Zeit hattest es mir "Live" zu geben...
Karsten Sgominsky

Persönliche Informationen:
KARSTEN SGOMINSKY aka BarGeist, 38 Jahre
Wirkungsstätte München (ohne Namensangabe des Ladens)
seit 18 Jahren in der Gastro gelernter Hotelfachmann, Barkeeper

Wie kamst du dazu, Shaker zu sammeln?
Im Laufe der Zeit haben mich immer wieder die verschiedenen Shaker- Formen angesprochen. Ich habe gemerkt, dass es schon ein anderes arbeiten ist, wenn man ein „altes“ Teil in der Hand hat. Überwiegend benutze ich den Boston Shaker an der Bar (wegen der schnellen Arbeitsabläufe) und für Klassiker bzw. bestimmte Drinks kommt dann halt einer meinen „alten“ Shaker zu Einsatz. Es verleiht der Sache etwas mehr Flair und Aufmerksamkeit. Das war und ist Anlass für mich, immer ein Auge auf Shaker zu haben.

Wie viele Shaker hast du und wie bewahrst du sie auf?
Zurzeit sind es 14 Stück. Sie stehen bei mir im Schrank und werden täglich für die Arbeit ausgesucht.

Welcher Shaker ist der Älteste und welchen hast du als letztes gekauft?
Der älteste Shaker ist von 1885, ein schönes Stück. Zu letzt habe ich einen alten WMF aus den USA gekauft.

Welcher ist dein Lieblingsshaker und warum? Hast du einen, den du mit etwas persönlichem verbindest?
Lieblings Shaker, kann man so nicht sagen. Es sind alle meine Lieblinge, aber besonders gern arbeite ich mit meinen Tiffany Shaker. Er hat eine besondere Handhabung.

Gibt es noch einen Shaker oder ein Barwerkzeug, von dem du bisher gehört, aber nie gesehen hast?
Da will mir gerade nichts einfallen… Es gibt bestimmt das eine oder andere was man noch nicht gehört oder gesehen hat.
Was hälst du vom modernen Bar Design, z.B. den Flip Top shaker von Metrokane?
Modernes Bar Design kann recht ansprechend und schön sein. Ich steh der Sache nicht entgegen, bin aber eher doch der Konservative der seine Freude in alten Dingen findet. Der Flip Flop Shaker sieht für mich mehr nach Thermokanne als nach Shaker aus. Fazit; kein Shaker für mich!

Denkst du, dass die Reproduktion von alten Shakern gut ist?
Unbedingt!!! Sie ermöglicht uns den Einblick und die Handhabung über die alten Gerätschaften. Und, ein wenig Nostalgie in unserer Zunft schadet mit Sicherheit nicht.

Was sind deine zukünftigen Pläne und Projekte?
Mein nächstes Projekt und somit Plan ist eine Reise in die Vergangenheit der goldenen Cocktailzeiten. Das Zusammentragen alter Barware, alte zum Teil vergessene Rezepturen, rundum ein Stück Vergangenheit bis ins letzte Detail widerspiegeln.
Darüber hinaus habe ich immer irgendwelche Projekte zu laufen, die mit Gastronomie- Bar- und Alkoholikas zu tun haben. Ach ja, da läuft ja gerade immer noch ein Projekt, welches aber nicht verraten wird!!! Es wird (hoffentlich) bald seinen Abschluss finden und publiziert.

Vielen Dank für das Interview, Karsten.
Besucht auf jeden Fall den BarGeist Blog, auf dem ihr stehts Lesenswertes findet.
Mark Bigler
Personal information:
Mark Bigler
markbig @ aol.com
Ogden, Utah

Please feel free to email me with any questions or suggestions; markbig @ aol.com

Before I start, let me say collecting cocktail shakers in Utah is very unusual because Utah has not typically been a place associated with drinking, liquor, wine etc. Although happily, lately we are becoming much more open minded. Regardless, there are not many vintage shakers to be found here so I’ve had most of my finds elsewhere.
I have been a collector on eBay since April 26th 1998 with 100% positive feedback when actually I wish I had been smart enough to buy their stock instead of just buying and selling.

Personal information?
I’m married and luckily my wife Sharee is very understanding. I have a beautiful daughter, son, three grandkids and two fun but challenging Yorkshire Terriers who are the only ones still living with us.

How did you get started collecting?
Many years ago I started collecting bar paraphernalia in anticipation of a small basement cocktail bar that I was intent on building in my home. I was given a new cocktail shaker one Christmas and I loved it. Well, a few months later I saw an older glass cocktail shaker with a brass top in an antique store here in Ogden, Utah and bought it. Well now since I had two, I guess that amounts to a collection; the search was on.
Not too long after that I read a magazine article by Stephen Visakay (who is the KING) which even made me more interested. I wrote Steven, he wrote back with much useful information and I was hooked!
Years ago my little bar was finally built and of course I had to have more shakers.
I’m now in a new home and thanks to my patient and understanding wife Sharee I am building a special room to display my collection, and of course to also have a cocktail while enjoying them. Call if you are in town!

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?
It depends on if you ask me while my wife is around or not. Just kidding! I have around four hundred shakers. I display my favourites around the house and in an antique bar I fixed up. I have many in storage but as I mentioned earlier, I am in the process of building a room just to display them.

Which is the oldest?
I have an artillery shell shaker which is inscribed from the early 1900s, it is not an actual shell, but one made to look like it and it was presented as a trophy.

Which did you buy last?
I just purchased seven ruby shakers all the same day with most of them having sterling overlays. By the way, I bought all of them on ebay for a great price. There are still many great deals out there if you know where to look
Which is your favourite shaker and why?
The Lurelle Guild and the Revere Manhattan are probably my favourites. The two large lighthouse shakers and even the two smaller lighthouse shakers are probably my rarest.

And do you have one with a personal story?

The first one I found in an antique store is the one that is personally closest to my heart. It is the one with a brass top and Czechoslovakian in origin.

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?
A Blue lady’s leg shaker by West Virginia Specialty Glass. Much talk about it and a few who claim to have seen one. Personally I don’t think that they exist unless one was made as a prototype.

What do you think about modern bar design; ie; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?
I’m not a big fan; it is really quite cheap looking and not much fun to use. It’s easy to clean but no exciting presentation.

Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?
I think it is good as long as buyers and sellers both know the difference. Many ebay sellers list them as vintage and even when I or other collectors email them the truth they refuse to change the description. Most are honest though. I think it is good because it helps people have the fun of using what vintage barware might have looked like that may be more within their budgets and I also think people get hooked and start looking for real vintage barware.

What are your future projects and plans?
As I mentioned earlier I am very excited about finishing my den, bar area to be able to display many more of my shakers.
I have been a panelist the last two years at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. www.MOTAC.com This year it was held at The Museum of the American Cocktail and I was priviledged to be with the King, Steven Visakay and another wonderful celebrity friend, Jimbo “Martini“ Walker. There were many people from all over the world at our seminar and many more at “The Tales“ It was awesome and I would encourage everyone to attend.

Dear Mark, thank you for this great interview.

Readers: Mark´s homepage www.CocktailShakers.com is a MUST for every collector. Visit it!!!
Sven Roger Almenning

Personal information:

Sven Almenning
Director of Behind Bars Industry Services, Australia’s largest bar Industry consultancy outfit
Sven @ behindbars.com.au

How did you get started collecting?
By necessity almost. I was working on some training modules for bartenders where I was hoping to inspire some passion for our industry and to really impress upon them the proud history of bartending. I purchased a few shakers, and was immediately bitten by the bug

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?
My collection is not huge, however I believe I have a lot of great items. It’s probably around the 100 mark at the moment, (more if I counted trays, glasses tools etc). Currently they are stored and displayed in my office for my daily enjoyment.

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?
I am not 100% sure which are the oldest although I do have a few shakers which apparently date to the late 19th century (If i’m to believe the antique stors where i purchased them).

My latest shaker was a ruby skyscraper with gold stripes. Awesome!

Which is your favourite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?

I LOVE the Gorham Artillery shell shaker! This was one of the first shakers I really set my eyes on buying, and one of my favourites to use. I love making a smoky Talisker Rob Roy in it!

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?

Mark Bigler told me about a huge Lighthouse shaker he’s got. I think the price tag was around $20,000. I think Visakay also has one that he once lent to Dale de Groff at the Rainbow Room. Sounds incredible…

What do you think about modern bar design; ie; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?

I think most modern shakers lack imagination and focus on quality. My favourite modern shaker is probably the Carl Mertens double tin (looks like a 3 piece, but is just two tins). Am using this a lot at the moment.
Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?

Why not? However it would be great to see modern shakers take more care with regards to quality and durability rather than just copying vintage forms and shapes. I think there is a real opportunity for someone to produce high qualiy cocktail shakers and barware. Unfortunately this is hard to come by these days.

What are your future projects and plans?
Am hoping to keep working in the bar indusry for years to come. Am hoping to soon open a bar where I can display my favourote shakers, bar tools and cocktail books. I really believe that these great items help create a link to a time when the art of the cocktail was more widely appreciated by people.


Be sure to watch this great video made by ABC about Sven and his shakers:
There are some shakers I haven´t seen in "action" jet.

Sven, thank you for the great interview and the link to the video.
Joe Keeper
Joe Keeper, owner of Bar Keeper in Los Angeles California, USA.

Bar Keeper sells all the tools and accouterments needed for making fine cocktails. The shop is 50% vintage and 50% new. I am networked with many vintage shops in the US and typically can find the hard to find, esoteric, barware.

How did you get started collecting?

I am not so much a collector, as a merchant. Previous to Bar Keeper I was a Reality TV producer. After literally scaring the piss out of contestants, I had an epiphany. Was this the best I could do with my life? After some soul searching and conversations with the wife, I decided to swap financial bliss for spiritual bliss. I have always been passionate of exquisite cocktails. I happened to read an article in the Wall Street Journal that focused on the next generation of young people coming of age, and their lack of understanding of spirits and cocktails. That was the genesis of Bar Keeper.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?

I currently own about 45 shakers. The shakers I carry mostly are post WWII glass shakers with ornamental paintings and etchings. They are stored in display cabinets. I only display a few at any given time. The exquisite shakers that I personally cherish are stored at my counter on a shelf behind.

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?

I believe my oldest shaker currently is a 1930's Gaiety Cocktail shaker. I recently picked up a Gaiety set that includes the original tray and four cups.

Which is your favorite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?

My favorite, and it's my favorite for it's novelty, is a Whipster Cocktail Shaker manufactured by the Sullivan-Waldron Products Company in Seattle Washington.

As a vintage merchant and living in Southern California, I often have the pleasure of acquiring the shakers from the original owners. I typically spend a few hours listening to stories of old Hollywood! Interestingly enough, the merchandise that I acquire that is "loved" by it's original owner, is the first to sell. People internally are attracted to items that have been cherished.

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?

While attending The Tales of The Cocktail in New Orleans last summer, I had the pleasure of holding a 12" silver-plated 19-piece Zeppelin. Mr. Steven Visakay moderated the lecture. He is simply wonderful!
What do you think about modern bar design; ie; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?

I appreciate modern bar design. I believe that form should follow function. While I'm not a fan of the Metrokane product, I carry it in Bar Keeper.

Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?

Absolutely not! Let's honor the past and appreciate the present.

What are your future projects and plans.

Frankly, Bar Keeper is a "cult of personality". My customers seek product and wisdom. I am in the process of acquiring a Liquor License. I hope to carry small batch, and difficult to find spirits. I will NOT carry any name brands.

Joe Keeper
3910 West Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90029-2242
323.669.1675 phone
323.669.1611 fax

Chris Carlsson

My name is Christopher Carlsson.
I come from Upstate New York (specifically Rochester, New York - about 450 Km north and west of NYC (or as we say- across the lake from Toronto.)
The area is very nice - lots of hills and lakes over 200 wineries and a few distilleries in the area.
Pretty much the third world for antiques in terms of prices- very cheap compared to NYC area which is good for me.
As to were I work - I am a writer ( or as some say "unemployment with honor" ) or as my wife say "at leisure" ;-) also professional spirits judge, mixologist and consultant .
I run a couple websites http://www.spiritsreview.com and http://www.boozebooks.com I also dabble in antiques, rare books and whatever else. (need a distillery, cheap? got a fixer upper).
My background was in social activism (had lots of ties to the Greens at one point) and mental health - but then I found a good martini (or other cocktail) and sympathetic ear probably did more for people a lot cheaper than mental heath ever did ( and a lot more fun too)

How did you get started collecting?

My parents ran a rare bookshop which also had antiques for sale and while we always had a tradition of drinking gin out of bone china teacups in the afternoon, when I decided to diversify our cocktail list I grabbed one of their old shakers. Since we lived in the middle of nowhere and antique shakers from sales and estates were the only ones available - no new stores in the area - I learned to love them.
Mass produced modern shakers for the most part are a huge disappointment - tinny, cheap construction, fit and finish, don't chill well, fit poorly, and leak. Not to mention a total lack of style.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?

I'm not sure exactly- and in any case It might not be the best thing for me to state in public, because like my whiskey collection, if my wife knew how many were really here it would cause more trouble. Lets just say more than 12 and less than 100 (or if you want a racier answer : Like my penis size , I don't measure it or talk about it, but it is an adequate number for both me and whoever I am entertaining or so I have always been told)

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?

Actually quite possibly the same one - a early turn of the century silver plated shaker from the turn of the century- found it at a flea market for about 1.50 Euros. Lovely piece , simple lines to it

Which is your favourite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?

Probably my Farberware shaker like a favourite pair of shoes or jacket, its comfortable to use, works well and seen me through a lot of times good and bad. As to personal stories , part of the joy of collecting is where most of them came from, this one from a brocante in Provence, this one Utrecht, etc., a sort of travelogue , plus of course the ones that were used at various events or times in my life for a party. Not to mention the one I intend to have used as my urn after I die- couldn't think of a more fitting container.

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?

Yes, a Joes' Place travelling bar set- 1950's quite complicated, mini bar. Top lid even detaches as a serving tray.

What do you think about modern bar design; ie; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?

I always welcome a new design - whether it is truly new or just new to me.
Like a fine car (by the way both my parents are ex sports race car drivers), age does not matter, fit,finish,engineering and performance matter , but also to large degree style and eye appeal also. That is what sets the exceptional apart from the adequate.

Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?

Yes, as it allows people without a large budget to enjoy them, but only if they are done decently and properly - otherwise it's like buying a counterfeit watch - yes it looks like the real thing but is just a cheap copy that doesn't work, feel or perform anything like the original.

What are your future projects and plans?

To continue collecting, enjoy life as long as possible, and die with an empty liquor collection, 10 euros overdrawn at the bank. After that I intend to be cremated and but in my favourite shaker.
Shawn Soole
Personal information:
Shawn Soole, 13 years in the bartending business. Executive Bar Keep at Clive’s Classic Lounge in the Chateau Victoria in Victoria, BC. Freelance writer, bar tool designer and Cocktail Compeition MC and Judge.

How did you get started collecting?
My wife bought me a silver cocktail shaker a few years back from my birthday. A couple of months ago, I started seriously collecting and now am a little addicted.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?
About 30 shakers and 7 or so Soda Siphons. I have them on display in my dining room, they are starting to take over that area.

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?
I have a few Norwegian Pewter from the turn of the century and I love the 1934 Chicago’s World Fair shaker. The last one I bought was a 1960’s Thirst Extinguisher, my wife says I have to slow down because I seem to buy a new one every week. Victoria is rife with antique stores.

Which is your favorite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?

My second shaker is probably my favorite shaker, it’s a 1910’s Galatoff Pewter Shaker, I bought it for $14 and its worth alo tmore than that. Apparently there is no record of Galatoff making shakers so that’s kind of cool. My second favorite is my new one, the Thirst Extinguisher; it plays a song from a wind up music box in the base when you pick it up.

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?
The sacred Bell shaker and I do love the Gun Catridge style that I know Sven Alleming has. I have bidded on a few hard to find ones in the past online but never have been lucky enough to get it in the end.

What do you think about modern bar design; i.e.; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?

I always say “if its not broken, don’t fix it”. Boston, Cobblers and Parisan are all you need behind the bar. Don’t fool with perfection.

Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?
Absolutely. Being able to get some reproductions to use behind the bar is a dream come true especially with the cocktail renaissance still going in full force.

What are your future projects and plans.
Really focusing on Clive’s, between our Spirited Weekends and running the beverage program, it is a full time job. I am still going to be writing for the magazines I write for now and otherwise just enjoy being behind the bar for as long as possible.

Thomas Malott
Personal information:

My name is Thomas Malott and I live with my 12 years old son, Joseph, in Walnut Creek-a small town outside of San Francisco. I have worked for Bayer AG in Berkeley, California for over 15 years. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, forcing my son to garden and of course scouting obscure antique stores for the find of a lifetime-a 23-piece Henckels airplane traveling bar or an Asprey Thirst Extinguisher. My son is very useful as his eyes are better than mine and he can spot a shaker a mile away. If anyone wants to chat further, or is interested in trading, I can be reached at tm4755 @ hotmail.com.

How did you get started collecting?

Collecting vintage cocktail shakers was a logical intersection of two of my favorite things-antiques and booze. I started collecting about 6 years ago after finding a silver plated cocktail shaker that matched my 1928 silverware service. I was hooked-and what keeps me interested is the history, especially US history surrounding the Prohibition, lore and the fine sense of design in many of the shakers in the Art Deco era.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?

I don’t know how many shakers I have-certainly less than 100. About 50 of my favorites are displayed in my family room on shelves and display cabinets that line the room. These include a mint Revere Empire, Napier Penguin, Farber Bubble, a 1935 Chase Blue Moon, Maxwell-Phillips Hour Glass, and other named and unnamed tributes to fine design. This includes figural shakers in the shape of a bowling pin, a bar bell, a fire extinguisher, a bell, and a rolling pin.

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?

The oldest shaker in my collection is a Chinese export by maker Wang Hing; this shaker is from the late nineteenth century. Most of my shakers are from the 20’s and 30’s. A few days ago I bought a cobalt glass and silver banded shaker. I picked it up at a rural antique dealer for $35.00. My last significant investment was a ruby West Virginia Specialty Glass Lady’s Leg. It is gorgeous! This is the only shaker that I have in my bedroom.
Which is your favorite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?

This is an unfair question; I don’t have a favorite, I have many. Of course I love my Empire for superb design and construction, I love my Lady’s Leg for its crazy, over-the-top style, I love the Farber Bubble, I love my rolling pin, I love an unknown, and under appreciated, cone-shaped with black stripes shaker, I love them all.

Is there still a cocktail shaker or bar item you have heard about but never seen? Something like the Holy Grail of Shakers?

I’ve only seen pictures of Desney of Paris and a green glass fire extinguisher. A cobalt Lady’s Legg is a myth, I think.

What do you think about modern bar design; i.e.; the Flip Top shaker by Metrokane?

I have a Metrokane. It’s oaky. I prefer a 3-piece shaker. The Nambe Twist is beautiful as is the Faberge cut cobalt to clear. I own them both. The later was a gift from my son.

Do you think reproducing vintage shakers is a good idea?

NO! While I think that everyone should have access to beautiful design, copies need to be clearly marked as such and so many of them are not. Restoration Hardware sells copies of some of the more desirable copies of rare shakers; they fortunately clearly mark their reproductions. I was recently working with a reputable antique dealer on an Asprey Thirst Extinguisher. They had a fake, but to verify this I had to consult the research department of Asprey! The listing has still not been removed (they still claim Asprey contracted to Turton which is why their shaker has the Turton hallmark). As the prices of the rarest shakers go up, we all need to be vigilant of fakes

What are your future projects and plans?

I will continue to look for unusual examples of fine design, but I will not mortgage my house to pay for a rare shaker. I think the fun is in the hunt and I will continue hunting!