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Shaken, Not Stirred


Photgraphy by Christopher Lucas

James Bond should head over to Robert Greenberg’s pad the next time he wants a martini. Greenberg has plenty of top-shelf booze—and a collection of more than 400 vintage cocktail shakers from all over the world.

Displayed throughout Greenberg’s Montclair home in specially designed cabinets, the shakers come in all sizes and shapes, including zeppelins, trophies, rocket ships, and lots of roosters (the word cocktail comes from “cock’s tail”). A line of yard-high shakers stands in front of his fireplace. “These can all be dated to 1933—the year Prohibition ended,” says Greenberg, who drinks dry martinis made with Bombay Sapphire gin. “These giant shakers were meant to pour enough martinis for the entire neighborhood.”

Greenberg is music historian-in-residence for San Francisco Performances and tours as a classical pianist, composer, and music lecturer, taking time between shows in London, Paris, Berlin, and Prague to scour antiques shops for the next great shaker.

For information about Greenberg’s Saturday morning lecture series with the internationally renowned Alexander String Quartet, visit www.performances.org. To read Greenberg’s tips on how to make the perfect martini, go to diablomag.com.

Collection: Cocktail shakers

Name: Robert Greenberg

Collecting Since: 1984

Number of shakers: 400 and counting

First shaker: A hand-me-down from his former in-laws

Purchased on ebay: 40–50 percent of collection

Sold on ebay: 0

Prize item: A silver pitcher and cup set by Gorham, which sold for $610 in the mid-1920s (pictured with Greenberg).

Click here for Robert Greenberg's Recipe for the Perfect Martini.

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