The Essentials Bar Tools
- Cocktail Shaker (shop now)
I prefer tin on tin shakers over cobbler and parisian shakers. You can shake multiple cocktails at a time and they separate easily with a little practice.
- Japanese Jigger (shop now)
A taller, narrow jigger is more forgiving with your pours and most have inner markings for finer measurements.
- 12″ Bar Spoon (shop now)
This length bar spoon is ideal for the average sized mixing glass. The teardrop style bar spoons are weighted for balance but can also be used as a stirring rod.
- Hawthorne Strainer (shop now)
There are 3 kinds of strainers used when making cocktails but the hawthorne is the essential tool that can potentially replace the others. It helps hold back ice whilst straining your cocktail but if it has tight coils, you can potentially do away with the fine strainer too.
- Paring Knife (shop now)
Essential for cutting fruit and garnishes.
- Chopping Board
Protect your bench whilst chopping fruit and garnishes.
- Citrus Press / Reamer (shop now)
A citrus press is handy for pressing lemons and limes on the fly whilst a citrus juicer is most likely needed for larger fruit such as oranges and grapefruit.
- Ice Moulds (shop now)
Making cocktails requires a lot of ice so stock up on ice moulds. 1.25″ cubes are the ideal size for shaking, straining and serving mixed drinks.
The “Nice to Have” Bar Tools
- Mixing Glass (shop now)
The mixing glass didn’t make the absolute essentials list because you can always use a shaker tin as a replacement when you’re getting started, although I’d always prefer to have a nice chilled mixing glass to prepare my drinks.
There are two kinds of peeler that I recommend: 1) the OXO Y Peeler – careful! They’re sharp! 2) the Boska Cheese Slicer.
- Fine Strainer (shop now)
This particular strainer is ideal for preventing pips, pulp and ice shards ending up in your finished drink.
- Muddler (shop now)
Plastic muddlers are more hygienic but I still prefer the aesthetics of a well-made wooden muddler. Ideal for muddling limes in a Caipirinha and gently pressing mint in a Julep!
- Funnel (shop now)
If you’re serious about making cocktails at home then you’ll be making your own syrups. A funnel makes life much easier when transferring liquids.
- Mallet (shop now)
Only necessary if you want to level up your ice game! Use it in conjunction with your lewis bag to produce crushed ice, or use it with a serrated knife to split large blocks of clear ice (if you use the directional freezer cooler method).
- Lewis Bag (shop now)
Handy for producing crushed ice so as to not make a mess.
- Julep Strainer (shop now)
Use in conjunction with a mixing glass to hold back the ice when straining, although this can easily be replaced with a Hawthorne strainer.