Essential Bar Tools for a Home Bar

Now that you’ve stocked your newly-built home bar with essential spirits and mixers and modifiers, it’s time to get your bar tools in order.

Essential Bar Tools for a Home Bar

In the third part of How to Set Up a Home Bar series, we’ve partnered with barGEEK online barware store to bring you the essential bar tools for your home bar.

We’ve assumed you already have common kitchen items such as a sharp knife, a chopping board and a vegetable peeler so here are the ten essential bar tools for a home bar.

Essential Bar Tools for a Home Bar

1. Cocktail Shaker

Used for shaking drinks, cocktail shakers mainly come in three types. The Boston Shaker has a tin and a Boston glass and is what you often see in bars. It can be more cumbersome to use for the home bar beginner. The Cobbler Shaker or a three piece shaker has a metal tin, a lid with in-built strainer and a cap and allows you to shake then strain. The Parisian Cocktail Shaker (pictured) is a two piece shaker without the integrated strainer. Aside from aesthetics, you get more control out of using a Hawthorn or Julep strainer than the in-built one.

2. Mixing Glass

The Mixing Glass is used for stirring drinks. Some mixing glasses like the elegant 500ml Japanese Mixing Glass with cut-crystal come with a pouring spout for smooth pouring.

3. Jigger

A Jigger is a liquid measuring tool that is essential for accuracy. Various styles include the popular hourglass Japanese style double-ended jigger which can hold 30/60 ml and also comes in 15/30 ml.

4. Hawthorn Strainer

The Hawthorn Strainer is a metal tool with a spring coil that fits over a mixing glass or a shaker used to strain drinks and trap ice and solids. The spring fits snugly around a shaker, and less so around a mixing glass. It serves another purpose which is to control the amount of liquid you are pouring.

5. Julep Strainer

The Julep Strainer is an alternative to the Hawthorn Strainer often used to strain cocktails from a mixing glass. It can be as simple as as a round or oval shaped tool with holes or an elegant one such as the Vintage Shell Julep Strainer shown above. According to cocktail historian Jared Brown, it can also be used as an ice scoop.

6. Fine Mesh Strainer

When drinks call for double straining, you need a Fine Mesh Strainer to remove tiny shards of ice and other solids. To use, hold it between the glass and the first strainer as you pour.

7. Citrus Juicer

The Citrus Juicer or Mexican Elbow is a handy tool that makes juicing a lot quicker and easier. Cut the citrus in half, put the cut half side down and squeeze. It fits lime, lemons and small oranges.

8. Bar Spoon

The Bar Spoon is used for stirring as well as a measure for small amounts . Its long handle ensures it reaches the bottom of the mixing glass while the twirled shaft helps it to move better around the glass. Some bar spoons come with a fork at the other end used for picking up garnishes such as olives.

9. Pourer

Essential for not wasting any precious liquid, the Pourer is an inexpensive tool that fits on the neck of the bottle and allows for easy pouring and less spillage.

10. Muddler

A Muddler is used to crush or muddle ingredients together in the bottom of a mixing glass, a cocktail shaker or a heavy bottomed glass, such as muddling citrus, sugar and mint for a Mojito.

Next in How to Set Up a Home Bar series… Part 5 – Essential Glassware for a Home Bar

Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved.

Essential Bar Tools for a Home Bar was last modified: August 30th, 2017 by Corinne Mossati
Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars and popular online magazine Gourmantic. She is named in the Australian Bartender Magazine Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy who judges the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions. Read the full bio here.