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
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.
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.
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.
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