As with any hobby, it’s important to know and gather the essential home bartending tools needed to craft a good cocktail. Can you get by with a mason jar and other bootleg tools to make a cocktail? Yes. Should not having the proper tools stop you from making one of my splendid drinks? No.
I will say though investing $40-$50 in a set of home bar tools will make your life a lot easier when it comes to making drinks for you and your friends.
Based on the video above, here is a list of basic bar tools you need to get set up and a short description of what they’re used for.
A mixing glass is used for stirred cocktails. If your cocktail contains only booze, like a Negroni, manhattan, or old fashioned, then you stir.
If your cocktail contains booze plus fruit juice, fruit puree, dairy, egg whites, or coffee then you want to shake it. This helps to make sure all of your ingredients are well mixed together and chilled.
A bar spoon is a long handled spoon used to stir your cocktails. If you’re curious why the handle is so long, it’s to make sure it can reach the bottom of a tall glass, mixing glass, or cocktail shaker.
Used for measuring liquid ingredients. They have measurements on both ends (typically 2 ounces to 1 ounce) with markings on the inside with incremental measurements (1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, 1.5 oz). Very necessary to building a craft cocktail as it relies on precise amounts of each ingredient.
The most widely used strainer for a cocktail. It can be used for stirred or shaken cocktails. Hawthorne strainers have a spring gate around the end to catch solids like herbs, fruit, or ice, etc.
Fine Mesh Strainer
A secondary strainer used for “double straining.” It’s used when straining shaken cocktails to catch solids (like ice shards or pulp from fruit) that you don’t want in your cocktail.
Particular used when straining and pouring your cocktail from a mixing glass.
Used for pressing and gently mashing ingredients such as herbs or fruit to release the flavor. A lot of people think muddling needs to be super aggressive but take it easy on your ingredients.
Great to have on hand to extract the juice from lemons, limes, or small oranges. Using your hands for juicing works too, but tends to get messy.
Y-Peeler or Paring Knife
Used for peeling lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruit for the purpose of garnishing your cocktail.
Good to have for freezing bigger ice cubes to use in your cocktail. As you gain more confidence with the basics of making a cocktail at home, I highly advise you dump the molds and make your own crystal clear ice at home.
Used for piercing garnishes for your drink such as a maraschino cherry.
Disclosure: This page contains some Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link and/or purchase an item after clicking on a link, I may receive a percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use myself, and it allows me to continue creating content that adds value to you. Really appreciate all your support!