Setting Up Your Home Bar // The Tools
Being a home mixologist is fun. It’s also cool to be the guy who can whip up amazing cocktails when you’re entertaining. But in order to do so, you’ve got to have the right tools for the job. Here’s a list of 10 essential home bar tools.
10 Must-Have Home Bar Tools
1. Jiggers. Jiggers come in many shapes, sizes and volumes. However, you only really need two – a 1 oz. x 2 oz. and a 1/2 oz. x 3/4 oz – and don’t need to spend a lot on them.
2. Julep Strainer. This is the strainer you use for your stirred drinks. Again, you could shell out over $20 for a gold-plated version, but that’s not necessary. But this one for $4 works just as well.
3. Hawthorne Strainer. For your shaken cocktails. It’s designed to fit snuggly over a shaker tin and works best in conjunction with a fine mesh strainer (see No. 6).
4. Bar Spoon. Unlike jiggers and strainers, a bar spoon is something worth spending a bit extra on. I had a very cheap one at first and did not like how flimsy it felt. For a mere $5 extra, I found one that’s a lot more solid and feels great in the hand.
5. Mixing Glass. You can definitely build your stirred cocktails in a pint glass, but I recommend investing in a more elegant vessel, like this Yarai mixing glass. It’s beautiful, much more functional (check out that spout for pouring) and looks great displayed on your bar cart.
6. Fine Mesh Strainer. I always double strain both my stirred and shaken cocktails so the drink looks smooth and clear. A fine mesh strainer keeps the small ice chips out and also ensures any pulp from citrus doesn’t make it into the glass of your shaken drinks.
7. Shaker Tin. An inexpensive item needed for making shaken cocktails.
8. Pint Glass. For use in conjunction with your shaker tin. You’ve probably already got a collection of these in your cabinet. Though a lot of bartenders use a smaller metal shaker tin, I prefer the pint glass so I can see the drink as I’m building it.
9. Muddler. One tip for muddling fruit or herbs: don’t smash it so much that breaks apart. The goal is to simply release some of the juice so you get the essence of whatever you’re muddling. Take this to heart when you’re muddling mint for a mojito.
10. Peeler. For making standard as well as creative garnishes. A citrus juicer is also handy, though I often just prick my lemons and limes with a fork before squeezing out the juice.
Extra Credit: Swizzle Stick. Not something you’ll use often, but good to have for certain summer cocktails. It’s also a great conversation piece when displayed on a bar cart!
Shop Home Bar Tools
Now that you’ve got the tools, it’s time to make some drinks. Check out our ever-growing collection of cocktail recipes to get started.
Thanks for reading, happy mixing and cheers!
He Spoke Style