Tools Needed for At-Home Bartending
Updated: Mar 16
So, you've got all the ingredients you need, and now you want to practice being a real bartender. Any master of mixology will tell you that the bartending tools you have are vitally important as they are your vessel to creating masterpieces and you work with them constantly.
That being said, what tools and bar equipment do you need to get started right away with your at-home bartending gig?
Shaker: This is used to mix and chill cocktails. There are two main types of shakers, the Boston shaker which is a two-piece shaker (a metal tin and a mixing glass) and the cobbler shaker which is a three-piece shaker (metal top, strainer and bottom). This should be the first tool you purchase, as it is an essential cocktail mixing tool.
Pro-Tip: If the shaker gets stuck together, or the glass gets stuck in the shaker, just firmly bump the shaker where the seal meets the glass. It's best to use the bottom of your palm to get the most force without destroying your hand. If you're shaking with a pint glass this will keep the glass from shattering.
Jigger: This is a small measuring tool used to measure out the precise amount of ingredients in a cocktail recipe. There are a few different sizes and types to consider for your home bar, but one or two jiggers like the one below is all you should need to get started.
Cocktail Strainer: This is used to strain ice and other ingredients out of a shaken or stirred cocktail. There are also different types of strainer, but one that looks like this will be perfect for any cocktailing you're pursuing at home.
Muddler: This is a tool used to crush fruits, herbs, and other ingredients to release their flavors and aromas.
Bar spoon: This is a long-handled spoon used to stir cocktails. You could always use a regular spoon too, but these simply look cooler. They are also helpful for stirring ingredients while they are in the shaker like in the case of martinis and manhattans.
Glassware: A variety of glasses are needed for different types of cocktails such as cocktail glasses, wine glasses, and tumblers. We have a handy dandy guide for choosing glassware based on the cocktail you're making. For starters, we recommend pint glasses, martini glasses, and rocks glasses. We also love a good set of collins glasses for mojitos and lemonade cocktails. These should cover most cocktails or drinks that you'll be making in your home bar. You can always branch out and level up as you go on!
Bottle opener: You will use this more than you could ever know.
Pour Spouts for alcohol bottles: While these aren't completely necessary if you own a jigger, they sure as heck make pouring a LOT easier. They will need to be cleaned regularly and we recommend caps for the spouts if the bottles will be sitting out.
There you have it. There are plenty of great options for beginning bartending kits online, but feel free to mix and match what you need and want. It's all a learning process so have patience and go forth with your new cocktail making tools!!