Bar Tools

Tools 101

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Tools 101 highlights the necessary tools one needs when starting out with home bartending. Your bar tools are the foundation on which you’ll build out your creations, so these are items that *every* homebar absolutely needs to have on hand. I’m keeping this as short as possible, but check out Tools 102 below if you’re looking for more.


  • Shaker

Most stainless shakers (any style) should work just fine. This is your workhorse for any shaken cocktail

  • Mixing Glass

Used to mix your cocktails when stirring. Keeping it simple – any pint glass will work fine.

  • Long handle bar spoon

A regular spoon is hard to use when stirring drinks with ice to get proper dilution. Get a nice weighted one and avoid the ones with the little red caps. I’ve been using this Swissmar one for years.

  • Hawthorne Strainer

Used to strain and keep ice out of your cocktails after mixing or using a Boston-style shaker. I use the OXO one

  • Jigger

Critical for measuring for your cocktails. Choose one that has 1/4oz, 1/2oz, 3/4oz, 1oz, and 1.5/2oz measurement markers. I like the OXO Steel Double jigger and OXO angled jigger

  • Y peeler

Used to peel citrus for your garnishes. Again I’m an OXO fangirl


Fundamentals and technique behind cocktail creations

Classic and extensive recipes in digital form definitely worth getting if you have an iPhone

Tools  102: more tools

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Once you have all the basics and are looking to expand your tools arsenal, here are some additional tools that are great to have for your basic home bar. These are not *critical* and you can still make awesome cocktails without it, but these are all indispensable in my collection.


  • Citrus press

Strongly recommend a stainless steel hand press. They are pricier than aluminum ones but are much sturdier and will last you forever

  • Muddler

Wooden flat-ended ones are best

  • Small mesh strainer

Used to ‘double-strain’ a drink to remove all ice shards and any large particles from added ingredients for maximum smoothness and clarity. I use an OXO one


  • Cocktail glassware

Cocktail coupes, Old Fashioned glasses, Highball glasses

  • Ice molds

Square and round molds will take your cocktail creations up a notch – those half moon fridge cubes are no fun

  • Cocktail picks

Recommend stainless steel reusable ones for adding garnishes to your creations


Huge collection of classic archived recipes

Technique, ingredients, and recipes to create professional cocktails at home

Note: Some links provided are Amazon Affiliate links. Feel free to use them to support my page, or alternatively just look them up directly from Amazon.

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