Bar Basics: Tools of the Trade

Introducing a new feature that gives you all the information you need to set up your home bar. 

Gathering gear for your home bar can be overwhelming. There seems to always be a new specialty tool - different types of spoons, strainers, and even tweezers! But you really only need a few tools to start making craft cocktails at home. You can find these at your local liquor store or in our Essential Bar Kit.


jiggerThe most important tool in your bar! You've probably seen the double ended jiggers with that measure out a shot on one side and a half shot on the other. For craft cocktails, we prefer a graduated jigger for more precise measurements. 

Shaker Tins

shaker tinsThere are a range of shakers out there - a three piece one with a strainer built in, a Boston shaker usually has one tin and one pint glass. We're partial to using two metal shaker tins - one 18oz and one 28oz. Not only will this type of shaker get your cocktail the coldest, but the 28oz tin can double as a mixing glass for stirred cocktails. 

Hawthorne Strainer

hawthorne strainerJust like shakers, there are many types of strainers, each traditionally used for different styles of drinks. The Hawthorne Strainer, featuring a large coil spring, is the best all-purpose one. It fits easily on top of your shaker tin or mixing glass and will hold back any ice and most citrus pulp and herbs. 


bar spoonThis weighted tool to easily stir cocktails in your tall shaker tin or mixing glass. A "barspoon" is also a unit of measurement in a lot of drinks recipes. The little spoon usually holds about a teaspoon of liquid, perfect for more potent liqueurs and spirits. 

Bonus: Citrus Juicer

mexican elbowAlso known as a Mexican Elbow juicer, this hand held tool fits half a lemon or lime at a time and will strain out seeds and large pieces of pulp. A hand juicer isn't an essential tool, but it is one of the most useful ones to have on your bar. 


See the next post in the series: Core Cocktail Categories