If you have a set of basic tools, they make it easier to mix an array of cocktails, both classic and contemporary. As you continue to build and add to your bar tool kit, you’ll be able to expand your cocktail making repertoire, and impress even the most discerning cocktail aficionados with your mixology skills.
Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
An essential for those beloved mules, only an authentic Moscow Copper Co. mule mug will do. Choose between original or hammered copper.
The classic hourglass shaped jigger is a metal measuring device, usually consisting of two conical cups, one side measuring 1 ounce (aka a “pony” shot) and the other side measuring 1 and a 1/2 ounces (a “jigger”).
An alternative to the aforementioned Boston Shaker, the Cobbler style is a little easier to use for home mixologists. This three part shaker features a shaker, a lid with a built-in strainer, and a cap for the lid. In some Cobblers, the lid is also a one ounce shot measure.
The standard shaker used by most bartenders, the Boston features a heavy-bottomed, tempered 16 ounce glass, and a larger stainless steel cup.
The metal strainer that bartenders often use in conjunction with the Boston Shaker, to hold back ice or any loose ingredients, such as herbs, fruit or pulp. The Hawthorn features two to four prongs to keep it from slipping into the shaker, and a metal coil for a snug fit.
This spoon-shaped strainer is usually the preferred choice when straining a cocktail from a mixing glass versus a shaker or tin.
A small, fine mesh strainer that can be used to double-strain drinks, especially cocktails that feature fresh juices or egg whites.
While many home bartenders make do with using a wooden spoon or its handle, a muddling stick is custom-built for the task. Various sizes are usually available, and feature a flat end that is used to gently mash fruit, sugar cubes, fresh herbs and the like to release their oils and aromas. While wooden muddlers are more traditional, stainless steel and silicone varieties are gaining popularity.
A swivel-style vegetable peeler is ideal for cutting strips of zest from citrus fruits without getting too much of the bitter pith part of the peel. A Y-shaped peeler also works, and offers a wider blade, to cut larger sections of zest, often used for garnish.
Most home bars are already equipped with the wine and bottle opening device commonly known as the “ waiter’s friend” — it includes a cork-screw for opening wine or any corked bottle, a bottle cap opener, and a small knife that is handy for cutting foil, wax or plastic bottle caps or wrappers.
A long-handled metal spoon that is at least 10 inches in length and features a spiral handle, it is used for stirring or building drinks, either in a shaker or a glass.
A hinged citrus press large enough for lemons, limes or even smaller citrus such as tangerines is ideal for a home bar, and for cocktails that require smaller amounts of freshly squeezed citrus juice, such as our favorite — the Moscow Mule.
A microplane style zester is ideal for finely zesting citrus fruits such as limes and lemons, and also works well for ginger, and for hard spices such as nutmeg.
Small towels are any bartender’s multi-purpose essential, from mopping up ice or spills, wrapping ice for crushing, or covering the top of a champagne bottle while uncorking.