Home Bar Tool List
A complete Home Bar Tool List to help you make the best cocktails. If you make cocktails at home or love to entertain, you need this list. The investment is worth it and your drinks will be that much better. There’s a reason your bartender has so many tools behind the bar…
I love craft cocktails, beer, wine, you name it. One of my favorite things to do is go to a bar and have a few cocktails and then go home and try to recreate it or make up my own inspired by what I tried. I also love to make my own liqueurs, syrups, shrubs, bitters, etc. because let’s face it, that’s pretty cool. It also saves you money, so there’s that too.
Before you do any of that, you have to make sure you have the correct tools. Most of these tools will last forever and can be a one-time investment. In the long run, you will end up saving money by making your favorite cocktails at home instead of going to the bar all the time. This list has items on Amazon, they are affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you use my link. I only recommend things I would use.
An obvious essential for shaking up your favorite cocktail. I like this one because it has a built-in strainer and it’s stainless steel so it’s easy to clean.
2. Mesh strainer
Ok, I just told you the shaker had a built-in strainer and now you need another one?? Yup. This one has a smaller mesh that will catch any leftover citrus pulp or pieces you don’t want in your drink. It will also strain egg white drinks to make beautiful froth that floats perfectly on top of your cocktail. I use this tool for other things in the kitchen as well so it’s pretty useful.
There are many different muddler options out there. I like this one because the end is slightly rubbery to avoid scratching or cracking glass if you muddle with some elbow grease. It also has a stainless handle and now things are starting to match! This can also be a multi-purpose tool in your kitchen for tenderizing meat, crushing garlic, etc. For your bar, this tool is for those yummy mojitos, smashes, etc.
4. Bar spoon
This spoon is essential when stirring drinks. It’s stainless, has a cool spiraled handle and a muddler at the end. You still need the muddler mentioned above (in my opinion). I also like the weight it adds when stirring. There are many, many options for these spoons, and many uses. Yes, you need one and yes, it ups the cool factor.
5. Stirring glass
You need this for stirring cocktails. I like this one because it comes with a strainer (yes, yet another strainer) that already fits and keeps the stirred ice from your cocktail that you are pouring over fresh ice.
6. Ice tray(s)
This is plural because I do think you should have round and square ice cubes for different drinks and glasses. There are also different scientific reasons for the different shapes, but we are focusing on the use and looks today. This set comes with both square and round and is made of silicone for easy removal and clean up. Tip: to get clear ice cubes, boil the water first, allow it to cool slightly and then freeze.
7. Multi-sized jiggers
There are many different types of jiggers out there. I like this set because there are several measurements and they are the classic style. They also make all-in-one versions like this one, just make sure you measure correctly. Eyeballing in a cocktail can lead to disaster and if you are using expensive liquor, you don’t want to mess up.
8. Juicing apparatus
I have several juicers and this is the type I use most often. You can do a few pieces of fruit at a time, it pours easy, gets all the juice and it’s quick. It’s glass so it’s also easy to clean. I have a handheld classic juicer and a countertop push down juicer, but I don’t use them as often.
There are several “bartender” multi-tools and peelers out there like this one, but I use my trusty peeler in my kitchen to make garnishes for my drinks. It’s easy, quick and like other things on this list, you can use this tool for more than one thing. I also find I can manage the depth of the cut more with this tool.
10. Garnish sticks
Can you just use toothpicks? Yup, I do it all the time. These are nice because they are longer and look better. You get 100 and it will probably take you a while to go through them. There are also reusable versions like this if you don’t want to throw away things all the time.
This one is tricky because there are so many different glasses out there. I believe it’s a personal preference, but there are some basics I’ll list here: martini glasses, coupes, old fashioned (low ball), high ball, red wine, white wine, champagne glasses, beer glasses, etc.
Beer and wine glasses require a whole new post. Use what you like, but make sure you are doing your cocktail or drink justice. For some reason, I swear it makes it taste better….cheers!
There are also some bartending toolsets available if you want to get more items at once. You may already have some of these tools and need to build from there. I hope you find this list helpful and continue to experiment with making cocktails at home.
Check out some of my cocktail recipes:
Homemade Syrup, Liquor, and Garnish Recipes:
- Homemade Creme de Cassis
- Lavender Syrup
- Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
- Fresh Fruit Shrub Recipe
- Homemade Luxardo Cherries