Whether you own a home or public bar, your bartending skills need to be top-notch. This requires more than getting the right liquors, ingredients, and mixes. To make fantastic drinks efficiently (and impress your guests while you’re at it), you’ll need the right bartender tools and supplies.
You’ve probably seen some of the glimmering and strangely-shaped objects in a bar and wondered what they’re used for. We’re here to explain.
In this guide, we’ll explore some of the must-have bartending equipment for your bar. With these basic bartending tools, you’ll be rolling with the professionals!
Demitri’s Guide to the 13 Must-Have Bartender Tools
We’re sure you’re familiar with the classic corkscrew. To slide off corks of bottles effortlessly, you need a corkscrew. Invest in a stainless-steel corkscrew with a handle; your hands will thank you!
2. Cocktail shaker
Another essential bartending tool you should invest in is a cocktail shaker. For a drink that contains several ingredients that need mixing, a cocktail shaker is what you need.
Cocktail shakers can handle the mixing of any liquor, syrups, mixers, juices, and ice. There are several different kinds of cocktail shakers available. Some of them include:
- Boston shaker. This shaker is commonly used by bartenders. It consists of a mixing glass and a tin container. Both of them fit perfectly, making it airtight when mixing. Because one of the mixers is made of glass, you can see what you’re mixing.
- Cobbler. This shaker consists of a shaking tin, a fitted top and a built-in strainer, and a cap to cover the top of the shaker. If you’re a novice in the world of bartending, you might want to start with this.
- Parisian. Also called the French shaker, it consists of a metal cap and a bottom container.
- Tin-on-tin. Similar to the Boston shaker, this shaker consists of two containers made of tin. Perfect for mixing egg whites into cocktails.
3. Bloody Mary Seasonings
4. Cocktail strainer
Most cocktail shakers come with a built-in strainer. If yours doesn’t, you’d need to invest in one. Strainers are placed at the surface of the shaker to filter the solid particles and ice from getting into the drink as you pour.
Common types of strainers include:
- Hawthorn. This is a commonly-used strainer. It features a metal disc with holes and a handle to hold it in place over the shaker. Typically used alongside the Boston shaker.
- Julep. You can easily mistake it for a slotted spoon. But a julep consists of a shorter handle and a flat surface.
- Fine mesh. This is one of the most effective strainers available. It traps a tiny bit of fruits and ice from getting inside the drink.
5. Salt Rimmers
These are the perfect companion to any cocktail mix. Salt rimmers are applied to the surface of the glass before pouring in the cocktail. They not only provide a great taste but make a unique and memorable drink. Some essential flavors include:
- Original Rimshot. This features a unique blend of smoked salts, pepper, celery seed, Hawaiian sea salts.
- Bacon Rimshot. This garnish consists of Bacon Salt and exudes a smoky and tasty garnish for any Bloody mix.
- Margarita Rimshot. This garnish is specially made for margaritas. It features chili peppers, pomegranate, pineapple, and lime.
6. Bar Spoons
To properly stir your drinks, you can’t use just any spoons. You need bar spoons. This bartending utensil is typically longer, slimmer, and comes in a wide variety of styles. Examples of these spoons include:
- Japanese bar spoon. This spoon contains a long and slim stem that has a teardrop-shaped tip at one end. This tip makes for more weight when stirring. The other end contains a fork for picking vegetables and fruits for muddling.
- American bar spoon. This features a spoon at one end and a red rubber tip at the other. The middle part of the spoon is twisted.
- European bar spoon. This consists of a twisted stem, a spoon at one end, and a disc at the other. The disc can be used as a muddler for mashing veggies and fruits.
7. Margarita Mixes
There’s never a wrong time for margaritas. That’s why you always need to be prepared. To whip up delicious margaritas quickly, be sure to keep a quality margarita mix on your shelf.
With Demitri’s Margarita Mix, you don’t need to prepare margaritas from scratch (but it’ll taste like it).
8. Bar towels
A good bartender is a clean bartender. Get yourself some quality bar towels for your bar setup!
Bar towels are an essential in any bartender’s tool kit, and are used in cleaning tables, spills, glasses, and wiping your hands. They’re typically smaller, thicker, and plusher than kitchen towels.
9. Essential Glassware
Your cocktails can’t be served in just any glass. Real bartenders use different types of glasses for specific cocktails. Some of them include:
- Collins. This is a tall and slim glass that can contain 10 – 14 oz of liquid. The Collins is typically used to serve Tom Collins cocktails.
- Highball. Similar to Collins, the Highball can contain 8 – 12 oz of liquid. It is used to mix and serves drinks such as iced tea and tequila sunrise.
- Coupe. The coupe looks like a small bowl that is stemmed. It is used to serve cocktails such as daiquiris and aviation. You can also use it to serve champagne.
- Rocks. Also called lowball glass, Rocks is a short glass that can contain about 6 – 10 oz of liquid. It is used to serve whiskey or scotch with ice.
- Margarita. Looks like the coupe glass but contains two curves. It is used to serve margaritas and shrimp cocktails.
- Martini. It features a V-shaped bowl. It is used to serve martinis with olive pinned on a toothpick.
- Shot glass. This glass is built for a one-gulp drink. It can typically hold 20 – 25ml of liquid.
- Flute. This is a slim fancy glass used for mimosas and champagne. It can contain 6 – 10 oz of liquid. It also features a long stem for conveniently holding the glass.
Jiggers are measuring devices that bartenders use to measure various ingredients properly, making for a balanced cocktail. They are available in different sizes ranging from 0.75 oz, 1.5 0z, and 2 oz.
11. Ice pick
To move ice from the ice bag and into your glass, you need an ice pick. Ice picks are definitely barware essentials and are available in different sizes depending on your need.
12. Zesters and Peelers
Another essential addition to your bar kit? A zester and a peeler. Sharps knives will do the trick, but aren’t as time efficient. You need a peeler to peel off spuds, parsnip, carrots, or any other veggies. Zesters are used in zesting oranges, limes, grapes, or lemons to add flavor to your cocktail.
13. Ice bucket
An ice bucket is quite handy if your ice machine is located away from the bar counter. Also, ice buckets can double as a wine cooler when not in use!
Up Your Bartending Game. Shop Demitri’s.