Looking to kickstart your bartending journey? Look no further! In this article, we have curated a list of top-notch cocktail tools that are perfect for new bartenders. With these quality starter mixology gear, you’ll be shaking, stirring, and muddling like a pro in no time. From sleek cocktail shakers to essential jiggers and strainers, these tools are the must-haves for anyone looking to elevate their bartending skills. So, grab your apron, put on your mixologist hat, and let’s explore the wonderful world of cocktails together. Cheers!
When it comes to making cocktails, a good shaker is essential. There are several types of shakers available, each with its own unique design and functionality. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones!
The cobbler shaker is a classic choice for beginners. It consists of three pieces – a metal tin, a built-in strainer, and a cap. This makes it easy to shake and strain drinks without needing any additional tools. The cobbler shaker is known for its user-friendly design and versatility, making it a great option for those just starting out in the world of mixology.
The Boston shaker is a favorite among professional bartenders. It consists of two pieces – a large metal tin and a slightly smaller glass or metal tin. The two pieces fit snugly together to create a tight seal, allowing for a more vigorous shake. The Boston shaker is perfect for those looking to show off their cocktail shaking skills and create a bit of flair behind the bar.
The French shaker, also known as a Parisian shaker, is a stylish choice for any aspiring bartender. It consists of two metal tins that fit together to create a sleek and elegant shaker. While it doesn’t have a built-in strainer like the cobbler shaker, it can still be used effectively with a separate strainer. The French shaker is perfect for those who appreciate aesthetics and want their tools to reflect their personal style.
In addition to a good shaker, having the right strainer is vital for any bartender. A strainer helps to remove any solid particles or ice from the cocktail, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable drinking experience. Here are some popular choices for strainers:
The Hawthorne strainer is a classic choice that fits perfectly inside the metal tin of a shaker. It has a coiled spring that acts as a straining mechanism, allowing for easy pouring while keeping any unwanted solids out of the drink. The Hawthorne strainer is a must-have tool for any bartender looking to create perfectly strained cocktails.
The Julep strainer is a spoon-shaped strainer that is placed over the mouth of a glass or shaker tin. It’s perfect for straining cocktails that don’t require a shaker, such as those stirred or built directly in the glass. The Julep strainer is ideal for bartenders who want a traditional and elegant way to strain their drinks.
Fine Mesh Strainer
For those looking for an extra level of precision, a fine mesh strainer is the way to go. This type of strainer has a fine mesh screen that effectively filters out even the smallest particles, resulting in a crystal-clear cocktail. A fine mesh strainer is a valuable tool for bartenders who want to take their presentation and attention to detail to the next level.
Accurate measurement is key when it comes to creating balanced and delicious cocktails. That’s where jiggers come in. These handy tools ensure that you’re adding just the right amount of each ingredient. Here are some common types of jiggers:
A single jigger is a simple and straightforward tool. It consists of a single measuring cup, typically with a 1-ounce capacity on one side and a 1.5-ounce capacity on the other side. The single jigger is perfect for beginners who want to start off with a basic and easy-to-use measuring tool.
The double jigger is a versatile tool that offers more measuring options. It consists of two measuring cups nested inside each other, with different capacities on each end. This allows bartenders to easily measure both small and large amounts of liquid without needing to switch between different jiggers. The double jigger is a favorite among bartenders for its convenience and flexibility.
The Japanese jigger is known for its sleek and stylish design. It typically has a bell-shaped cup with a long and narrow spout, making it easier to pour liquids with precision. The Japanese jigger is perfect for bartenders who want to add a touch of elegance to their cocktail-making process.
Bar spoons are more than just a standard spoon. They are specifically designed to handle various tasks behind the bar, from stirring cocktails to muddling ingredients. Here are some popular types of bar spoons:
Twisted Bar Spoon
The twisted bar spoon is a versatile tool that can be used for stirring, layering, and muddling. Its twisted handle not only adds a stylish touch but also provides better control and grip. The long handle allows bartenders to reach the bottom of tall mixing glasses and easily mix ingredients together. The twisted bar spoon is a must-have for any bartender who wants to create well-blended and visually appealing cocktails.
Teardrop Bar Spoon
The teardrop bar spoon features a teardrop-shaped end that adds a touch of elegance to any cocktail. It is designed with a weighted handle, allowing for better balance and control while stirring. The teardrop bar spoon is perfect for bartenders who appreciate the finer details and want to elevate their stirring technique.
A muddler spoon combines the functionality of a bar spoon and a muddler. It typically has a flat end for stirring and a textured end for muddling ingredients such as fruits and herbs. The muddler spoon is a handy tool for bartenders who want to infuse their drinks with fresh flavors and aromas.
Muddlers are essential tools for bartenders who want to add fresh flavors and aromas to their cocktails. They are used to crush or muddle ingredients such as fruits, herbs, and sugar cubes. Here are some common types of muddlers:
The wooden muddler is a classic choice that is favored by many bartenders. It is usually made of hardwood, such as maple or beech, which is durable and resistant to staining. The wooden muddler is perfect for muddling ingredients without leaving any unwanted flavors behind.
Stainless Steel Muddler
The stainless steel muddler offers durability and ease of cleaning. It is typically made of high-quality stainless steel that is resistant to rust and corrosion. The stainless steel muddler is a great option for bartenders who prefer a sleek and modern look.
For those on a budget or looking for a lightweight option, a plastic muddler is a suitable choice. Plastic muddlers are affordable and easy to clean, making them a popular option for beginners or home bartenders. Despite their budget-friendly nature, plastic muddlers can still effectively muddle ingredients and enhance the flavors of cocktails.
Citrus is a common ingredient in many cocktails, and having the right tools to extract its juice and zest is essential. Here are some citrus tools that every bartender should consider having:
A citrus juicer makes it easy to extract fresh juice from citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges. These juicers usually consist of a cone-shaped cup with ridges and a handle. Simply place the cut fruit on the juicer, apply pressure, and rotate the fruit to extract the juice. A citrus juicer is a handy tool for bartenders who want to add a burst of citrus flavor to their cocktails.
A zester is used to remove the outer zest or peel of citrus fruits. It is perfect for adding a touch of citrus oil and aroma to cocktails. Zesters typically have small, sharp holes or blades that can easily remove the zest without digging too deep into the pith. A zester is an essential tool for bartenders who want to garnish their drinks with a twist of citrus zest.
A citrus peeler is a simple yet effective tool for removing the peel of citrus fruits in one continuous strip. This tool allows bartenders to easily create beautiful citrus twists for garnishing cocktails. Simply place the blade under the peel, rotate the fruit, and pull the peel away to reveal a perfectly shaped twist. A citrus peeler is perfect for bartenders who want to impress their guests with visually appealing drinks.
Straws are not only practical for sipping cocktails but can also add a touch of style to any drink presentation. Here are some popular types of straws:
Reusable Metal Straws
Reusable metal straws have gained popularity in recent years due to their eco-friendly nature. These straws are made of stainless steel and can be used repeatedly, eliminating the need for disposable plastic straws. Reusable metal straws are not only durable but also look sleek and sophisticated in any cocktail.
Biodegradable Paper Straws
For bartenders looking for an environmentally friendly option, biodegradable paper straws are a great choice. These straws are made from paper and are designed to break down naturally over time. Biodegradable paper straws are available in a variety of colors and patterns, making them a fun and eco-conscious addition to any cocktail.
Glass straws provide a unique and elegant drinking experience. They are typically made of high-quality borosilicate glass, which is resistant to breakage and heat. Glass straws are not only visually appealing but also allow bartenders and guests to fully appreciate the colors and layers of a well-crafted cocktail.
Properly chilled cocktails often require the use of ice, and having the right tools to handle and serve ice is essential. Here are some common ice tools:
An ice bucket is a staple behind any bar. It provides a convenient and stylish way to store and serve ice. Ice buckets are usually made of stainless steel or plastic and come in various sizes and designs. Having an ice bucket ensures that you always have a ready supply of ice to keep your cocktails cool and refreshing.
Ice tongs are used to pick up and transfer ice from the ice bucket to the shaker or glass. They are typically made of stainless steel and have serrated edges for a secure grip on the ice. Ice tongs are an essential tool for bartenders who want to handle ice hygienically and prevent cross-contamination.
An ice mallet is a powerful tool used to crush and break large ice blocks into smaller pieces. With an ice mallet, bartenders can easily create crushed ice for cocktails that require a frosty and refreshing touch. Ice mallets are typically made of wood or metal and are designed to withstand heavy-duty use.
Garnishes are the finishing touches that elevate the appearance and flavor of cocktails. Having the right garnish tools can help bartenders create visually stunning and flavorful drinks. Here are some essential garnish tools:
Garnish picks are small skewers or toothpicks that are used to secure garnishes such as olives, cherries, or citrus twists. They are available in various styles, from basic wooden picks to elaborate decorative picks. Garnish picks not only enhance the presentation of cocktails but also make it easier for guests to enjoy their drink with added garnishes.
A garnish peeler is a specialized tool for creating citrus twists. It typically has a curved blade that allows bartenders to easily remove a thin strip of zest from a citrus fruit. The peel can then be twisted and placed as a garnish on cocktails. A garnish peeler is perfect for bartenders who want to add a touch of elegance and citrus aroma to their drinks.
A garnish cutter is a handy tool for creating consistent and decorative garnishes. It typically has multiple blades or cutters in different shapes and sizes, allowing bartenders to create intricate designs from fruits and vegetables. A garnish cutter is ideal for bartenders who want to showcase their creativity and enhance the visual appeal of their cocktails.
Bar mats are not only practical but also help create a clean and organized workspace behind the bar. Here are some common types of bar mats:
Rubber Bar Mat
A rubber bar mat is a durable and non-slip mat that provides a stable surface for bartenders to work on. It helps to prevent glasses and bottles from sliding and breaking, as well as absorbs any spills or drips. Rubber bar mats are easy to clean and can be customized with logos or designs, adding a personal touch to the bar area.
A drying mat is used to air dry glassware after washing. It is typically made of absorbent materials such as microfiber or silicone. Drying mats help to prevent water spots and streaks on glassware, ensuring that every cocktail is served in pristine condition. Drying mats are a practical addition to any bar, ensuring that glassware is ready to use at a moment’s notice.
Bar Rail Mat
A bar rail mat is a longer, narrow mat that is placed along the edge of the bar counter. It provides a cushioned surface for bartenders to rest glasses and bottles, reducing the risk of breakage and spills. Bar rail mats are typically made of rubber or PVC and are easy to clean. Having a bar rail mat not only protects the bar counter but also creates a professional and organized appearance.
In conclusion, having the right cocktail tools can make a world of difference in the quality and presentation of your drinks. From shakers to strainers, jiggers to bar spoons, muddlers to garnish tools, each tool serves a specific purpose and adds to the overall cocktail-making experience. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced bartender, investing in quality cocktail tools will set you up for success and help you create memorable and delicious cocktails for your guests. So stock up on these essential tools and get ready to shake, stir, and garnish your way to cocktail perfection!