what tools do i need to create a basic home bar setup 5
what tools do i need to create a basic home bar setup 5

Creating a basic home bar setup is an exciting venture that allows us to indulge in the joy of bartending from the comfort of our own homes. But where do we begin? To transform our living spaces into enticing cocktail lounges, we must gather the essential tools. From shakers and strainers to jiggers and muddlers, equipping ourselves with the right arsenal not only ensures we can craft delicious cocktails, but also enhances our overall bartending experience. In this article, we will explore the essential tools needed to build a basic home bar setup, empowering us to shake, stir, and sip our way to cocktail perfection. Creating a basic home bar setup is an exciting endeavor that allows us to have a taste of the cocktail culture without having to leave the comfort of our own home. Whether we’re looking to impress our friends with our mixology skills or simply enjoy a refreshing drink at the end of a long day, having the right tools is essential. In this article, we will explore the essential bar tools that every home bar should have, as well as some optional extras to take our bartending game to the next level.

Essential Bar Tools

Cocktail Shaker

The cocktail shaker is arguably the most iconic tool in any bar setup. It is used to mix and chill ingredients, creating perfectly balanced and refreshing cocktails. There are two main types of cocktail shakers: the Boston shaker and the Cobbler shaker. The Boston shaker consists of a metal tin and a mixing glass, while the Cobbler shaker has a three-piece design with a built-in strainer. Whichever type we choose, a cocktail shaker is a must-have tool for any aspiring home bartender.


Accurate measurements are crucial in the world of mixology, and that’s where the jigger comes in. This small, hourglass-shaped tool is used to measure spirits and other ingredients precisely. A standard jigger typically has two sides, with one measuring 1 ounce and the other measuring 1.5 ounces. Investing in a good quality jigger will ensure that our cocktails are consistently well-balanced and delicious.


Pouring our perfectly mixed cocktail into a glass full of ice and fruit chunks is not the most appealing sight. That’s where the strainer comes in handy. A strainer is used to separate the liquid from the solid ingredients, providing a smooth and refined drinking experience. There are a few different types of strainers to choose from, such as the Hawthorne strainer and the Julep strainer. Having one of these in our bar tool collection is essential for creating visually stunning and well-presented cocktails.

Bar Spoon

When it comes to stirring cocktails, a regular spoon just won’t cut it. A bar spoon is a long, slender spoon specifically designed for mixing drinks. Its twisted handle allows us to effortlessly stir and layer ingredients, ensuring optimal flavor distribution. Not only is a bar spoon practical, but it also adds a touch of elegance to our cocktail-making process. Investing in a quality bar spoon will make us feel like a professional mixologist every time we create a drink.


Some cocktails require the release of flavorful oils and fragrances from herbs, fruits, or sugar cubes. That’s where the muddler comes in handy. This tool is used to crush and muddle ingredients in the bottom of a glass, allowing us to extract the maximum amount of flavor. From mojitos to old fashioneds, a muddler is an essential tool for creating cocktails that burst with complexity and depth.


No home bar setup is complete without a collection of stylish and functional glassware. Different cocktails call for different types of glasses, each designed to enhance the drinking experience and showcase the unique characteristics of each drink. Here are a few essential glassware pieces to consider:

Cocktail Glasses

Cocktail glasses, also known as martini glasses, are a must-have for any home bar. These iconic stemmed glasses are designed to hold cocktails that are typically served without ice, such as martinis, cosmopolitans, and margaritas. The wide-mouthed, V-shaped bowl allows for the perfect presentation of these sophisticated and elegant drinks.

Highball Glasses

Highball glasses, also known as Collins glasses, are tall and slender, making them perfect for cocktails mixed with a larger quantity of non-alcoholic mixer. These versatile glasses are commonly used for long drinks like highballs, mojitos, and gin and tonics. Having a set of highball glasses on hand ensures that we can enjoy our favorite refreshing cocktails in style.

Old Fashioned Glasses

Old Fashioned glasses, also known as rocks glasses or lowball glasses, are sturdy and short with a thick base. They are perfect for serving cocktails that are meant to be enjoyed slowly, like the classic Old Fashioned itself. These glasses are also great for serving spirits on the rocks or neat, providing a touch of sophistication to our home bar setup.

What Tools Do I Need To Create A Basic Home Bar Setup?

This image is property of grottonetwork.com.

Mixing Tools

To create the perfect cocktail, we need a few essential mixing tools that will help us extract the maximum flavor from our ingredients. Here are some must-have mixing tools for our home bar:

Citrus Juicer

Many cocktails call for freshly squeezed citrus juice, and a citrus juicer is the perfect tool for this task. Whether it’s lemons for a zesty Daiquiri or limes for a tangy Margarita, a citrus juicer ensures we get every last drop of juice, leaving behind the bitter pith. By using freshly squeezed juice, we can elevate the taste of our cocktails to a whole new level.

Ice Bucket

Properly chilled cocktails are essential for a refreshing drinking experience, and an ice bucket is a practical and stylish way to keep our ice at the perfect temperature. Whether we’re serving our drinks on the rocks or in a shaker, an ice bucket allows us to easily access ice whenever we need it, without having to make frequent trips to the freezer.

Ice Cube Trays

Not all ice cubes are created equal, and for some cocktails, the shape and size of the ice can make all the difference. Investing in ice cube trays that create different shapes and sizes of ice cubes, such as spheres, cubes, or even crushed ice, can add a touch of sophistication to our cocktails. Plus, it’s a fun and creative way to impress our guests.

Cutting Board

To create beautiful garnishes and prepare fresh ingredients, a reliable cutting board is a must. Whether we’re slicing citrus fruits for a garnish or dicing herbs for muddling, a sturdy and spacious cutting board provides a safe and convenient surface for all our prep work.


Having a sharp and versatile knife in our bar setup is essential for any home bartender. From cutting fruit to trimming garnishes, a good quality knife ensures that we can handle all our cutting and slicing tasks with ease. Invest in a high-quality, durable knife that feels comfortable and secure in our hand for an enjoyable and efficient bartending experience.

Measuring Tools

When it comes to mixology, precision is key. That’s why having accurate measuring tools is essential for creating well-balanced and delicious cocktails. Here are a few measuring tools to consider for our home bar:

Measuring Cups

Measuring cups provide a quick and convenient way to measure larger quantities of liquid ingredients, such as juices, syrups, and mixers. Look for measuring cups with clear and easy-to-read markings to ensure accurate measurements every time.

Measuring Spoons

For smaller liquid or solid ingredients, such as bitters, garnishes, or herbs, a set of measuring spoons comes in handy. These spoons usually come in sets with different sizes, allowing us to measure small quantities accurately. Having a set of measuring spoons ensures that we can replicate our favorite cocktails with precision.

What Tools Do I Need To Create A Basic Home Bar Setup?

This image is property of www.mydomaine.com.

Bar Accessories

In addition to the essential tools, there are a few bar accessories that can elevate our home bar setup and make our bartending experience even more enjoyable. Here are a few worth considering:

Bottle Opener

A bottle opener is a basic yet essential tool for any home bar. Whether we’re opening a beer bottle or a soda, having a reliable bottle opener within reach ensures that we can enjoy our favorite drinks without any hassle.


For those who enjoy wine, a corkscrew is a must-have tool. Choose a corkscrew that is easy to use and removes the cork cleanly without any breakage. With a good corkscrew, we can confidently open bottles of wine and enjoy a glass of our favorite vintage.

Wine Stopper

To keep our opened bottles of wine fresh and flavorful, investing in a set of wine stoppers is a smart choice. These handy accessories create an airtight seal, preventing oxidation and prolonging the shelf life of our favorite wines.

Wine Pourer

For those who love to entertain or enjoy a glass of wine on a regular basis, a wine pourer can be a practical and stylish addition to our home bar setup. Wine pourers help prevent drips and spills, ensuring that our wine is poured smoothly and elegantly into our glass.

Garnish Tools

Garnishes not only enhance the visual appeal of our cocktails but also contribute to their flavor profile. Here are a few garnish tools that every home bar should have:


A zester is a handy tool used to create decorative strips of zest from citrus fruits. These zest strips can be used to add a burst of citrus flavor and visual appeal to our cocktails. Whether we’re garnishing a Martini with a lemon twist or a Margarita with a lime zest, a zester is a must-have tool for any home bartender looking to take their drink presentation to the next level.


A peeler is useful for creating thin and uniform strips of fruit or vegetable peel. These strips can be used to garnish cocktails or even as a flavorful twist in a drink. From cucumber ribbons to orange curls, a peeler allows us to get creative and add a unique touch to our home bar creations.

Paring Knife

A paring knife is a versatile tool that can be used for precision cutting and creating intricate garnishes. From slicing fruit wedges for our Margaritas to carefully peeling garnishes, a sharp paring knife is an essential tool for any home bartender who enjoys adding a personal touch to their drinks.

What Tools Do I Need To Create A Basic Home Bar Setup?

This image is property of www.marthastewart.com.


Properly storing our bar tools and glassware is essential for maintaining their quality and longevity. Here are a few storage options to consider for our home bar setup:

Bar Cart

A bar cart is a perfect storage solution for those who prefer a mobile and easily accessible bar setup. With multiple shelves and storage compartments, a bar cart allows us to keep our bar tools, mixers, and glassware organized and within reach. Plus, it adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to our home d├ęcor.

Shelving Unit

For those with a larger collection of bar tools and glassware, a sturdy shelving unit provides ample storage space. Look for a shelving unit with adjustable shelves to accommodate different sizes of glassware and bottles. With a well-organized shelving unit, we can easily find and display our favorite tools and glassware while keeping our home bar setup clutter-free.

Wine Rack

A wine rack is a practical and stylish storage solution for our wine collection. From wall-mounted racks to countertop options, wine racks come in a variety of designs and sizes to suit our individual needs. With a wine rack, we can proudly display and store our favorite bottles while keeping them easily accessible.

Glassware Cabinet

To ensure that our glassware remains clean, dust-free, and ready for use, a glassware cabinet is an ideal storage option. These cabinets come with glass doors, allowing us to showcase our glassware while protecting it from potential damage. Look for a cabinet with adjustable shelves to accommodate different sizes and shapes of glassware.

Cleaning Tools

Keeping our bar tools and glassware clean and in pristine condition is essential for maintaining the quality of our drinks. Here are a few cleaning tools to consider for our home bar:

Bar Towels

Bar towels are an essential tool for any home bartender. These absorbent and durable towels are handy for wiping up spills, drying glassware, and cleaning our bar tools. Invest in a few high-quality bar towels to ensure that they can withstand frequent use and washing.

Glass Cleaner

To keep our glassware crystal clear and spotless, a good quality glass cleaner is a must. Look for a glass cleaner that is specifically designed for barware, as it will help to remove any residue or fingerprints without leaving streaks. Cleaning our glassware regularly ensures that we can enjoy our cocktails in all their glory.

Bottle Brush

When it comes to cleaning our cocktail shaker, decanters, or bottles with narrow openings, a bottle brush is a handy tool. These brushes are designed with long, flexible handles and bristles that can easily reach into tight spots and remove any residue. Cleaning our bar tools regularly ensures that they are ready for our next cocktail creation.

What Tools Do I Need To Create A Basic Home Bar Setup?

This image is property of assets.architecturaldigest.in.

Optional Extras

For those of us looking to take our home bar setup to the next level, there are a few optional extras to consider. These tools can add a touch of style, creativity, and convenience to our bartending experience:


A blender is a versatile tool that opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to cocktails. From frozen margaritas to homemade fruit purees and smoothies, a blender allows us to create refreshing and flavorful drinks with ease. Having a blender on hand also allows us to experiment with different textures and consistencies, taking our mixology skills to a whole new level.

Mortar and Pestle

For those who enjoy creating their own homemade bitters, syrups, or muddled cocktails, a mortar and pestle is an essential tool. This traditional grinding tool allows us to crush and release the flavors of herbs, spices, and fruits, creating unique and aromatic ingredients for our cocktails. By using a mortar and pestle, we can elevate the complexity and depth of our drinks.

Soda Siphon

If carbonated cocktails are our preference, a soda siphon is worth considering. This device carbonates water, allowing us to create our own fizzy mixers and spritzers. By using a soda siphon, we can customize carbonation levels to suit our taste preferences, ensuring that our cocktails have the perfect amount of effervescence.

Electric Citrus Juicer

For those who frequently mix cocktails that require a large quantity of citrus juice, an electric citrus juicer can be a time-saving and convenient addition to our home bar setup. These juicers are designed to extract maximum juice from citrus fruits with minimal effort. With an electric citrus juicer, we can easily prepare cocktails for a crowd without straining our hands or wrists.


Creating a basic home bar setup is an exciting journey that allows us to explore the world of mixology from the comfort of our own home. By investing in the essential bar tools, glassware, mixing tools, measuring tools, bar accessories, garnish tools, storage solutions, and cleaning tools, we can take our bartending skills to the next level and enjoy perfectly balanced and visually stunning cocktails. So gather your favorite tools, stock up your glassware cabinet, and get ready to impress your friends and elevate your home bar experience. Cheers to creating delicious cocktails and enjoying the art of mixology!

What Tools Do I Need To Create A Basic Home Bar Setup?

This image is property of planner5d.com.