Everything You Need to Know About Buying Bar Tools

Everything You Need to Know About Buying Bar Tools

When you're searching for bar and tools, knowing what you need is crucial for making standout cocktails. Here’s a quick guide to get you started:

  • Essential Tools: Jiggers, cocktail shakers, strainers, muddlers, bar spoons, citrus press, cutting board, and paring knife.
  • Key Ingredients: High-quality spirits, fresh mixers, and vibrant garnishes.
  • Why These Matter: The right tools and ingredients ensure precision, freshness, and flavor in every cocktail.

Mixology, the art of crafting cocktails, is more than just mixing drinks. It's about creating experiences and moments that resonate. Whether you're a seasoned professional or an enthusiastic home bartender, understanding and using the right bar tools is foundational to mixology. It transforms simple ingredients into memorable cocktails that delight and surprise.

Choosing the right tools not only elevates your cocktail game but also makes the entire process more efficient and enjoyable. From the satisfying click of a well-made shaker to the precise pour from a perfectly balanced jigger, every aspect of your bar setup contributes to the final taste and presentation of your creations.

Detailed infographic showing the use and importance of each bar tool – from jiggers for accurate measurement, shakers for perfect integration of flavors, strainers for smooth textures, to muddlers for releasing essential oils from fruit and herbs - bar and tools infographic pillar-5-steps

Armed with the essential tools and a passion for mixology, you're well on your way to crafting cocktails that will be the highlight of any gathering. Let's raise a glass to the vibrant world of cocktail making - where precision meets artistry.

Essential Bar Tools and Their Functions

When stepping into home bartending, understanding the essential bar and tools is crucial. These tools are the backbone of mixology, enabling you to craft drinks that are as delightful to look at as they are to taste. Let's dive into the must-haves for your home bar.


Jiggers are the unsung heroes of the cocktail world. These small measuring devices ensure that every drink you make has the perfect balance of flavors. Brands like OXO Good Grips, Piña Barware, Houdini Double Jigger, and Cocktail Kingdom offer jiggers that are not only accurate but also easy to handle. They come in various sizes, usually measuring 1 oz on one side and 2 oz on the other, though many have additional measurements for versatility.

Cocktail Shakers

A cocktail shaker is your best friend for mixing ingredients thoroughly, chilling your concoctions, and adding that professional flair to your bartending skills. The Weighted Shaking Tins and Boston Shakers are popular choices. Boston Shakers, consisting of a glass and a metal tin, are favored by professionals for their durability and ease of use. Meanwhile, weighted shaking tins provide an excellent seal and balance, perfect for those just starting out.


After shaking your cocktail, you'll need a strainer to separate the ice and any solid ingredients from the liquid. The Hawthorne Strainer is widely used for its versatility and ease of use. For finer particles, a Chinois or Fine Mesh strainer will ensure your cocktail is smooth and free of unwanted residue.

Muddlers and Bar Spoons

Muddlers allow you to extract the full flavor from fruits, herbs, and spices directly in the mixing glass. Wooden Muddlers are traditional and work well, but many bartenders now prefer stainless steel for its durability and ease of cleaning. Alongside, a good Bar Spoon is necessary for stirring drinks to perfection. The long handle and small spoon end make it ideal for mixing ingredients gently and reaching the bottom of tall glasses.

Additional Essentials

  • Citrus Press: Freshly squeezed juice can make a world of difference in a cocktail. A sturdy citrus press will save you time and effort.
  • Cutting Board and Paring Knife: For preparing garnishes and ingredients, a small cutting board and sharp paring knife are indispensable.

Cocktail Shaker and Jigger - bar and tools

Each tool serves a specific purpose, from measuring and mixing to muddling and straining. Brands like OXO, Piña Barware, Cocktail Kingdom, and others offer high-quality options that combine functionality with aesthetics. Whether you're shaking up a classic Martini or stirring a smooth Negroni, having the right tools at your disposal will elevate your mixology game.

Now that we've covered the essentials, let's move on to how you can select the best barware jigger for spillage-free pours and measurement accuracy.

Selecting the Best Barware Jigger

When it comes to crafting cocktails, precision is key. The difference between a good cocktail and a great one often comes down to the accuracy of your measurements. That's where a good jigger comes in. A jigger is a tool used to measure out the liquor and other ingredients for your drinks. Getting the right jigger can make your cocktail-making process smoother and more precise. Here, we'll look at what makes a jigger great and introduce you to some top picks.

Top Picks for Jiggers

1. OXO Good Grips Mini Angled Measuring Cup

  • Spillage-free Pours: The OXO Good Grips Mini features a patented angled surface that allows you to read measurement markings by looking straight down into the cup, reducing the chance of spills.
  • Measurement Accuracy: Clear markings in ounces, tablespoons, and milliliters ensure you're adding exactly the right amount of each ingredient.

2. Piña Barware Bell Jigger

  • Ergonomic Design: The bell shape is not just for looks; it makes the jigger more comfortable to hold and easier to pour without spilling.
  • Dual Sides for Versatility: One side measures up to 2 ounces while the other measures smaller quantities, allowing for quick adjustments without changing tools.

3. Houdini Double Jigger

  • Easy to Read: This jigger offers clear and distinct markings, ensuring that even in a dimly lit bar, you can measure accurately.
  • Balanced Weight: The Houdini Double Jigger feels solid in your hand, providing a sense of stability that helps reduce spills.

4. Cocktail Kingdom Japanese-Style Jigger

  • Precision Pouring: Its tall, slim design minimizes spillage, making it ideal for environments.
  • Durability: Made from high-quality stainless steel, this jigger is designed to withstand the rigors of professional use.

Why These Matter

Selecting a jigger isn't just about picking the one that looks the best on your bar cart (though aesthetics are certainly a factor). It's about finding a tool that fits comfortably in your hand, doesn't waste your precious spirits, and most importantly, ensures that every cocktail you craft is perfectly balanced.

Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or just starting out, investing in a quality jigger is a small step that can have a big impact on the quality of your cocktails. The right jigger makes it easy to measure out ingredients accurately, ensuring that each drink you make is as good as it can be.

Keep in mind that building your bar kit is about more than just collecting tools. It's about creating a set of instruments that work well together (and with you) to make the art of cocktail crafting a pleasure. With the right jigger in hand, you're one step closer to achieving mixology mastery. Let's now dive into how you can build the rest of your bar kit with the same level of care and precision.

Building Your Bar Kit

Building a bar kit is like assembling a toolkit for any craft; each tool serves a specific purpose that, when used correctly, can produce something remarkable. For budding mixologists or those looking to elevate their home bar, understanding the essentials is key. Here, we'll break down the must-have items for your bar kit.

Must-Have Items in a Bar Kit

Jiggers: These are the unsung heroes of precise cocktail making. A jigger is a small measuring device used to ensure you're adding the exact amount of each ingredient. Misjudging the volume can throw off a cocktail's balance, so accuracy is crucial.

Cocktail Shakers: The heart of any mixologist's toolkit. Whether you prefer a Boston shaker, with its metal and glass combo, or a Cobbler shaker, with its built-in strainer, shaking is essential for mixing ingredients thoroughly and adding the right texture to your drinks.

Strainers: After shaking your drink, a strainer ensures smoothness by keeping ice, fruit, and herbs out of the glass. The Hawthorne strainer is versatile, fitting snugly over your shaker, while a fine mesh strainer catches even the tiniest particles for a clear cocktail.

Muddlers: To unlock the full flavor of fruits, herbs, and spices, a muddler is indispensable. Whether you choose a wooden one for a classic approach or a plastic one for easy cleaning, muddling is a simple way to elevate your cocktails.

Bar Spoons: These long, slender spoons are perfect for stirring ingredients gently, ensuring a well-mixed cocktail without diluting it too much. The twist in the handle isn't just for show; it helps the spoon glide smoothly around the glass.

Citrus Press: Freshly squeezed juice can make the difference between a good cocktail and a great one. A citrus press ensures you get every drop of flavor without any seeds or pulp sneaking into your drink.

Cutting Board and Paring Knife: Fresh garnishes and ingredients require precise cuts. A small, sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board are essential for preparing everything from citrus twists to herb sprigs.

By equipping yourself with these critical tools, you're setting the stage for cocktail creation that's limited only by your imagination. Each item in your bar kit plays a role in the crafting process, from measuring and mixing to muddling and garnishing. Together, they form the foundation of any mixologist's arsenal, ensuring that you're ready to tackle classic recipes and invent new ones.

The quality of your tools can significantly impact the quality of your cocktails. Investing in durable, well-designed bar and tools not only makes the mixing process more enjoyable but also elevates the entire cocktail experience for you and your guests.

As you continue to explore the craft of mixology, these essentials will serve as your companions on the journey. With your bar kit in hand, you're well on your way to mastering the art of the cocktail. Let's raise our glasses to the endless possibilities that await in mixology. Cheers!

Next, we'll delve into how to choose quality bar tools that not only look good but perform exceptionally, ensuring your home bar is both functional and stylish.

How to Choose Quality Bar Tools

Evaluating Bar Tools

Selecting the right bar and tools is essential for both novice and experienced mixologists. The quality of your tools can significantly impact the taste, appearance, and overall quality of your cocktails. Here's how to choose the best tools for your bar, focusing on material, durability, design, and brand reputation.

Material and Durability

When it comes to bar tools, the material they're made from is crucial for both durability and functionality.

  • Stainless Steel: This is a popular choice for many bar tools, including shakers, strainers, and jiggers. Stainless steel is known for its resistance to rust and corrosion, making it a durable option for tools that frequently come into contact with acidic ingredients and moisture.

  • Silver-Plated: Silver-plated tools add an elegant touch to any bar setup. While they are beautiful, they require more maintenance to prevent tarnishing. Silver-plated tools are best for low-moisture environments and are more about aesthetics than heavy-duty use.

  • Seamless Glass: For mixing glasses, seamless designs are preferred. They are not only more durable, reducing the risk of breakage, but also provide a smoother stir for your cocktails.


The design of bar tools affects not just their appearance but their usability. For example, a well-designed jigger with clear measurement markings makes it easier to measure ingredients accurately, leading to consistently well-crafted cocktails. Tools like weighted shaking tins are preferred by many professionals for their ease of use and the quality of shake they provide.

Weighted vs. Unweighted

  • Weighted Tools: These tend to be more stable and easier to handle, which is particularly beneficial for tools like shakers and bar spoons. The added weight helps with control during use, making them suitable for busy environments or for those who prefer a bit more heft to their tools.

  • Unweighted Tools: Unweighted tools are typically lighter and may be preferred by some for their ease of handling and storage. They are suitable for casual or less frequent use.

Brand Reputation

Lastly, consider the reputation of the brand when purchasing your bar tools. Brands that are well-regarded in the mixology community are more likely to offer high-quality, durable tools that meet professional standards. Look for reviews from other bartenders or mixologists, and don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations. Brands like OXO Good Grips and Cocktail Kingdom are often praised for their quality and durability.

In conclusion, the right bar and tools are the backbone of any great cocktail. By choosing tools made from durable materials, with designs that enhance functionality, and from reputable brands, you can elevate your mixology game and ensure your home bar is equipped to handle any cocktail recipe. Next, we’ll explore some frequently asked questions about bar tools to help further guide your selections.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bar Tools

Navigating mixology can be exciting, but with so many bar and tools out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Let's break down some of the most common questions to keep things simple.

What are bar tools called?

In the realm of mixology, bar tools are often referred to as bartending tools or accessories. These are the special instruments used by bartenders to craft cocktails, ensuring precision, efficiency, and style. From jiggers to muddlers, each tool has a specific name and purpose in the cocktail-making process.

What equipment is used for a bartender?

A bartender's toolkit typically includes a range of tools and accessories designed to measure, mix, strain, and serve cocktails. Here are some essentials:

  • Jiggers: Used for measuring liquid ingredients to ensure the perfect mix.
  • Muddlers: For mashing fruits, herbs, or spices to release their flavors.
  • Shakers: Essential for mixing ingredients and chilling cocktails simultaneously.
  • Strainers: To separate solids from liquids, ensuring a smooth drink.
  • Bar Spoons: For stirring ingredients, especially in layered cocktails.

These tools are the backbone of any bartender's kit, whether you're a professional or a home mixologist.

What is in a bar kit?

A bar kit should contain the critical tools and mixologist essentials needed to create a wide array of cocktails. At a minimum, look for a kit that includes:

  • Jiggers: For accurate measurement.
  • Cocktail Shakers: A Boston shaker or a cobbler shaker are popular choices.
  • Strainers: A Hawthorne strainer is versatile for many cocktails.
  • Muddlers: For infusing your drinks with fresh flavors.
  • Bar Spoons: For mixing and layering drinks.
  • Citrus Press: Fresh juice can make a big difference in your cocktails.
  • Cutting Board and Paring Knife: For preparing garnishes and ingredients.

These items form the core of your bar kit, allowing you to mix most cocktails and even experiment with your creations. The best kit is one that suits your personal mixology style and the types of drinks you enjoy making the most.

By understanding these basics about bar and tools, you're well-equipped to start or enhance your journey in the art of cocktail making. Whether you're setting up a home bar or pursuing a career in bartending, the right tools are your first step towards mastering mixology.


Elevating your cocktail game is not just about mastering recipes; it's about understanding and appreciating the craftsmanship behind each drink. At socialmix, we believe that the right bar and tools play a crucial role in this journey. They're not just instruments; they're your partners in crafting experiences that linger long after the last sip.

Choosing the right tools is more than a practical decision; it's a commitment to quality and creativity. Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or just starting out, our collection at socialmix is curated to inspire and support your passion. From the perfect jigger for precise measurements to a beautifully designed shaker that feels just right in your hands, each tool has been selected with care.

Every great bartender starts with a vision and the right set of tools. As you build your kit, consider not only the functionality but also the feel and aesthetic appeal of each piece. Quality bar tools not only last longer but also enhance your mixology experience, making every cocktail you craft a testament to your skill and creativity.

In conclusion, we at socialmix are excited to be a part of your mixology journey. With the right bar and tools, a dash of passion, and a sprinkle of creativity, you're well on your way to elevating your cocktail game. We can't wait to see the amazing drinks you'll create and the memories you'll make. Here's to crafting not just cocktails, but experiences that will be cherished for a lifetime. Cheers to your next unforgettable cocktail experience with socialmix.

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