Top Bartender Tools: What the Pros Use

Top Bartender Tools: What the Pros Use


If you're looking for the best bartender tools, you've come to the right place. Whether you're a newbie home mixologist or an experienced pro, having the right tools can make all the difference. Here’s a quick list of some must-have tools:

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Jigger
  • Bar Spoon
  • Hawthorne Strainer
  • Muddler
  • Mixing Glass

Having a well-stocked bar starts with the right equipment. Top bartenders like Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Chris Tunstall agree that using quality, individual tools over cheap sets is key for making great drinks at home. From cocktail shakers to strainers, we'll guide you through the essentials for every level of experience.

Mixology isn’t just about the ingredients; it's also about the experience and flair you bring to the drink-making process. So let's dive in and explore the essential bartender tools that professionals swear by!

Essential bartender tools infographic - best bartender tools infographic infographic-line-5-steps

Essential Bartender Tools

Cocktail Shaker

A Cocktail Shaker is a must-have for any bartender. The Boston shaker is the preferred style among pros. It consists of two tins, one larger than the other, creating a tight seal when slapped together. Brands like Cocktail Kingdom and Barfly offer high-quality options. The Koriko shaker by Cocktail Kingdom is particularly popular for its balance and durability.

Boston shaker - best bartender tools


Precision is crucial in mixing cocktails, and that's where a Jigger comes in. The OXO Steel Double Jigger is a favorite for its clear measurement markings and ergonomic design. For a more refined touch, consider a Japanese-style jigger from A Bar Above or Viski.

Bar Spoon

A Bar Spoon is essential for stirring cocktails smoothly. The Hoffman bar spoon by Cocktail Kingdom is a top pick for its spiral handle, making it easy to mix drinks. Viski and Barfly also offer excellent options.

Bar Spoon - best bartender tools

Hawthorne Strainer

The Hawthorne Strainer is used to filter out ice and other solids. Look for one with tight coils for better filtration. Cocktail Kingdom and Barfly are reliable brands, but avoid the OXO one as its coils are less effective. The RSVP fine mesh strainer is also great for an extra smooth pour.

Hawthorne Strainer - best bartender tools


A Muddler is perfect for extracting flavors from fruits and herbs. The Barvivo muddler with rubber ends is excellent for avoiding glass breakage. For a stylish touch, consider Viski’s acacia wood muddler or a stainless steel option.

Muddler - best bartender tools

Mixing Glass

For stirred cocktails, a Mixing Glass is indispensable. The Yarai and Mofado mixing glasses are highly recommended for their durability and design. Admiral Crystal and Highland Crystal also offer elegant and functional options.

Mixing Glass - best bartender tools

Wine Key and Bottle Opener

A solid Wine Key is essential for opening wine bottles efficiently. The True brand offers both single and double hinged options, known for their durability. A reliable Bottle Opener is also a must-have for opening beer and other bottled drinks.

Wine Key - best bartender tools

Paring Knife and Cutting Board

A sharp Paring Knife is crucial for preparing garnishes. The Cuisinart serrated knife and Victorinox straight paring knife are excellent choices. Pair it with a sturdy Cutting Board for a complete setup.

Paring Knife and Cutting Board - best bartender tools

Pour Spout

A Pour Spout helps control the flow of liquor, ensuring accurate pouring. The Summit Liquor Pourer by Viski is a top choice for its precision and ease of use.

Pour Spout - best bartender tools

Citrus Squeezer

Fresh juice can elevate any cocktail. A Citrus Squeezer like the Rasse hand juicer is perfect for extracting juice from lemons and limes. Horizontal squeezers and lemon fluicers are also great options for efficiency.

Citrus Squeezer - best bartender tools

Ice Maker

Quality ice is essential for any great cocktail. Invest in Ice Molds for 2-inch cubes for shaking and serving, and 1.25-inch cubes for stirring. Crushed ice trays are also useful for specific drinks.

Ice Maker - best bartender tools

With these essential bartender tools, you're well on your way to crafting professional-quality cocktails at home. Next, let's explore the top brands that offer these indispensable tools.

Top Bartender Tool Brands

When it comes to the best bartender tools, choosing the right brand can make all the difference. Here are some top brands trusted by professionals and home mixologists alike.

Cocktail Kingdom

Cocktail Kingdom is a favorite among bartending pros. Known for their high-quality, durable tools, they offer everything from Japanese-style jiggers to the reliable Hawthorne strainer. Their products are designed with precision and functionality in mind.

  • Japanese-Style Jigger: Offers precise measurements.
  • Hawthorne Strainer: Features tight coils for a clean pour.

Cocktail Kingdom Tools - best bartender tools

A Bar Above

A Bar Above is perfect for both beginners and experienced bartenders. Their tools are known for their ergonomic design and durability. They offer a range of essentials, including shakers, strainers, and jiggers.

  • A Bar Above Jigger: Easy-to-read markings.
  • Weighted Shaking Tins: Ideal for consistent shaking.


Barfly offers a wide selection of professional-grade bar tools. Their products are designed to meet the needs of busy bartenders, ensuring efficiency and precision.

  • Barfly Shaker: Known for its sturdy build.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: Perfect for double straining cocktails.


Viski combines elegance with functionality. Their tools are not only efficient but also add a touch of sophistication to any bar setup.

  • Viski Glacier Rocks Ice Sphere Molds: Create impressive ice spheres.
  • Viski Stainless Steel Julep Strainer: Keeps your cocktails smooth.


OXO is renowned for its user-friendly designs. Their bar tools are easy to use and clean, making them a popular choice for home bartenders.

  • OXO Steel Double Jigger: Features multiple measurement markings.
  • OXO Steel Cocktail Shaker: Integrated strainer for convenience.


True offers reliable and straightforward tools that get the job done. Their products are known for their durability and practicality.

  • True Single Hinged Wine Key: Simple and effective.
  • True Lemon & Lime Press Juicer: Extracts maximum juice with minimal effort.


RSVP provides high-quality, affordable bar tools. They are a great option for those looking to stock their bar without breaking the bank.

  • RSVP Fine Mesh Strainer: Ensures a smooth pour.
  • RSVP Endurance Bar Spoon: Lightweight and easy to handle.


Barvivo is known for its innovative designs and high-quality materials. Their tools are both stylish and functional, making them a great addition to any bar.

  • Barvivo Muddler: Features a rubber end to prevent glass breakage.
  • Barvivo Cocktail Shaker: Sleek design and durable build.

Barvivo Tools - best bartender tools

These brands offer some of the best bartender tools available, ensuring you have everything you need to craft perfect cocktails. Next, we'll look at the essential tools for beginners.

Best Bartender Tools for Beginners

Starting your journey into bartending can be exciting but a bit overwhelming. To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of essential tools that every beginner should have in their basic bar kit. These tools will help you mix drinks like a pro and impress your guests.

Basic Bar Kit

For anyone just starting out, these are the must-have items:

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Strainer
  • Stirrer
  • Jigger
  • Bar Spoon
  • Muddler
  • Mixing Glass

Cocktail Shaker

The cocktail shaker is the cornerstone of any bar kit. For beginners, the Boston shaker is highly recommended. It consists of two tins that fit together to form a tight seal.

Pro Tip: When using a Boston shaker, always place the smaller tin on top to avoid spills.

Cocktail Shaker - best bartender tools


After shaking your cocktail, a Hawthorne strainer is essential for filtering out ice and other solids. The tight coils of a high-quality Hawthorne strainer, like those from Cocktail Kingdom, ensure a smooth pour.

Pro Tip: Use a fine mesh strainer alongside the Hawthorne strainer for an even cleaner pour.


A good bar spoon is crucial for stirring cocktails. The Hoffman bar spoon by Cocktail Kingdom is a favorite among professionals for its smooth stirring action.

Pro Tip: Practice stirring with ice water to get a feel for the motion.


Precision is key in cocktail making. A jigger helps you measure ingredients accurately. The OXO Steel Double Jigger is a versatile option with clear measurement markings.

Pro Tip: Keep your mixing glass close by to avoid spills while measuring.

Bar Spoon

The bar spoon is not just for stirring. It’s also great for layering drinks and measuring small amounts. Look for one with a twisted handle for better control.


A muddler is used to crush fruits, herbs, and spices to release their flavors. The Barvivo Muddler features a rubber end to prevent glass breakage, making it a safe choice for beginners.

Pro Tip: Use gentle pressure when muddling to avoid over-extracting bitter flavors.

Mixing Glass

For stirred cocktails, a mixing glass is essential. The Mofado Mixing Glass offers a sturdy build and a wide mouth for easy stirring.

Pro Tip: Chill your mixing glass before use to keep your cocktails cold.

Mixing Glass - best bartender tools

These tools form the backbone of any beginner’s bar kit. They are simple to use, durable, and will help you create a wide range of cocktails with ease. Next, we'll explore advanced tools for professionals.

Advanced Bartender Tools for Professionals

Fine Mesh Strainer

A fine mesh strainer is essential for achieving perfectly smooth cocktails. It catches small ice shards and tiny bits of herbs, ensuring a clean pour every time. Many professionals, like those at RSVP, recommend a small, affordable conical strainer that does the job without the need for a fancy brand.

"Using both a Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer in tandem ensures your cocktails are free of unwanted bits," says a seasoned bartender from Cocktail Kingdom.

Fine Mesh Strainer - best bartender tools

Yarai Mixing Glass

The Yarai Mixing Glass is a statement piece for any professional bar. Known for its seamless design and durability, it's perfect for stirring cocktails like Negronis and Manhattans. Its elegant pattern adds a touch of sophistication to the mixology process.

"A good mixing glass should be large enough to hold the drink and a good amount of ice," notes Jeffrey Morgenthaler, author of The Bar Book.

Yarai Mixing Glass - best bartender tools

Weighted Shaking Tins

Weighted shaking tins like those from Koriko are favorites among professionals. They offer a perfect seal and easy separation after shaking. The weight balance is optimized for comfort, ensuring smoother, more consistent shakes.

"Most professionals use Boston shakers, which are made up of a large cup and a small cup that fit together," explains Robert Hess, author of The Essential Bartender’s Guide.

Weighted Shaking Tins - best bartender tools

Engraved Jiggers

Engraved jiggers provide precision and style. The Japanese-style jiggers from A Bar Above feature laser-etched measurements that won’t wear off, ensuring accuracy in every pour.

"Japanese-style jiggers are way more precise and spill much less than the standard shot glass," says Lara Creasy, beverage director at Tex-Mex chain Superica.

Engraved Jiggers - best bartender tools

Professional Juicer

A professional juicer is a must for fresh citrus juice, which can elevate the flavor profile of your cocktails. Handheld citrus presses are perfect for home bars, while lever-press juicers are ideal for high-volume settings.

"Fresh juice is always best in your cocktails," says Lynnette Marrero, bar director of NYC-based Llama San.

Professional Juicer - best bartender tools

Kitchen Scale

A kitchen scale is crucial for measuring syrup ingredients accurately. Experts recommend a scale that measures to 0.1 gram for precision. This is especially useful for making syrups and ensuring consistent flavors.

"Weighing syrup ingredients is clutch," advises a bartender from Barfly.

Kitchen Scale - best bartender tools

These advanced tools are essential for professional bartenders looking to refine their craft and deliver top-notch cocktails. Next, we'll answer some frequently asked questions about bartender tools.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bartender Tools

What tools do bartenders use?

Bartenders rely on a variety of tools to craft the perfect cocktail. Here are the essentials:

  • Shaker: The Boston shaker is the go-to choice for many professionals. It's efficient and versatile, ideal for mixing and chilling drinks.

  • Muddler: Used to mash fruits, herbs, and spices. A Barvivo muddler with a flat bottom is recommended to avoid over-muddling.

  • Jigger: Essential for precise measurements. The OXO Steel Double Jigger is popular for its accuracy and ease of use.

  • Strainer: Keeps unwanted bits out of your drink. The Hawthorne strainer by Cocktail Kingdom is a top pick for its tight coils and control.

  • Bar Spoon: Ideal for stirring cocktails smoothly. The Hoffman bar spoon is a favorite for its design and functionality.

Other vital tools include a wine key, bottle opener, paring knife, cutting board, pour spout, citrus squeezer, and ice maker. Each tool plays a crucial role in creating consistent and high-quality cocktails.

What are the five P's of a professional bartender?

The five P's are key qualities that define a professional bartender:

  • Pride: Take pride in your work and the drinks you serve. This means paying attention to detail and striving for excellence in every cocktail.

  • Passion: A genuine love for bartending and mixology. Passion drives creativity and a willingness to continuously learn and improve.

  • Preparation: Being prepared is crucial. This includes having all necessary tools, ingredients, and a clean workspace. As the saying goes, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

  • Professionalism: Maintain a professional demeanor at all times. This includes being courteous to customers, punctual, and well-groomed.

  • Presentation: The way a drink looks is just as important as how it tastes. Use garnishes, glassware, and precise pouring techniques to enhance the visual appeal of your cocktails.

What is the most vital tool in bartending equipment?

While all tools are important, the Boston shaker often stands out as the most vital. It's versatile, efficient, and essential for mixing a wide range of cocktails. However, other tools like the drink strainer, muddler, wine key, bottle opener, paring knife, cutting board, pour spout, citrus squeezer, and ice maker are also indispensable for a well-rounded bar setup.

Having the right tools ensures you can craft high-quality cocktails consistently, impressing your customers or guests every time.

Next, let's explore the best bartender tools for beginners.


At socialmix, we believe that the right bartender tools can elevate your social experiences and transform ordinary gatherings into memorable moments. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned mixologist, having the best bartender tools at your disposal makes all the difference.

Mixology is more than just mixing drinks; it's an art form. With our curated selection of high-quality tools, you can master this art and impress your guests. From cocktail shakers to jiggers, we've got everything you need to create exceptional cocktails.

Exceptional clothing and accessories are also part of the mixology experience. Just as the right tools enhance your bartending skills, the right attire can elevate your presentation and professionalism. Our collection of stylish bartender apparel ensures you not only craft great cocktails but also look and feel your best while doing it.

Ready to take your bartending skills to the next level? Explore our collection of drinkware and accessories and start crafting unforgettable cocktails today.

Cheers to your next cocktail creation with socialmix!

Bartender Tools - best bartender tools

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