9 Essential Home Bar Tools

17 Jun, 2018 | Editorials

Making Cocktails at home? Always wanted to make your home bar look a little more authentic? Here’s 9 Essential Bar Tools to get you started; at least looking the part! Watch for Buying Tips along the way!

#1 The Measuring Jig or ‘Jigger’

Efficient booze control! There’s nothing like being precise for your cocktails. There are many different varieties and styles – comes in plastic, metal and everything in between. Get the 15ml/30ml standard measures (most common for drinks) in stainless steel for durability (like pictured).

#2 Cocktail Shaker

Cobblers are the traditional (and what you see on TV). Mason’s a little more hipster. The boston is classic and the most versatile – its does take a little more practice and finesse though! Boston’s are the choice of pros – it requires a little more from you but its best in class for cleaning, durability and versatility.

#3 Strainers & Hawthorns

A glorified bar strainer for cocktails this is. You’ll need this if you’re buying the boston shakers up top. Pic for ‘double straining’ technique for reference.. A quality (non flimsy) hawthorn will last a long while. Though a cheap tea/fine strainers will suffice. The latter wears out quickly (even the expensive ones) so the cheaper the better.

#4 Muddler / Muddling Sticks

Aka. ‘the stick’ when the bartender is under pressure. Use the bash and macerate other bartenders (kidding!); for lime, mint, fruits, etc. Don’t really need a specially designed one. You could get a nice rounded end, ‘handle-less’ plastic rolling pin.

#5 Bar Spoon

Designed to reach the bottom of your shaker, the flatter spoon and ‘twisted’ handle facilitates different pouring techniques. Eg. Laminar flow & layering. Ultimately – its just a good ole stirrer. Get a proper one that will last a lifetime! The weighting, balance, comfort and length depends on you.

#6 Chopping Board and Knife

You can’t run away from this one. You’ve got stuff to cut! A small A4 sized board should suffice. My go to knife is a 4″ serrated paring knife (rounded tip) from Victorinox (SGD$6?). Peeler optional.

#7 Garnish Tray

This will make you look like an organised pro. Deck it out so you’re prepared – always. Plastic Always! For hygiene. Metal ones rust (acidic juices from citrus). Yes, you can refrigerate the whole tray!

#8 Citrus Press

My ultimate time saver in the bar. Fruit = Juice! Get the bigger version (orange sized) – so you can squeeze anything smaller! Metal is the choice to get, the plastic versions blow up like grenades with pressure.

#9 Your Waiter’s Friend

Plenty of wonky designs out there – but the one above is the best. Why re-invent the wheel then this version is the version of sommerlier’s choice? Opens for wine bottles (knife for foil) and capped bottles. Metal Only. Anything else will break. Alot of force goes on these when opening a bottle. Also make sure there’a a double jointed lever (as per pic). Its better – trust me.

Bonus Round!

Pretty self explanatory here. Speed pourer – Get the straight ones without caps or measure mechanisms. They pour and clean easier. Bar Blade – Plenty of crap ones out there – get full metal construction of course. I love my obsidian black Hand Jive barblade. Shoutout to Hand Jive; you guys make the best bar blades, period. Bar Mat – Black only. Colours take away the impact, pizzaz and focus away from your cocktails.


There you have it, some essential bar tools for you to start your own cocktail bar! If you have any questions, comments, let us know on facebook! Cocktail Bartender (most times, Chef) Gary out!