Every apprentice begins their path to a new craft by acquiring tools. When it comes to making cocktails, your very own bar tools are a necessary investment.
Think about it: owning proper bar tools allows your personal happy hour to go from a basic gin and tonic or a highball to gin fizzes, daiquiris and more. The potential library of cocktails you can tap into for all-day drinking just increased tenfold. Since most of us have taken to seeking out new hobbies and drinking at home (not that we have much of a choice right now, really), this is the opportune present to pick up a set of bar tools and commit to better DIY cocktails.
What do you really need?
As with any new persuasion, cocktail crafts and the wares that come are plentiful, and thus, confusing. If you are an amateur, get started with the bare-boned basics.
These are a cocktail shaker, be it two or three-piece, a jigger, a spring bar strainer, a stirring spoon and a muddled. Simple enough.
The great thing is that many bartending supply stores do sell amateur kits, or full-fledged cocktail-making kits for intermediate enthusiasts to pros. Should you want to take the fuss out of picking and choosing, these make for good options.
What else do I need to know about bartending at home?
For starters, you want to have recipes on deck, be it through books or online resources on how to make cocktails, which we have rounded up here. Next, if you want to go all the way and establish a home bar as your next big project, then, you guessed it, we have everything you need to know about building one here.
Crate & Barrel
Homeware store Crate & Barrel has an enviable selection of home bar goods, including stylish bar tools you need to get started on your DIY cocktail journey. This is the place to go to for investment pieces you will use for a long time, all outfitted in sleek metal, glass and dark wood that gets better with age.
Pop-up bartending company, Barstylez, also has a retail outfit where they stock tools for any home bar. A healthy array of brands are carried, along with tool selections. More than shakers and strainers, expect ornate bottles for bitters, glassware that spans kitschy to dinner party-worthy, and spoons in finishes that range from rose gold to gunmetal. This is a one-stop-shop for those really looking to beef up their home bar armada at wallet-friendly prices.
Serious home(bar)bodies can turn to EC Proof to keep their bar shelves and bartending kit is top-notch, as the leading retailer has everything under the sun when it comes to making your own cocktails. Primarily carrying bar tools from Urban Bar, the selection also includes tool sets for those feeling lost with the plentiful options.
Bar Products is straightforward with what it offers. You have all the essential tools available in its various styles. Want a Baron strainer or a Hawthorn strainer? Can’t decide between a Leopold jigger or a standard skinny jigger? Weigh your options all on the same platform with this retailer. They also offer flair bottles for those intending to take their bartending skills into showmanship territory.
Razor Sharp is primarily known as a retailer for fine Japanese knives and cookware, but a little known corner of its extensive store is its Japan-made bartending tools. Though not extensive, there is everything a novice needs, all made by the renowned Japanese brand, Yukiwa. This is lasting quality stuff should you want to commit to this hobby in the long-term, and the prices reflect it.