What Tools Do You Need For Your Home Bar?
In addition to basic motor skills and a mild amount of self-control, making cocktails requires some concrete tools and a knowledge of why we use those tools the way we do. This list might seem kind of redundant, but it needs to be said. These are the basics everyone needs:
A jigger is really the liquor’s delivery vessel. I don’t give a shit how good your free pouring is, either, and if you’re new to this, you’re learning the basics of drink chemistry. All of the ingredients that are being used absolutely need to be distributed in a specific amount. That’s why drinks taste good. This is art AND science. Also, cost-effective. Use a jigger to keep yourself in check and your bottles will last as long as they should, keeping your budget in line.
There’s a bunch of different styles, but you should start with a basic double sided jigger. Here’s a recommendation.
You’ll know when you need it, and you’ll need it a lot. And again, for science, please know how to use and shake it properly. You don’t need anything wild, just get a Cobbler to start. Check out this one on Amazon.
Don’t let anything interfere with how your drink is going into a glass. You don’t want ice floats, you don’t want muddled bits to fuck with someone’s pallet. Hawthorne strainers do the trick. Keep it simple, pick this one up.
This is for stirring drinks. It’s a skill that takes a lot of practice, and you should be very proud of yourself if you can master it. Every skill level should know how to use a bar spoon properly. Study it. Wax on, wax off. Here is our pick.
Keep it sharp and in good condition. Great for cutting fruit in half and making garnishes.
Everything needs to be fresh, especially mixers. You should be shunned if you use a single juice from a weird bottle that isn’t fresh. You’re not a cocktail factory, either, so don’t bother getting anything electric unless you’re going to use fresh juice in your everyday life. (I mean, good for you if you do?) Manual is perfect and easy to maintain.
You need access to ice! Decent ice, preferably. (Unless you like spending money on expensive spirits and fucking up flavor profiles.) Never underestimate how much ice you need. Nature takes a minute to do her work and if you run out, that’s gonna be a big bummer.
There are tons of tools used in the bartending scene. Some you absolutely must have, some you don’t.
It might not seem like much, but seriously… these things are a necessity. Yes, pour spouts are convenient, high-end equipment can be dope as hell, and everyone loves a fancy glass, but do you really need to blow a ton of cash on those things? Nah. Any bartender at any level can make magic with these beginnings. Quit making shit complicated for yourself. For beginners, these tools will help you shape your skills. For intermediate and advanced imbibers, this shit will keep you humble when you’re down to the wire with limited resources, so always make sure these things are handy.