I bought my first barware essentials while I was attending University. My husband is the official bartender in our friend groups. Often, he must bring his gears because many people are poorly equipped for making cocktails at home. To help you set up your bar, I compiled the must-have bar tools.
I prefer the 3-piece shaker to the Boston shaker (half stainless steel, half glass). The 3-piece shaker is definitely more stylish. I do have both styles at home. Since I suggest that you own two shakers for efficiency reason, you can one of each if you are not sure which one you prefer.
A strainer is usually integrated on the cup of the 3-piece strainer. So if you afford one good item, this is the bar tool to get first.
Like everything in life, better quality shakers perform best. Try to get a double insulated shaker; it is cleaner to operate because it does not produce condensation.
The advantage of the 3-piece shaker is that you get one measuring cup. I suggest you also get the modern double jigger as you need more than one measuring cup. The double jigger is quite practical because both measures (1 ounce and 2 ounces) are in your hands.
Strainer, bar spoon, bar knife and ice tongs
These are the basic tools with the jigger that is cheaper to buy in set. The stand is useless in my opinion as you can store the cocktail tools in the Boston shaker, the ice bucket or a stainless steel bowl for condiments.
I am showing you the Janssen Bar Set on sale right now at Crate and Barrel for $39.99 (reg. $59.99). It even has a basic ice bucket. This is a utilitarian cocktail hour kit.
You cannot make cocktails without ice cubes. You will also need a sink or a waterproof bowl nearby to throw away the ice cubes. That is a basic technique of making martinis.
I prefer ice bucket with a cover. Again, I recommend a double insulated ice bucket to avoid condensation leak.
Fruit tools: Lemon squeezer / reamer, a juicer and a zester
Pure juices and real fruits make the best drinks. If you do not own a zester, a bar knife will do the job if you are skillful.
Fruit Muddler / Caipirinha Pestle
Muddler is required to prepare modern martinis, mojitos and caipirinhas. Check out my blog later because I will post the recipe of the best raspberry martini in the universe. You need a muddler to do it.
I bought the Fruit Muddler / Caipirinha Pestle from Rosle at Cooking.com and I like it a lot. Rosle produces quality kitchen utensils. I prefer to buy better quality kitchen tools. It is money well spent because they will perform well for a very long time.
Since you use pure juices and real fruits, you cannot make the best looking cocktail drinks without a tea strainer. That is an essential tool for the chic hostess.
If you get these bar tools you can prepare many drinks that will impress your guests.