Every bar needs professional cocktail tools to serve drinks exactly how patrons want them. From mixers to tongs, strainers and muddlers, there are quite a few cocktail tools and equipment that every bar should have on hand.
In our cocktail tools guide, we'll share eight cool cocktail tools that you can try right now.
1. Ice Tongs
Every respectable bar needs at least one good pair of ice tongs. A set of five or six may be more realistic, though. Whether someone orders a whiskey on the rocks or you're serving snacks to bar patrons, tongs make it easy to move ice and snack items without touching them.
Some bartenders hate ice tongs, while others couldn't imagine serving drinks without them. We've found tongs to be one of those essential cocktail bar tools.
You'll find tongs in a wide range of sizes, shapes and designs, from the simple rectangular tong to textured models with claw-like designs.
One of the most essential cocktail mixing tools, a muddler is used to smash and mix ingredients used for cocktails. Think of it as a pestle for booze.
Muddlers are one of the oldest tools for cocktail making, and they're ideal for making popular drinks, like mojitos, caipirinhas and old-fashioned.
With just a flick of the wrist, bartenders can easily incorporate fresh herbs and fruits into their drinks.
This essential bar tool comes in variety of materials, including:
While home bartenders often prefer wooden muddlers, professional bartenders usually stick with stainless steel for sanitation reasons.
Stainless steel is easy to clean and there's less of a risk of bacteria and mold developing on the muddler. Many are even dishwasher safe, which can make clean-up a breeze at the end of the night.
3. Sugar Strainer
Sugar strainers aren't normally included in a cocktail tools kit, but they should be. This simple, tiny strainer gives your bartender the opportunity to serve a wide range of cocktails, including:
Cocktail sugar strainers are small, about 3" in diameter, so they won't take up much space behind the bar. And they're so affordable, there's no reason not to have at least one.
4. Layering Spoon
A layering spoon is one of those classic cocktail tools that every bar should have. Used for making a Black and Tan and any one of its variants, a layering spoon will make your bartender's life easier.
This essential spoon allows you to poor a layer of stout above a layer of ale. The spoon disperses the flow to minimize mixing between the two layers. Simply pour the ale first, use the spoon's groove to rest it on top of the glass, and then slowly pour the stout over the center of the spoon.
5. Ice Chipper
Topping the list of essential cocktail ice tools is the ice chipper. Some bartenders are forced to use their ice scoopers to chip ice, but this specialized tool gets the job done faster.
When your bar is busy on a Friday or Saturday night, the last thing you want is your bartender fumbling around trying to chip ice with the wrong tool.
Ice is an important ingredient in many cocktails. It not only chills the drink, but also releases water to bind the ingredients and give the drink a smoother taste.
When making drinks with crushed or cracked ice, a chipper is a must.
Models with stainless steel components are preferred to other materials. Stainless steel is rust-resistant and easy to keep clean.
6. Malt Cup
Malt cups are certainly on the list of cocktail essential tools. Used to make frosty mixed drinks, these cups make it easy to combine juices, fruits and crushed ice for a refreshing drink.
While these cups may come in a wide range of materials, stainless steel is the preferred option. It's rust-resistant and easier to keep clean.
7. Cocktail Shaker
An obvious addition to any bar, a cocktail shaker is one of the best cocktail tools you can invest in. For patrons who prefer their drinks shaken - not stirred - a cocktail shaker is a must-have.
A cocktail shaker and tools is all you need to make most bar patrons happy.
Shaking the ingredients completely integrates all of the ingredients into the drink to create a better blend and flavor. The shake is the most thorough way to mix drinks, and most cocktail recipes recommend this technique.
When ice is added to the mixer, the shaking action gives the ice just enough time to interact with the drink for proper dilution and a smoother taste.
When a cocktail recipe calls for wine, a corkscrew is an essential tool. This is one of the most basic cocktail tools, and most can tackle a few tasks.
Most corkscrews come with an attached serrated knife, so your bartender can easily remove seals before popping the cork. They're typically foldable, too, so they won't take up too much space behind the bar.
How Much Will These Cocktail Tools Cost?
If you're ready to dive in and buy these new cocktail tools, you may be wondering how much you will need to spend. Here's the good news: most of these tools are highly affordable. And you can save money buy only buying the tools you really need.
Cheap vs. Expensive Option
$1.28 - Winco MS2K-3S
$3.20 - Winco BLS-6
$1.42 - Winco BS-15
These essential bar tools will make your bartender's life easier. Ice tongs allow them to add ice to drinks in a more sanitary way. Muddlers, sugar strainers and ice chippers allow bartenders to add all of the right ingredients - the right way - to popular cocktails. Corkscrews make it easy to add wine into the mix, while a cocktail mixer allows your bartender to serve drinks shaken - not stirred.
All of these tools are basic and an essential part of every bar, but they're also amazing in their ability to streamline the drink-making process. Invest in these eight tools and I can promise that your bartender will thank you.
Not sure where to buy cocktail tools? Check out our catalog to find the finest cocktail bar tools and equipment.