If you serve cocktails and other alcoholic drinks at your restaurant, you’ll need a variety of cocktail equipment to prepare the drinks on your menu. From the mixing to the presentation, the right bar cocktail equipment will help you serve drinks that impress your customers.
Whether you’re just opening your restaurant or adding a new drink menu, there are a few essential bartender equipment tools that you’ll need to invest in.
Essential Cocktail Bar Equipment
Here are some of the most essential cocktail tools to add to your bar equipment list.
Cocktail Making Tools
To make cocktails and mixed drinks, your bartenders need the right equipment. While there are many bartender tools out there, the most essential items include:
Cocktail Shakers, Mixers, and Jiggers
Cocktail shakers are one of the most essential bar tools. They make it easy for bartenders to quickly prepare cocktails and mixed drinks while chilling the drink at the same time.
Stainless steel shakers are ideal because they’re highly durable and corrosion-resistant. In addition, double-walled shakers will quickly chill drinks, which will save your bartender's time.
We have stainless steel cocktail shakers in a number of sizes, including:
- 30-ounce: Winco, Thunder Group
- 28-ounce: C.A.C, Thunder Group, Winco Plastic Shaker, Winco Stainless Steel Shaker
- 24-ounce: Winco
- 20-ounce: C.A.C.
- 16-ounce: C.A.C, Thunder Group, Winco
- 15-ounce: Winco, Thunder Group
- 10-ounce: C.A.C., Winco
- 8-ounce: Thunder Group
Along with cocktail shakers, your bartender mixing set should also include an electric shaker/mixer, like the Omcan 44634. Stand mixers make it easy to prepare milkshakes, ice cream drinks, and smoothies.
No bartender cocktail set is complete without a jigger. A cocktail jigger is a type of measuring cup bartenders use to ensure they add the right amount of alcohol to drinks. We have a variety of sizes to choose from, including:
- 0.5x1 ounce: Thunder Group, Winco
- 0.75x1.5 ounce: Winco, Thunder Group
- 0.75x1.25 ounce: Winco
- 1x1.25 ounce: Winco
- 1x1.5 ounce: Winco
- 1x2 ounce: Thunder Group, Winco
- 1.5x1 ounce: Winco
- 5x.75 ounce: Winco
These are the core foundational items you’ll need for your cocktail equipment set, but you’ll need some other cocktail tools, too.
Corkscrew and Bottle Opener
If you’re serving champagne, wine and bottled alcoholic drinks, your bartenders will need bottle openers and corkscrews. These compact tools make it quick and easy to open bottles of wine, champagne, beer, cider, and more.
There are several types of corkscrews and bottle openers out there, including:
- Waiter’s corkscrew, which typically has a bottle opener and foil cutter attached. We have a variety of waiter’s corkscrews, including Winco CO-720, Winco CO-512, Winco CO-712, and Winco CO-711 (full stainless steel).
- Winged corkscrew, which uses dual levers to pull the cork out of the bottle. We offer several excellent winged corkscrews, including Winco CO-501, Thunder Group OW115 , and Winco CO-701.
- Twist and pull corkscrew, which has a simple corkscrew and lever. Some of these corkscrews, like the Thunder Group WDW06768, have a wide wooden handle that makes it easy to pull out the cork. Others, like the Winco CO-4DK and the Winco CO-4DW, have a finger hole that makes it easy to grasp and pull.
- Can and bottle openers, which have both a bottle opener and a can tapper. We have a few options here, including the Winco CO-201, which is a full stainless steel opener. The Winco CO-303 features a wooden handle and stainless steel components, making it durable and comfortable to use.
- A flat can opener is also known as a speed opener. Their flat design reduces wrist strain from continuous bottle opening. We offer a variety of bottle openers in this style, including the Winco CO-301PR, Thunder Group SLBO002, Winco CO-301, and the Winco CO-301PK.
- The wall-mounted opener, like the Winco CO-402, allows bartenders to open bottles with just one hand.
Another item that should be on your bartender equipment list is a muddler. Muddlers, also referred to as a bartender’s pestle, are used to smash and mix ingredients into a drink.
You’ll find that muddles come in a standard 8-inch size, but they may be made of different materials. For example:
- The Thunder Group PLML008N and Thunder Group PLML008T are made from polycarbonate.
- The Winco WMW-8 and Thunder Group WDML008W are made from walnut wood.
- The Winco SBM-8N is made from stainless steel.
Stainless steel muddlers will be heavier than wood or polycarbonate, which may make it easier to crush ingredients. However, the heavier weight may also be cumbersome for your bartenders. Wood and polycarbonate options are lighter weight and durable, which may be preferable in some cases.
Ice Cube Trays and Tongs
Your bartender equipment should also include ice tools. Some customers may order drinks on the rocks, or some drinks may call for crushed or shaved ice. Essential ice tools include:
- Ice picks and chippers to break ice chunks.
- Ice crushers, either manual or electric.
- Ice shavers to make crushed or snow ice.
- Ice cube trays, round or square.
- Tongs to add ice cubes to glasses.
Spoons and Strainers
Of course, you’ll also need to add spoons and strainers to your list of essential cocktail bar tools.
- Spoons, like the Winco BPS-11, make it easy to mix ingredients into drinks. You may also need a beer layering spoon.
- Strainers make it easy to remove crushed or steeped ingredients. We have a variety of strainer styles, including Julep, pronged bar strainer, and powdered sugar strainer.
Spoons and strainers are compact and affordable tools that every bartender should have on hand.
These are the most essential cocktail-making equipment. Other tools you may want to add to your bar are citrus squeezers and glass rimmers. Both tools will save time when preparing and serving drinks.
Along with professional bartender tools to prepare cocktails and mixed drinks, you’ll also need glasses to serve your drinks.
Depending on your drink menu, you’ll need a variety of cocktail glasses, including:
- Moscow mule
- Classic long drink
You’ll find a variety of sizes and styles of glassware for cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. Choose ones that match your restaurant’s theme and drink menu.
Bar Tools for Serving
Mixing and pouring are only part of the equation. Presentation is also important, which is why your bartender set should also include cocktail decorations, like:
- Umbrella picks
- Fruit picks
- Decorative picks
Picks can really add to the presentation of your drinks. Umbrella and palm picks are great for tropical-themed drinks and margaritas. Bamboo skewers are ideal for martini olives or whatever finishing touch the drink may call for.
These are the most important items to add to your cocktail tool list. Shakers and mixers will make it easy for your bartenders to prepare most cocktails and mixed drinks. But don’t overlook the importance of presentation. Choose the right glasses and finishing touches to impress your customers when they order drinks.