bar accessories
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15 Must-Have Bar Accessories

Whether you’re a novice or experienced bartender, there are some essential bar accessories that you need to have on hand. From jiggers and strainers to shakers and measuring cups, having the right tools makes bartending easier – and more fun! 

So, what are the must-have bar accessories for your home bar? Read on to find out.

Must-Have Bar Accessories

A bar accessory can be as simple as a wooden spoon or as sophisticated as an automatic cocktail mixer. Regardless of what you like to drink, there’s a bar accessory that will help you make it better and easier than ever. Here are my 15 must-have gadgets:

1. Cocktail Shaker 

It doesn’t matter if you prefer your drinks shaken or stirred; the cocktail shaker is the fundamental bar tool for mixing up classic cocktails and more modern concoctions (directions and recipes included). Some shakers come with built-in strainers; others require separate jiggers to measure liquor. Double-walled models look cool but aren’t necessary for functionality, just insulation.

2. Jigger 

Also called a shot glass, this little gadget helps you measure and pour exactly the amount of booze you want (1 ounce and 1/2 ounce jiggers are great for beginners). They’re inexpensive and highly versatile; use them to measure acids or bitters in cooking as well.

3. Ice Cube Trays 

For those who like their drinks cold without watering down the flavor, an ice cube tray is a must-have bar tool. I don’t recommend using crushed or “cocktail” ice since they tend to cloud liquor and leave your drink watery – so invest in some good quality, tightly packed ice cubes made with clean filtered water instead.

4. Muddler 

A muddler is best suited for making drinks that require crushed or muddled fruit, like mojitos and smashes. My choice is the traditional wooden version, but many are fashioned from plastic these days, which can be difficult to clean if you’re using sweet fruits.

5. Bottle Opener 

A household corkscrew or church-key will do in a pinch, but for opening wine bottles with speed, accuracy, and ease every time – look no further than the electric bottle opener. No batteries required – just stick it on top of your bottle and let its powerful magnet pull down onto the cap until it pops off. Like regular openers, there are several styles available that fit any budget or décor scheme.

6. Mixing Spoon 

I love my slotted spoon for cooking and serving, but a long-handled mixing spoon is a must-have bar tool. Use it to stir everything from punches and layered shots to hot toddies and cappuccinos without getting your hand all sticky – plus, you can scoop things out of the bottom of the glass with it, too (think olives or fruit).

7. Citrus Reamer 

The juice from fresh limes, lemons, and oranges make any cocktail better – but if you don’t have time to peel them, a citrus reamer makes quick work of turning those fruits into a juice. Plus, this durable little gadget won’t leave any icky pith in your drink like some juicers tend to do, making it perfect for everyone from beginners to bar pros.

8. Hawthorne Strainer 

This combo strainer and jigger makes a great addition to any home bar, whether you’re a casual drinker or a cocktail connoisseur. Its versatile design is perfect for mixing up martinis, Manhattans, and more since it includes measurements on the side, so you know exactly how much of each ingredient goes in your drink – plus it has a built-in spring coil that helps keep those pesky fruit garnishes from clogging up the works (and prevents bits of ice and muddled fruit from making it into your glass).

9. Citrus Juicer 

For those who like their drinks tangy yet smooth, an electric citrus juicer is an absolute must-have bar tool. Unlike reamers which often leave pips and pulp in the drink, this juice extractor uses a strainer to produce perfectly clear and pure citrus juice without any of that (and it doesn’t take up as much room either).

10. Corkscrew 

The old standby for opening wine bottles without an electric opener – choose from winged corkscrews, double-lever models, or those that use a compact spiral design. Newer options like “waiter’s friend” (two separate blades with levers) and “butler’s” corkscrews (which allow you to screw, pull and hold the cork all in one motion) are also available if you don’t mind spending a little more.

11. Bar Spoon 

For making stirred drinks, nothing beats the elegance and efficiency of this bar spoon which is specially designed with a flat end that rests on the edge of your glass to keep ingredients where they belong without diluting them in the process. The long handle also lets you make several drinks at once if necessary – something not possible with standard spoons, thanks to their shorter length.

12. Stream Set 

 For teetotalers, coffee lovers, and others who prefer not to drink alcohol, a complete home bar isn’t necessary. However, you will need at least one “stream set,” which consists of a bottle opener, stirrer, and jigger. The former two are standard gear, while the third is used for making everything from hot toddies and milkshakes to fizzes and smoothies – something that’s more difficult to do with the standard spoons found in most utensils sets.

13. Wine Stopper 

No matter how vigilant you are or how well-sealed your wine bottle is, it’s inevitable that some liquid will evaporate over time and when it does, it’ll take all the fizz and flavor with it. Keep your opened bottles fresh and bubbly with a wine stopper which automatically reinserts itself into the bottle to keep out air and seal in all that deliciousness for future sips.

14. Gin Lovers Kit 

For cocktail lovers who like their drinks on the lighter side (and without any extra fruit flavors), a gin-based cocktail kit is an absolute must-have bar tool. It typically includes everything you need for making martinis, negronis, and other favorites – from shakers & strainers to shot glasses and even one of those cool ice cream scoop thingamajigs so you can add just the right amount of crushed ice to each glass.

15. Hawthorne Strainer Set

 For those who like to make the occasional shaken cocktail, a complete set of shakers can be a bit unwieldy. Instead, we recommend this four-piece strainer set that includes two different-sized strainers – one for densely packed ingredients and another that’s better suited for things like citrus and larger chunks – as well as a top-down mixer, so you never miss your mark when blending up the perfect drink.

Conclusion

So there you have it – 15 must-have bar accessories that every cocktail lover should consider investing in. From shakers and strainers to bottle openers and jiggers, these accessories will help ensure that all of your favorite drinks come out just right – and that’s something worth celebrating.