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8 Cocktail Tools that Will Immediately Make You a Better Bartender

There are a few essential tools that every bartender should have in their arsenal in order to make crowd pleasing cocktails. This is especially true if you’re new to making cocktails.

Whatever your reasons, having the right equipment is the easiest way to set yourself up for success.

Here are the eight essential tools that will instantly make you a better bartender.

1) A Cocktail Jigger

A cocktail jigger is a tool used to measure liquids, typically in ounces or milliliters. It is a small, two-sided metal cup with different measurements on each side. Bartenders use jiggers to make cocktails accurately and consistently. Without a jigger, it can be difficult to make drinks that are both balanced and flavorful.

A jigger is the most powerful tool you can have prior to mastering the art of cocktail creating.

2) A Cocktail Shaker

A cocktail shaker is another essential tool for bartenders. It is a container made of metal or glass that is used to mix cocktails. The cocktail shaker has a built-in strainer that separates the liquid from the ice, allowing you to pour your drink without any chunks of ice.

While there are many different types of cocktail shakers, you only need a simple Boston shaker to get started making solid drinks.

3) A Cocktail Strainer

A cocktail strainer is a small, perforated metal disk that is used to remove solids from cocktails. It is inserted into the top of a Boston shaker after shaking and before pouring. The strainer catches small pieces of fruit or herbs that may have been added to the drink, preventing them from ending up in your glass.

A Hawthorne strainer has a slight curve to it but functions the same way. Just keep in mind that some drinks are meant to be a little chunky. In other words, don’t use the filter where it’s not needed.

4) Pebble Ice

Pebble ice is a type of ice that is popular among bartenders. It is small and cylindrical, with a texture that is softer than traditional ice cubes. Because of its size and shape, pebble ice melts slowly and doesn’t water down cocktails like traditional ice cubes can.

These machines are expensive so you want to make sure and research the best pebble ice makers available. Don’t be fooled by the vast array of companies who claim their crushed ice is pebble ice. If you’re unsure, take a look at the reviews to see what other buyers are saying.

5) A Bar Spoon

A bar spoon is a long, slender spoon that is used to stir cocktails. It has a twisted shaft and a pointed end that makes it easy to reach the bottom of tall glasses.

Bar spoons also come in handy for layering cocktails. By using a spoon with a thin enough shaft, you can slowly layer different liquors on top of each other to create beautiful and unique cocktails.

Besides being super practical, bar spoons also just make you look like you know what you’re doing (even when you don’t).

6) A Cocktail Muddler

A cocktail muddler is a tool that is used to crush fruits and herbs. It is a wooden or metal club-shaped tool that is used to mash ingredients in the bottom of a glass or shaker. This allows the flavors of the ingredients to mix with the alcohol and create a more flavorful drink.

Muddlers can be purchased for relatively cheap, and they are a must-have if you plan on making any cocktails with fresh fruit or herbs.

7) A Cocktail Smoker

A cocktail smoker slowly burns wood chips and infuses a smoky flavor into cocktails.

The cocktail smoker is a relatively new tool, and not all bartenders are familiar with it yet. If you’re interested in trying out this unique technique, you may need to do a little bit of experimenting before adding smoke to cocktails.

It is ridiculously easy to overdo the smoke and should only be added after you’ve found the right balance in the cocktail

8) Garnishes

Garnishes are a way to add extra flavor, color, and texture to a cocktail. They can be anything from a slice of lime to a maraschino cherry. If you really want to impress a crowd, learn how to make some fancy garnishes using fruits, herbs, and even flowers.


Having the right cocktail making tools is the first step in taking your new bartending hobby seriously. By having these basic tools, you’ll be able to make a variety of cocktails that are both delicious and impressive. So what are you waiting for? Go out and buy yourself some supplies!

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