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Bartender pouring cocktail into martini glass

Tools Every Bartender Should Have

Just like in a kitchen, there are a lot of gimmicky bar tools that have one application or are overly complicated and not worth the space they take up on your bar. Here are some necessary tools that are required for any bartender:

Two-Piece Shaker

This is simply two stainless steel cups, one larger than the other, that fit together at their openings, so you can mix your cocktails by shaking. You can also use the larger of the two cups to mix a cocktail by stirring.

Hawthorne Strainer

Used with the two-piece shaker, this strainer fits snugly in the opening to separate the liquid from the ice used to chill the cocktail that was shaken or stirred.


This is the Bartender’s version of a measuring cup. Typically a jigger is double-sided with two different sized measuring cups. One side usually measures 1 ½ fluid ounces while the other side measures ¾ of a fluid ounce. This is necessary for keeping cocktails consistent with their recipes.

These are some necessary tools that are required for any bartender.

Bar tools in a drawing

This long spoon with a twisted neck is used to stir cocktails to combine ingredients. The twist in the neck helps to combine less dense liquids or spirits with the denser liquid below it. This can also be used to measure smaller amounts of liquid.

The barspoon is an essential tool in creating layered cocktails.  This is accomplished by pouring the heaviest liquid into the bottom of the glass, then holding the spoon upside down in the glass so that it is touching the side. Slowly pour the next layer, allowing it to come in contact with the side of the glass as it dribbles over the spoon. Repeat this process with each layer of the cocktail.

Paring Knife

Cocktails often involve fruit, mostly citrus, that need to be cut for garnishes or simply to extract their juice. A paring knife is just the right size for this kind of work. 

Bottle Pourer

These spouts fit snugly into the tops of bottles to slow the pour of the spirit being used. These are necessary to measure accurately as well as to minimize waste.


Some cocktails like a Julep, require muddling—using firm pressure to extract flavors and aromas from things like fruit, citrus peels, and herbs. A muddler is a specific tool with a blunt, flat end used to smash these ingredients.