11 Tools That Will Make All of Your Home Bartending Dreams Come True

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Credit: Courtesy of Overlord Knives

Good bartenders are like magicians. They may make their craft look easy to the naked eye, but behind the scenes they have a whole stash of (not-so-secret) tools that help them wow audiences.

With so many of us being our own bartenders at home these days, we decided to launch Kitchn Essentials, Bar Edition, a definitive list of the best beerswinesspirits, and more for our home bars. Of course, the list includes tools. These are the very most important tools that a (home) bartender should equip themselves with to stir up top-notch drinks.

Paring Knife: Overlord Utility Knife

A few of our experts had the same pick here, saying it’s worthy of a craftsman. That pakkawood handle, though. It “looks like something that would be gifted on Downton Abbey,” bartender Josh Gandee says, “and it peels fruit like nobody’s business.”

Buy: Overlord Utility Knife, $29.99 at Cocktail Kingdom

Credit: Courtesy of Epicurean LLC

Bar Board: Epicurean All-In-One Board

Most so-called “bar boards” are just small rectangular pieces of plastic, but think about it: What are you most likely cutting up on your bar cart? Juicy lemons and limes! So you really do need a board with grooves for juices. This Epicurean board has a groove, looks great, and can go in the dishwasher.

Buy: Epicurean All-In-One Board, $19.95

Credit: Courtesy of Cocktail Kingdom

Bar Spoon: Teardrop Bar Spoon

There is a real art to properly using a bar spoon, but this lovely one can help home bartenders get the hang of it. There’s just something about this spoon that really encourages the right grip and makes for easy stirring.

Buy: Teardrop Bar Spoon, $23.99 at Cocktail Kingdom

Credit: Courtesy of Bull in China

Mixing Glass: Bull in China Mixing Glass

Nothing ruins a cocktail like your mixing glass breaking (this is a real thing that happens!). Pros, including Jordan Hughes (aka High-Proof Preacher), give props to this seamless, “incredibly durable” beauty. Plus, the subtle “hammered” design says you’re serious about your home bar.

Buy: Bull in China Mixing Glass, $55 at Bull in China

Credit: Rabbit

Cocktail Shaker: Rabbit Double Walled Cocktail Shaker

Those simple metal cocktail shakers professional bartenders use? They’re a pain in the butt! They sweat, get your hands all cold, and can be tough to open. For at-home bartenders, we like this double-walled version. It won’t drip condensation, is easy to hold, has a twist-to-lock leak-proof cap and built-in strainer, and it’ll still look good on your bar cart.

Buy: Rabbit Double Walled Cocktail Shaker, $29.06

Credit: Courtesy of Koriko

Cocktail Shaker: Koriko Hawthorne Strainer

The devil is in the details, and this strainer designed by bartending’s “mad scientist” Don Lee gets them all just right. “With a wide surface and an extra tight spring, it works incredibly well to prevent small pieces of ice or solids from entering your perfect cocktail,” Jordan says.

Buy: Koriko Hawthorne Strainer, $15.99 at Cocktail Kingdom

Credit: Courtesy of Vacu Vin

Champagne Stopper: Vacu Vin Champagne Saver

How not fun is a leftover bottle of flat, day-old bubbles? Never mind, because you never have to find out. This little bottle stopper seals in the happy so the next-day pour is just as festive. Bonus: You don’t have to take it off to pour, so bubbles keep on bubbling.

Buy: Vacu Vin Champagne Saver, $13.06

Credit: Courtesy of Vacu Vin

Bottle Stopper: Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump with Stoppers

Don’t be fooled by how simple this set looks. Elaborate doesn’t mean better. And it’s not just for wine. These stoppers are “perfect for sealing over vermouth or other more delicate liquids,” Jordan says.

Buy: Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump with Stoppers, $14.99 at Crate & Barrel

Credit: Courtesy of OXO

Citrus Juicer: OXO 2-in-1 Citrus Juicer

When you’re in the kitchen, this Chef’n handheld juicer is hard to beat, but for mixing up drinks, reach for this OXO version. It comes with two reamers (one for smaller lemons and limes and one for, say, grapefruits and oranges). And the reamers sit on top of the measuring cup, which catches the juice and acts as a sturdy base while you work. Just juice and pour!

Buy: OXO 2-in-1 Citrus Juicer, $14.99

Credit: Courtesy of Pulltaps

Corkscrew/Bottle Opener: Pulltap’s Double-Hinged Waiters Corkscrew

This corkscrew is what any server in a nice restaurant will pull from their apron, and that’s all we need to know. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to using one.

Buy: Pulltap’s Double-Hinged Waiters Corkscrew, $16.99

Credit: Courtesy of Cocktail Kingdom

Jigger: Leopold Jigger

Our experts geeked out over this elegant bartending essential. Felicia loves the feel of the curves, while Jordan gave it points for the multiple smaller measurement marks (no need for jiggers in every size!). Bonus pick: Home bartenders might also like this sturdy little OXO double jigger.

Buy: Leopold Jigger, $18.99 at Cocktail Kingdom

Credit: Photo: Andria Lo; Prop Styling: Anna Raben