What Are The Essential Bar Tools: Shakers, Muddlers, Jiggers

From shakers and muddlers to jiggers and juicers, and everything in between, the way you make your drink is just as important as the drink itself. This article offers a description of the basic bar tools and their uses that everyone needs to have. Depending upon your set up, you may find other accessories to be essential.

Cocktail Shaker

A Cocktail Shaker is found in most bars, because of their many uses. They are generally made from stainless steel and are made of a cup and lid with a pourer that can be used to seal the cup for shaking. The most common cocktail shakers are the Boston Shaker, Parisian or French style Shaker, the Japanese shaker or the Artdeco style Shaker. Each one has it’s own pros and cons but we find that the standard Boston Shaker is the most versatile. These days you can find these shakers with all sorts of metal finishes including copper and gold.


A cocktail strainer is a metal comb-like device that is used with a shaker or glass to strain out ice or fruit that is not poured into the glass for serving. They are meant to fit over the top of the container so that only the liquid can come through into the glass.

Bar Spoon

Different from your average spoon, a bar spoon typically has a long shaft (for reaching the bottom of tall glasses), a spiral handle (for easy twisting of the shaft and getting between ice particles) and a petite spoon bowl (for floating liquors). This type of spoon is essential for stirring and layering drinks as well as tedious tasks like fishing cherries or olives out of a jar. The first time you use a bar spoon you will never be without one in the bar, they’re that essential.


It is necessary to measure properly when creating alcoholic drinks because most beverages receive a certain amount like one or two ounces of each item. A jigger is a great tool that is used to measure these amounts quickly and accurately. If you want to create great tasting and consistent tasting cocktails then a jigger is a must have item.

Bottle Opener

A bottle opener is generally used to remove the metal cap from a glass beer bottle. They can be a handheld manual tool or secured to the bar or wall and can be worked with one hand. They are generally made of strong metal so they can easily pry off aluminium caps.


A corkscrew is a tool that is necessary for removing the cork from a wine bottle. They come in many different designs and colors. They were first made as a small compact, manual model, and as technology has advanced, there have been many new designs, such as the electric models. You might be wondering why a corkscrew is essential especially since most wine is now screw top. The last thing you want is to try and open a vintage bottle of red only to find it has a cork.

Scoops and Tongs

These can be used for many things such as ice or fruit and are an excellent way to serve these items while keeping things sanitary. Scoops are generally kept in or near the ice bin and used to put ice cubes into glasses or buckets. Tongs are used more for fruit items or olives that are very popular in many drink recipes.


A muddler is similar to a mortar and pestle, and its most popular use is to crush mint leaves for a drink called a mojito. They are also commonly used to crush lemon and lime slices or other fruit for different beverages.

Citrus Juicer

A shallow dish with a reaming cone, a spout and often a strainer that’s used to separate juice from pulp. Juices are best the day they’re squeezed, but orange and grapefruit juices can hold for up to two days in the refrigerator.

Making drinks is a blend of knowledge, art, and craftsmanship.  Like any skill, your abilities will improve, given time and practice.  With the right tools and resources, however, you will find the bar experience more enjoyable and productive.




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