5 bar tools you’ll need to make cocktails

25 May 2017Ivar de Lange

5 bar tools you’ll need to make cocktails

Since we’re real bartending and cocktail aficionado’s, it’s in our nature to want to share this love and passion with the people around us. By sharing our stories and recipe’s we try to lower the barrier for you to start creating and enjoying the craft of making cocktails yourselves. But we understand that, whenever you’re starting to make cocktails at home, it is necessary to have all the essential equipment lined up. Without some crucial tools, making cocktails the right way will be really difficult. Therefore we hereby highlight the 5 most essential cocktail tools you will need to be able to create almost any cocktail you’d like at home!


A bartender’s measuring cup. To be able to create well-balanced drinks, we recommend you to use a jigger for any and every liquid you use. You might have noticed experienced bartenders at professional cocktail bars free-pouring their liquors. This is a method where, by using the same pour spouts on every bottle, you can measure the amount of liquid by counting the time of your pour. But even though free-pouring can become very accurate when practised a lot, using a jigger will always be the safest bet.
Jiggers come in different forms and sizes, where they generally all have a smaller and larger measuring side, e.g. 30ml/1oz. and 45ml/1.5oz. Which jigger is best to use quite really depends on your own preference. The main key is making sure you’re using one, so you can measure your ingredients accurately.


A pretty obvious one. Since a great amount of cocktails require a shaker to – yes really – shake your cocktail, this one is quite essential. There are different shakers on the market, of which the Boston and Tin-on-Tin shakers are most frequently used. The first one is a two-piece shaker existing of a metal part and a glass part, the latter is made out of two tin parts, making it lighter weight and easier to open. Again, which shaker you use won’t effect the final result, it’s mainly up to what works (or shakes) the best for you.

Cocktail Strainers

A tool that is used to sieve the ice out of your cocktail. After shaking your cocktail, you place the strainer in the one side of your shaker that contains the ice and liquid, enabling you to pour out your drink while keeping the ice in the shaker. The most used strainer for this purpose is called the Hawthorne strainer. To make sure you strain even the finest chips of ice out of your cocktail, you will also need a Fine-strainer. When pouring your cocktail through the fine-strainer, all small bits of ice will remain in this small sieve, leaving you with a gorgeously clear cocktail.


This tool is being used to extract juices and flavours from fruits and herbs. The most popular cocktail requiring the use of a muddler is the Mojito, using the muddler to extract juice and flavour from fresh lime and mint leaves. But this tool can be used for many many other drinks as well.


A special spoon, specifically designed for bartenders to stir their cocktails. Using a special barspoon instead of a regular kitchen spoon will make the process of stirring your drinks a lot easier. Also, the spoon can be used for measuring small amounts of liquid ingredients. Essential for classic cocktails like Martini’s and Old Fashioned’s.

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Ivar de Lange

Ivar de Lange

Ivar de Lange is our Master Bartender and manager of the Bols Academy. He has over 21 years of bartending experience and loves to write about anything cocktail.

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