10 Essential Tools for Your Home Bar | Craft Connections Co

10 Essential Tools for Your Home Bar | Craft Connections Co

10 Essential Tools for Your Home Bar

These days, staying in is definitely the new going out, whether through necessity or choice, and one definite highlight of staying in more is to learn new skills - like becoming a mixologist. Whether you like the idea of getting all dressed up at home and mixing a sophisticated Margarita or fancy having a go at infusing your own spirits, we’ve got you covered. 

First things first, you need to learn about the essential tools for your home bar that will allow you to experiment with different flavors and different vibes, depending on your mood.

Craft Connections Co offers entertaining cocktail kits with tools and recipes to handcraft unique beverages and share them with the ones you love. 

What Do You Need for Cocktail Making & Infusions?

Here are some of the basic tools you need to make cocktails and infusions at home: 

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Crystal Mixing Glass
  • Bar Spoon
  • Muddler
  • Cocktail Jigger
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Citrus Squeezer
  • Infusion Jar
  • Funnel with Strainer
  • Liquor Serving Bottle

Cocktail Shaker

Many cocktails require the use of a cocktail shaker to mix, dilute and chill all the ingredients of your preferred cocktail. 

A Margarita, for example, normally calls for tequila with a triple sec liqueur, such as Cointreau, and some lime juice. All these ingredients would be placed in the cocktail shaker with ice and given a good shake before pouring into a glass, over ice, with a nice rim of salt and lime.

There are three types of shakers out there: 

  • Boston Shakers
  • Parisian Shakers 
  • Cobbler Shakers
Three Types of Cocktail Shakers

A Boston Shaker is generally used by professional bartenders due to their larger capacities. It requires the use of a glass to create a seal with the shaker, and while you don't usually run the risk of the shaker or the glass popping off, you must make sure to hold them tightly. The trickiest part is separating the glass and the metal when you’re ready to pour your drink. Squeezing the metal will break the seal and you then need to use a separate strainer to serve your cocktail.

A Cobbler Shaker is ideal for cocktail making at home as it has the convenience of a built-in strainer. This is probably the best bet if you are starting out in cocktail making and don't need to mix large volumes. 

A Parisian Shaker has two metal pieces but no in-built strainer. It is easier to open than a Boston Shaker.

Crystal Mixing Glass 

Despite our favorite secret agent’s preferences, some cocktails are stirred, not shaken (sorry, James).

Perhaps the most forgotten item on people’s bar cart kit list is a Mixing Glass. However, this is essential in your kit to prepare many whiskey cocktails, and other cocktails, giving yourself and your guests plenty of options in your home bar.

Unlike a Margarita or a Pina Colada, when making a Manhattan Cocktail or an Old Fashioned Cocktail, rather than a shaker, you use a Mixing Glass. You’ll want something both stylish and functional if you are creating your own bar cart at home, and so a nice crystal Mixing Glass with a spout would be ideal. 

Crystal Mixing Glass with Spout

Bar Spoon

When making a cocktail that is stirred in a Mixing Glass, a Bar Spoon is also an essential tool for your home bar.

This is a long handled spoon and its length is exactly why it serves its purpose, allowing it to reach the bottom of the tallest jugs and mixing glasses to make sure you can mix all the ingredients of your chosen cocktail together nicely. 

There are three basic styles of bar spoon you can choose from: 

  • A European Bar Spoon features a muddler on the end.
  • An American Bar Spoon has a twisted handle with a plastic cap on the end.
  • A Japanese Bar Spoon is generally heavier, being weighted opposite the bowl.
3 Types of Bar Spoon

 For home use a European Bar Spoon is often the most popular, since it features a muddler on the end that can be used to crush sugar cubes for your old fashioned cocktail, or release flavors from herbs for a more modern drink. 


Muddlers can be metal, plastic or wooden and are used to smash and mix (muddle) your ingredients to really infuse the flavors of fruits and herbs into your cocktail. 

A European Bar Spoon comes with a muddler on the end, which means you don’t necessarily need a separate muddler as part of your home bar tool kit, but there are different styles and materials available if you prefer. 

Stainless Steel Muddler


Cocktail Jigger 

Like any good recipe, a cocktail requires the correct measures if you want to get them consistent and with a flavor that is spot on every time. It’s no good just guessing with a splash of this and a splash of that!

To achieve true mixologist mastery, you’ll need a Jigger. A Jigger is a small stainless steel receptacle that allows you to measure out different spirits and liqueurs to achieve the perfect balance of flavors that will Wow! your guests (or just yourself with your mad new bar skills). 

Jiggers come in various shapes, sizes and volumes, but for use at home you are likely to only need one in 1 oz & 0.5 oz.

Cocktail Jigger - Stainless Steel in 1 oz & 0.5 oz Volumes

Cocktail Strainer

When mixing your cocktails in a Mixing Glass or Boston or Parisian Shaker, rather than a Cobbler Shaker, you will need a Cocktail Strainer when pouring your cocktail. 

A fine mesh strainer is useful for straining out any citrus pulp or seeds and is also useful for any egg white cocktails you might enjoy such as a Whiskey Sour. 

Copper Plated Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer


The other type of strainer, often used by professional bartenders, is a Hawthorne Strainer. This fits over a Boston Shaker or your Mixing Glass, with a handy spot for your finger to rest so it is easy to hold over the glass when pouring. 

Hawthorne Strainer Being Used to Pour a Cocktail into Glass

Citrus Squeezer

Although you may use a strainer when pouring your cocktail, it is also good to have a citrus squeezer as one of the tools in your home bar. A citrus squeezer allows you to get the juice and nothing else, saving from lime seeds being squeezed into your shaker when preparing a Mojito or Margarita. 

Green Citrus Squeezer for Cocktails

Are you a fan of Margarita? Discover our Margarita Cocktail Kit. 

Infusion Jar 

If you love giving hand-made gifts, or you simply like to make things from scratch to have as a treat for yourself at home, creating your own premium liquor infusions could become your new favorite hobby! 

An Infusion Jar is simply a glass jar where you add your preferred neutral flavored spirit, such as vodka, along with your favorite ingredients, so that the flavors infuse to create a real taste sensation! 

You can get creative with the flavors. Perhaps you prefer something fruity in the summer months and like to use strawberries or watermelon, or you could go for something more festive during wintertime like chocolate, cinnamon or coffee. The choice is yours! 

Infusion Jar with Vodka and Lemons


Funnel (with strainer)

A funnel can be a helpful tool in your home bar when transferring liquids into bottles. It will save you from creating a big mess!  

Also, if you decide to have a go at making your own liquor infusions, then you need to use a funnel with a strainer to filter your infusion into a serving bottle. 

Funnel with Strainer with Removable Fine Mesh Filter


Liquor Serving Bottle

Serving Bottles are an essential bit of kit and it’s always great to have a few bottles in stock in case you have the urge to try something different, like making homemade syrup or getting creative with different liquor infusions.  

Liquor Serving Bottle with Rosy Grapefruit


Other Essentials Tools for Your Home Bar

Setting up a home bar can be really fun but could also seem a bit daunting if you are not familiar with the tools. If you want to start cocktail making “one cocktail at a time”, cocktail kits are a popular choice because they include all you need to make delicious drinks at home, with all the necessary tools and recipes. 

Of course your home bar will also need to be well stocked with spirits, liqueurs and mixers. What you choose to have on hand is up to you and your taste buds, and you can always add to this as you get more adventurous. 

Craft Connections Co offers entertaining cocktail kits with tools and recipes to handcraft unique beverages and share them with the ones you love. 

What is your favorite cocktail? Post a picture of your drink and tag us on Instagram

Author: Lucy Maddox