There are a variety of barware tools that can be used in a home bar or professional setting, and there are several factors to consider when purchasing them. Here are some things to consider when buying barware:
copper bartender tools set

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Consider what type of drinks you will be making and what tools you will need to make them. If you plan on making cocktails, you will need tools like shakers, jiggers, strainers, and muddlers. If you will be serving beer or wine, you will need glasses or mugs and an opener or corkscrew.


Barware is typically made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, glass, and wood. Stainless steel is a popular choice because it is durable and easy to clean. Glass is also a good choice for serving drinks, but it is more fragile and may need to be replaced more frequently. Wood barware can add a rustic or natural touch to a bar, but it may require more maintenance to keep it in good condition.
1. popular cocktail of classic margarita recipe with 1 ounce orange liqueur and simple syrup and 1 ounce lime juice on a bar with cocktail shaker set

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Size & Capacity

Consider the size and capacity of the barware tools you need. For example, if you will be making large batches of cocktails, you will need a larger shaker or mixing glass. If you are serving small amounts of cocktails, a smaller jigger or mixing spoon may be sufficient.

Brand & Quality

Look for well-known and trusted brands when purchasing barware. Higher quality barware may come with a higher price tag, but it will likely be more durable and last longer.
gold 14 piece cocktail shaker set for the holidays

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Consider the overall look and feel of your bar, and choose barware that fits with your desired style. There are a wide variety of barware options available in different colors, shapes, and materials, so you can choose something that fits with your personal taste and the decor of your bar.

Barware Tools

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the specific barware tools you may want to consider purchasing:

Cocktail Shakers

individual tools for drink mixing now available in black, including a Boston-style shaker, double jigger, and cocktail strainer

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A cocktail shaker is a two-part metal container used to mix cocktails. There are three main types of shakers: the Boston shaker, the French shaker, and the Cobbler shaker. The Boston shaker consists of a large cup and a metal tin that fits over the top, while the French shaker has a built-in strainer and a smaller mixing glass. The Cobbler shaker is a three-piece shaker with a built-in strainer and a cap to seal the top.

Cocktail Jiggers

Copper bell jigger with cocktail

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A jigger is a small measuring device used to measure precise amounts of alcohol or mixers for cocktails. Jiggers come in a variety of sizes, but the most common is a double jigger with a 1 oz on one side and a 2 oz measurement on the other.

Cocktail Strainers

Various stainless steel tools strainers with cocktail

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A strainer is used to remove ice and other solids from a cocktail when pouring it into a glass. There are several types of strainers, including the Hawthorne strainer, which has a spring-loaded metal band that fits over the rim of a mixing glass, and the fine mesh strainer, which is a metal or plastic strainer with a finer mesh used for straining cocktails with smaller particles.

Cocktail Muddlers

cocktail muddlers with peaches and fresh mint leaves

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A muddler is a long, narrow tool with a flat end used to mash or muddle ingredients in a cocktail, such as mint leaves or fruit. Muddlers are typically made of wood or plastic and are used to release the flavors and aromas of the ingredients being muddled.

Cocktail Mixing Glasses

Mixing glass

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A cocktail mixing glass is a must-have for any aspiring mixologist. This versatile item can be used to combine and pour cocktails, making it essential for creating delicious drinks. Made from sturdy glass, these mixing glasses are designed to hold a variety of sizes and shapes. With large spouts and easy-to-read measurements on the side, these tools help make perfect drinks with ease. Sleek and modern in design, cocktail mixing glasses add a touch of sophistication to any home bar setup.


Putting reusable straws into cocktails

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The type of glassware you choose will depend on the type of drinks you will be serving. For cocktails, you may want to have a variety of glasses, such as highballs, lowballs, and Martini glasses or coupes. For beer, you may want pints, mugs, or steins. For wine, you will need wine glasses in different sizes and shapes depending on the type of wine you are serving.

Bottle Openers

bartender wine key

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A bottle opener is a tool used to open bottles with metal caps, while a corkscrew is used to open wine bottles with cork tops. There are many different types of bottle openers and corkscrews available, including manual and electric versions.

Bar Spoons

Spiral Gold Spoons Amazon Photo-4

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A bar spoon is a long, narrow spoon with a twisted handle used for stirring and layering cocktails. Bar spoons come in a variety of sizes and styles, including ones with a muddler on the end for mashing ingredients.
When purchasing barware, it is important to consider your needs and budget, as well as the overall style and aesthetic of your bar. It may be helpful to start with a few essential tools and then add to your collection as you expand your cocktail making skills and preferences.

About Melanie Tornroth

A former English teacher, Melanie optimistically embraces the struggle that is work-from-home parenthood as the in-house writer for A Bar Above. When not responding to “Mom” and writing articles for ABA, she also runs Goodnickels Photography, loves to cuddle her cats, and is perfecting the art of keeping her pandemic “fermentation babies” alive.