Cocktail making is an art, and just like any art form, the outcome depends on the barware and techniques used. One of the essential bar tools for any mixologist is a cocktail skewer.
Although it seems really basic, this humble yet versatile tool can take your cocktail-making skills to the next level by adding a touch of creativity, practicality, & beauty to your drinks.
cocktail picks for a variety of drinks with Martini olives in a crystal glass with a heavy base

Copyright A Bar Above

What Are Cocktail Skewers?

Cocktail skewers or cocktail picks are small sticks used to hold garnishes or other ingredients in a cocktail. They come in different materials, including bamboo, metal, and plastic. They’re designed to be functional, practical, and aesthetically pleasing; as one of the best cocktail tools for professional bartenders, they really are an essential component of any home bar.

Types of Cocktail Skewers

Bamboo Cocktail Skewers

These are the most common type. They are made from natural bamboo and come in various sizes and shapes. Bamboo skewers are affordable and disposable, making them a practical choice for large gatherings.
Gold cocktail picks holiday gifts

Copyright A Bar Above

Metal Cocktail Skewers

If you’re looking for a more sustainable, long-lasting option, then metal cocktail skewers may be just what you need. Crafted from durable materials such as stainless steel, these skewers can be washed in the dishwasher and are easy to clean.
Not only are they practical, but they also add a touch of sophistication to any drink, making them a favorite among professional bartenders and home bartenders alike. They look really pretty in a cocktail! And again, because they are reusable, they’re a much more environmentally-friendly option.

Plastic Cocktail Skewers

For those who are looking for an affordable and lightweight choice, you might look towards plastic skewers.
Sometimes they can be washed in the dishwasher and reused, making them a practical option that doesn’t break the bank. However, most are simply disposable, making them a poor environmental choice.

Novelty Cocktail Skewers

Novelty cocktail skewers are a fun and playful addition to any home bar. They come in various shapes, including palm trees, flamingos, and other quirky designs. They are perfect for themed parties or special occasions and can add a touch of personality to your drinks. However, like plain plastic picks, they are not a very sustainable option.
Stainless steel Cocktail picks for holiday gifts

Copyright A Bar Above

Benefits of Using Cocktail Picks

Using these picks offers several benefits:
  • Aesthetic Appeal – One of the primary benefits of using cocktail picks is their aesthetic appeal. They add a touch of sophistication and elegance to any drink, making the final product more visually appealing. These are excellent ways to elevate the presentation of your drinks and impress your guests, particularly if using reusable, stainless steel picks.
  • Enhance Flavor – It enhances the flavor of your drinks. By adding garnishes such as fruit or herbs, you can infuse your cocktails with new and exciting flavors.
  • Practical Function – Cocktail skewers are also practical tools for any bartender. They make it easy to add garnishes to your drinks without making a mess or accidentally dropping them in the glass. Additionally, these picks are useful for stirring drinks and reaching ingredients at the bottom of tall glasses.
  • Hygiene – Using a cocktail pick also has hygienic benefits. It eliminates the need to touch ingredients– such as fruit– directly, reducing the risk of contamination or spreading of germs. This is especially important for bartenders who serve large crowds and want to maintain high hygiene standards.
5 Reasons You Need Cocktail Picks for the Holidays

Copyright A Bar Above

Creative Uses of Cocktail Skewers

They can be used in a variety of ways to make cocktails look and taste even better. These include:


Cocktail picks are most commonly utilized for garnishing drinks. They can hold fruit slices, cocktail cherries, olives, or herbs to add a touch of color and flavor to your drinks. Garnishes can also help to balance the sweetness or acidity of a drink.

Mixology Techniques

These are versatile tools that can be used for a variety of mixology techniques. For example, you can use a skewer to muddle ingredients directly in the glass or to create a floating garnish by balancing it on top of the drink. You can also use a skewer to create a swirl effect in a layered drink.
7. RECIPE 2 complex cocktail Mai Tais with traditional garnish of lime slice and garnish with mint, each with a classic rum float

Copyright A Bar Above


Finally, they are an excellent tool for presentation. By arranging your garnishes in a visually appealing way, you can create a stunning cocktail that looks as good as it tastes.
Cocktail skewers are a versatile and essential tool for any bartender or home mixologist. They add a touch of creativity and practicality to your drinks and can elevate the aesthetic appeal of your cocktails.
A New York Sour in the sour family of mixed drinks like whiskey sours but with red wine, garnished with lemon peel and cocktail cherry

Copyright A Bar Above


When choosing a skewer, consider factors such as material, length, design, and cost. To keep your picks in top condition, be sure to clean and store them properly if they are reusable. With the right cocktail tools, including cocktail spoons and skewers, you can create delicious and visually stunning drinks that are sure to impress your guests.

Helpful Links

  1. 5 Ways To Get The Kitchen Staff To Love You
  2. 5 Ways To Make Your Barback Love You
  3. Ice Tongs: The Good, The Bad and The Annoying
  4. 5 Ways To Make Your Customers Love You
  5. Floral Cocktails Archives
  6. Mint Archives
  7. Fruit Cocktails Archives
  8. 5 Ways to Get Your Shift Covered on a Same-Day Call Out
  9. Citrus Archives
  10. Stirred, Not Shaken
  11. Home

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.