When I started out making cocktails the one thing I really struggled to find was a simple list of the “bar essentials” for a hobbyest. Since I’ve now got some experience with it, I’ve decided to create such a list for people looking to have a simple bar (or just serve cocktails) at home.
There are some bits of equipment you can get away with not having, some that are just useful, and other bits that are absolutely essential. Each of the links below will take you to my recommendation for that specific item. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for the best value for money with these items, so that they won’t cost you an arm and a leg but also won’t rust or otherwise fall appart.
The Essentials are:
- Muddler / Muddling Stick (a pestle works as an okay replacement)
- Ice Crusher & Ice Scoop (you can hammer the ice in a plastic bag, or buy crushed ice)
- Bar Measure / Jigger (you can use a shot-glass for this)
- Make sure that your ice crusher is entirely stainless steel (including the screws that hold it together), if it doesn’t say so on the box, ask someone. This is absolutely critical as non-stainless metal will start to rust and having brown rusty ice will ruin your drinks. Under no circumstances buy a plastic / perspex ice crusher!
- A good muddling stick should have a “waffle” at the bottom as opposed to being smoothed (like a pestle). My personal preference here is a “fan” arrangement instead of the “knobby” arrangement some muddling sticks have.