Once you’ve decided that you want a home bar, one of the hardest decisions you’ve got to make is how to stock it. Alcohol aside, you need to have a good selection of barware if you want to be able to mix up your favorite drinks. From jiggers to collins glasses, we’re going to show you what you need to get started with a set of basic barware.
If you want to pour drinks that taste consistent every time, you’ll need a bar jigger. Standard jiggers have one side that measures an ounce-and-a-half and another side that measures out an ounce. Every aspiring mixologist should have at least one on hand until they master the art of pouring by eye.
ShakeThat recommend: OXO SteeL Double Jigger
A cocktail shaker is a must for mixing. They come in different styles, depending on your preference. Most bartenders recommend a Boston shaker, which has a glass cup on one end and a steel cup on the other. There are also straining shakers, which get rid of the need to buy a separate strainer to keep the ice out of your martini.
ShakeThat recommend: ChefLand 2 Piece Cocktail Shaker, 15-Ounce and 30-Ounce, Stainless Steel
Some drinks just need to be stirred, and a bar spoon is a much better choice than using your finger. They’re also perfect for pouring layered shots, and the handle can work as a muddler in a pinch. Bar spoons are a lot more useful to have around than most people think.
It almost doesn’t even bear mentioning, but make sure you have a set of shot glasses. If you like to throw back whiskey, then any old shot glass will do. But if you’re going to make mixed or layered shots, you’ll want to find a set of tall, narrow shot glasses.
ShakeThat recommend: Luminarc 6-Piece Drink Islande Shot Glass, 2.25-Ounce
Rocks & Highball Glasses
It’s hard to have a bar without any glasses. Get a selection of rocks and highball glasses so you can mix just about any drink. There are a few other sorts that some people prefer, like a Collins glass, but these two basic types are enough to cover the bases.
Don’t forget to grab a good corkscrew for opening up bottles of wine. It’s the simple things like this that are easiest to overlook.
ShakeThat recommend: Precision Kitchenware – Luxury Corkscrew and Wine Stopper Set
Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide
You can get away with a lot when you’re serving free drinks to your friends, but the one thing that the won’t let slide is mixing up the wrong cocktail. The Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide has recipes for over 2,000 drinks, along with 140 different techniques you might need to know behind the bar. They don’t call this book the bartender’s Bible for nothing.
ShakeThat recommend: Mr. Boston: 1,500 Recipes, Tools, and Techniques for the Master Mixologist
Those Are the Barware Basics
You can add a lot more to your home bar but those are the basics you’ll need for mixing up drinks. Some people like to keep a muddler around, and others swear that they can’t live without a custom electric ice cracker. But when it comes to throwing together a highball for your buddies, this is all you need to get started with basic barware.