Raising the Bar

CityScope® Magazine Southern Gentleman®


Top Tools to Customize Your Cocktail Creations


A well-stocked bar is a must-have for those who like to entertain. If you are looking to impress through your libations, there are several tools to have in your arsenal. To truly customize your cocktail creations, consider the functions of the following tools when stocking your bar area with these staples.

Cocktail shakers.

For cocktails that need to be enjoyed at cooler temperatures, a cocktail shaker is paramount. These not only chill drinks but also blend flavors, allowing for a consistent taste from the first sip to the last.

One popular shaker is the cobbler shaker, also known as the three-piece shaker, which features a built-in strainer and lid.

Another option is the Boston shaker, which is a two-piece tool composed of a larger tin mixing cup and a smaller glass pint glass. This shaker takes some elevated skill as you have to create a watertight seal to avoid leaks or spills. While this shaker is quick to use and easy to clean, it will also require the use of a strainer.

A French shaker, sometimes called a Parisian shaker, falls in between a cobbler and Boston shaker and features two pieces that fit snuggly together but with no built-in strainer.


For many cocktails, you will want to filter out ice and other solid ingredients, and there are several types of strainers that can get the job done.

The Hawthorne strainer features a disk with a handle, several prongs, and a metal spring. This strainer is great at keeping ice and muddled fruit at bay, and the metal spring allows you to strain liquids without touching the rim of the mixing tin.

The julep strainer was originally used to help mint julep lovers enjoy their drinks without getting a face full of ice and mint, but now it’s used to craft various cocktails. This strainer consists of a perforated bowl-shaped cup with a handle and fits into a pint glass better than a Hawthorne strainer.

For even more straining clout, consider using a fine mesh strainer. These variations catch ice and fruit like alternative strainers but go one step further in catching smaller particles such as seeds.

Bar spoons.

Typically made from stainless steel, bar spoons are used for stirring cocktails, and their elongated handles make it easy to mix drinks regardless of what glassware you’re using.

American bar spoons have a simple twisted handle and often come with a red plastic cap on the end, which makes them easy to find when sorting through your bar tools.

European bar spoons are generally sturdier and have a hammer or disk attached on one end to muddle ingredients.

Another popular bar spoon has Japanese origins and typically features a more elongated handle with a teardrop-shaped spoon on one end and a fork on the other, which can be used for grabbing garnishes.

To stock your home bar even further, consider adding the following items to your lineup:

Jigger  /  Wine key  /  Corkscrew  /  Foil cutter  /  Egg separator  /  Ice cube mold  /  Bottle opener  /  Paring knife  /  Channel zester  /  Ice tongs  /  Mixing glass  /  Muddler  /  Y peeler  /  Juicer  /  Pour spout  /  Funnel  /  Matches  /  Toothpicks  /  Lewis ice bag  /  Spice grater

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