What do you need in a cocktail set?
Amazing cocktails are made with the right tools because bartending is both a science and an art. Each of the tools works together, directly or indirectly, to ensure that the cocktail preserves its consistency and integrity. No one wants a sloppy bartender unless one goes to the bar to get stressed rather than relaxed.
What comes in a cocktail set
These are the basic tools that should be found in the cocktail set.
Precision and consistency is the key when making cocktails. One wrong cocktail can spell disaster as bars are more effectively marketed by word of mouth. A good jigger is a very helpful tool to achieve consistency in your cocktails. It comes in different styles and sizes, but the most important thing is that it can help ease out your life when making your most sought-after cocktails. Check out this list for more jigger choices.
You can choose between a cobbler shaker and a Boston shaker. A cobbler shaker is the more traditional and is best for use in home bars. Professional bars, on the other hand, thrive on speed and some flair. This is best achieved when using a Boston shaker, the bartenders' choice when it comes to shakers because it is less prone to getting stuck.
There are three main strainers to use behind the bar - Hawthorne, fine mesh, and julep. The Hawthorne strainer is the most commonly used since it's no-mess and can be worked with one hand. It is composed of a slotted piece of circular metal fitted with a coiled spring along the circular base and is fitted into the top of the glass to strain out the cocktail into your serving glass.
The second strainer is the fine mesh strainer used when the recipe calls for double straining to remove tiny bits of pulp that may pass through the Hawthorne strainer.
The julep strainer, more like a slotted spoon, is the third kind of strainer used in the absence of the Hawthorne strainer. It fits better when using a pint glass for a shaker.
4. Bar Spoon
A bar spoon also called mixing spoon, is a long-stemmed spoon with a bowl that is similar to a teaspoon in size. This is designed as such so it can stir even tall and narrow-bottomed glasses like a sling glass. It usually comes with a footed end so it can stand on its own on the counter.
A muddler is a must when making cocktails like the classic mojitos and Old Fashioned or the more modern strawberry smash. It is used to muddle herbs to release its aroma or fruits to release its flavor.
6. Citrus Juicer
Citrus juicers can come in different forms - reamer, squeezer, or electric. Most bars use a citrus squeezer since it is more convenient especially if the bartender prefers freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice. A reamer, on the other hand, is a conical contraption with a strainer and bowl underneath to catch the juice from the citrus fruits.
7. Channel Knife
A channel knife is used to cut through rinds of citrus fruits, cucumber, and other fruit garnish for the cocktails. It makes long, spiral strips that give some sophistication and elegance to the cocktail.
You cannot serve cocktails in the same glass. Each cocktail style has the character that is highlighted by each glass used to serve it. I bet you cannot imagine a Bloody Mary to be served in a coupe glass so you get the idea. Here are the basic glasses you should get for your home bar to start with.
- Martini glass. These are used to serve martini, Cosmopolitan, Gimlet, and Pisco Sour, to name a few. It is a stemmed glass with a conical bowl.
- Coupe glass is a wide-bowled stemware with a shallow bowl. It is used to serve Boulevardier, Bee's Knees, and Last Word.
- Also known as lowball glasses, Old Fashioned is squat, straight glasses used to serve Old Fashioned, Amaretto Sour, Slaber, and Pastinaca.
- Rocks glasses are short and wide glasses and are used to serve drinks like whiskey on the rocks and cocktails like Vodka Fizz, Cranberry Punch, and Crime of Passion.
- Collins glasses are similar to highball and Delmonico glasses but are taller and narrower. It can hold up to 16 ounces of drink. These are usually used to serve Tom Collins, Cat-eyed, and Rum & Shrub.
- Sling glasses are used to serve Acapulco Bliss, Apple Smash, and Orange Pastry. The elegant design of this glass adds allure to these beautifully colorful cocktails.
- Copper mugs are used to serve primarily Moscow Mules but it can also be used to serve mint julep and other drinks that require to stay cold longer. Here are some lovely summer Moscow Mule cocktail recipes.
3 Best Cocktail Sets
Three bartender sets stood out from the many cocktail sets found in stores.
1. Highball & Chaser Bartender Kit with Espresso Bamboo Stand Beautiful Cocktail Shaker Bar Set with Highest Quality Bar Tools
This is a good cocktail set that contains all the tools needed for a home bar. It comes with a Boston shaker, muddler, ice scoop, strainers, knives, and bamboo organizer.
Just a few more tools and this is the best functional bartender set on Amazon. The set comes with a cobbler shaker with a built-in strainer lid, 3 fast pourers, a lemon squeezer, an ice tong, a bottle opener, a bar spoon, muddler, and jigger.
3. Travel Bartender Kit Bag | Professional 17-piece Bar Tool Set with Stylish Portable Bar Bag and Shoulder Strap for Easy-Carry and Storage
For the wandering bartender, this set is very good for those who love to travel and enjoy their drinks even on campings. This set comes with an easy-carry bag, cocktail tins, jigger, wooden muddler, strainers, pourer, lemon squeezer, lemon zester, ice tongs, corkscrew, bar key, and Lewis ice bag.