A bar spoon may seem like an excessive utensil to use when stirring and mixing, but using a regular tablespoon or a teaspoon can pose problems for the bartender. A regular spoon can cause big splashes and spills that will seem unsightly, and the teaspoon is too short for highball or mixing glasses.
Types of Bar Spoons
American Bar Spoons. This is one of the most simple and basic designs of a bar spoon. It's a long thin spoon with a swivel handle and a red plastic cap on the end. It functions only for stirring and measuring. The spoon measures about a standard teaspoon.
Japanese Bar Spoons. Japanese bar counters are lower than average, and it's considered rude to slouch or bow in front of customers. That's why they made the bar spoons longer to avoid such a situation. The end is equipped with a weighted metal teardrop to keep the tool balanced.
European Bar Spoons. It's easy to distinguish bar spoons from European and American. European bar spoons have a teaspoon with a swivel handle and a flat round metal piece at the end. You can use the flat part to crush ice or muddle ingredients.
Things to Consider When Buying a Bar Spoon
Length. Most bar spoons are measured at least 12" long. This length ensures that it can effortlessly reach the bottom of the glass and mix all the ingredients in an even consistency. Some are longer in size for cultural reasons. Depending on what kind of bar you have, 12" is generally the standard length.
Handle. Nowadays, bar spoon handles are usually designed with a swivel handle. This ensures a good grip on your bar stirrer and helps with twisting it around. But some still have that smooth design, and others have a combination of both. The smooth handles are easier to clean than the swivel since it's one long solid piece.
Bowl. The typical spoon size measures about one teaspoon, but bowl size can vary among stirrers. Large bowl sizes are great for handling garnishes, measuring syrups, and stirring the ice around, but difficult to maneuver in cocktail shakers. Small bowls are great for deep and narrow glasses since they won't cause any big splashes.
Built-in Tools. The red rubber cap is the original design for most stirrers, but people have been creative. Built-in tools such as forks, muddlers, and teardrops can be used for garnishes, muddling, and precise stirring for better and more efficient service.