Posted on | December 9, 2011
Written by | Brandy Rand
We asked the country’s busiest bartenders to give us their must-have bar tools—easy to use, sturdy enough to withstand the weekend slam, and functionally superior to the basics. Here are some of their favorite items so you can pour, measure, muddle, stir, shake, strain and squeeze with ease.
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1. Koriko Weighted Mixing Tin
Though there are a thousand shakers on the market, these earn high praise from bartenders for a big performance: self-sealing, no sticking and a high velocity (and noisy) shake. The small is 18 ounces and large is 28; and because they are stainless steel, durability is a done deal.
$7.95 for small, $8.95 for large at cocktailkingdom.com
2. PUG! Muddler
Despite the proliferation of plastic and metal muddlers, most bartenders agree that an un-varnished wooden one is the way to go. PUG! muddlers are deemed some of the best as they are handmade and available in a variety of hardwoods: maple, cherry and jatoba.
$40 at thebostonshaker.com
3. OXO Mini Angled Measuring Cup
A “why didn’t anyone do this sooner” measuring cup that has cocktailsize ounce, milliliter and tablespoon measurements on the inside so you can read from the top as you pour. The angled spout eliminates spills and clear plastic with brightly colored markings makes it easy to read in dimly lit bars.
$3.99 at oxo.com
4. RSVP Endurance Lemon & Lime Squeezer
It’s all in the squeeze with a handle ergonomically designed to provide leverage for a good juicing. Made for use with both limes and lemons with a sturdy stainless steel construction that holds up to a solid press. Though aluminum enamel-coated versions are the norm (and much less expensive), it literally pays to trade up to a tool that can withstand the pressure.
$36.95 at cheftools.com
5. ProFlow™ Speed Pourer
The Australian company ÜberBar Tools confidently named themselves after the German word meaning “the best of the best.” Refined via relentless testing, the ProFlow speed pourer isn’t your typical bottle pourer. With claims of no leakage, breakage, hygiene or evaporation issues, as well as a two-year warranty, this super pourer measures a four-count volume pour to ensure maximum profitability.
$9.95 at uberbartools.com
6. Komachi Knives
Available in citrus, paring or serrated, these colorful knives have a highcarbon stainless blade that retains its sharpness over time. Coated with non-stick resin to slice easily and resist corrosion, but dishwasher safe. Because they are lightweight with a hand-friendly grip, there’s no midshift slicing fatigue.
$6.95-$9.95 at amazon.com
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7. WMF Loft Haw thorne Strainer
One requisite function of the Hawthorne strainer is that it must fit snugly in a variety of Boston shakers and mixing glasses. The flexible spring coil on this WMF model keeps ice out of drinks with ease. German-designed with a sleek European flair and matte stainless finish, it makes an attractive piece for the bar.
$18.50 at thebostonshaker.com
8. CB2 Stainless Steel Cocktail Stirrer
A relative bargain (and formidable competitor) to the popular Japanese bar spoons, this CB2 stirrer with round spoon has sturdy stainless steel construction and a weighted, smooth handle. At 11.75 inches it’s long enough to tackle a pitcher or a pint glass with ease. (The CB2 stirrer was spotted at Longman & Eagle and the Whistler in Chicago and word is spreading fast.)
$2.95 at cb2.com
9. Rosle Fine Peeler
Lefties take note: this peeler is sharpened on both sides, which allows you to peel both toward and away from the body. Made of stainless steel, dishwasher-safe and a lifetime warranty; an exceptional peeler for citrus twists.
$24 at surlatable.com
10. TA G Lewis Bag
With ice an important ingredient in so many drinks, having an ice-crushing bag gives bartenders the chance to chip and crack with control. The TAG Lewis bag is a product from mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim that works great with his muddler too.
$15 at themodernmixologist.com
11. Tovolo Perfect Ice Cube Trays
While a Kold-Draft ice machine is the ultimate powerhouse when it comes to cubes, sometimes space is an issue. That is where these compact, do-it-yourself Tovolo silicon trays come in: they give you perfectly square 1.25″ cubes designed to melt slowly in handcrafted cocktails.
$15 at thebostonshaker.com
12. CoCo Mesh Cocktail Cone Strainer
Designed by bartenders to work high-volume magic, the conical shape drains quickly without overflow. Each strainer accommodates one cocktail.
$6.95 at cocktailkingdom.com
13. Yarai Mixing Glass
When it’s time to stir instead of shake, nothing beats the beauty of a Yarai mixing glass. Classically cut with a heavy bottom to hold the stir without a slide, these come in a 500ml or 540ml seamless size with pour spout.
$39.95 or $52.95 at cocktailkingdom.com
14. Moore & Giles Waxwear Bar Tool Roll-up
As far as fine leather goes, Moore & Giles leads the pack with slick design and innovation. No wonder, then, why Jim Meehan of New York’s famed PDT decided to partner with them to create a bar tool roll-up unlike no other. With compartments to organize essential tools and a waxwear finish to protect from the hazards of everything from simple syrup to melting ice, it’s the perfect thing for behind the bar or on the road. Bacardi Brand Master Juan Coronado hand-selected these (along with a variety of tools) to give to the 12 finalists at the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition nationals in Miami in January.
$150 at mooreandgiles.com