The 8 Best Bar Tools of 2023

Our top must-have is a set of Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins

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Here Are the Best Bar Tools, According to a Mixologist

The Spruce Eats / Lecia Landis

OK, you've stocked your home bar with all the liquors, liqueurs, juices, and other ingredients you need. Time to make cocktails, right? Hold up; you need bar tools, too! Those drinks aren't gonna shake, stir, and strain themselves.

Thankfully, it doesn't take that many items to complete your mixological setup, and most of them are pretty affordable. To help you pick out the best pieces to have in your arsenal, we asked a range of top professional bartenders around the country for some of their favorites. With the items below on hand, you can make just about anything.

Here are the best bar tools you should get right now.

Best Overall

Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins Set

Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Copper Set of 2 Weighted Tins

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Bartender-approved

  • Ergonomically designed

  • Large capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Hand-wash only

  • Expensive

The indispensable cocktail shaker comes in many forms. The cobbler shaker has three pieces, with a small stainer cap on top. The glass-on-tin design pairs a single metal cup with a pint glass. With two metal tins that fit together snugly, this style is known as a Boston shaker, and Koriko's version is a mixologist favorite.

“Most bartenders, myself included, love Koriko weighted tins,” says Las Vegas bartender Eric Hobbie. “They have the best seal, and they are light to hold. Shaking a tin can take a toll on your joints and tendons, so the weight matters.” The two stainless-steel cups—the large holds 28 ounces and the small 18 ounces—are weighted at the bottom to make them more stable and easier to shake rapidly. They're more than big enough for making two, three, or even four cocktails at a time, and they come in copper and three other finishes.

Price at time of publish: $38

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 28 ounces (large tin), 18 ounces (small tin) | Weight: 12.8 ounces

Best Strainer

MAKO Stainless Steel Hawthorne Cocktail Strainer

MAKO Stainless Steel Hawthorne Cocktail Strainer

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Durable

  • Fits many glass and shaker sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Requires separate shaker or mixing glass

  • Cannot strain out tiny bits

After you've shaken (or stirred) your cocktail, you still have to get it into the serving glass, ideally without any bits of ice, fruit, or herbs. And that's what a Hawthorne strainer is for. All you have to do is hold the strainer in place inside the shaker tin or mixing glass—the wraparound spring can adjust to most any size—and pour your cocktail into its final vessel.

Bartenders love this Mako model because it's cheap but durable, made from heavy-duty stainless steel that's perfectly dishwasher-safe and will last for thousands of uses. It also gives you access to a secret mixologist trick for egg white-based cocktails: Remove the spring (it rotates to detach, like a key ring) and toss it loose into the shaker. This will help whip more air into the whites and create a bigger foamy head on top.

Price at time of publish: $8

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.8 x 6 inches | Weight: 2.4 ounces

Best Jigger

Cocktail Kingdom Leopold Jigger

Cocktail Kingdom Leopold Jigger

Courtesy of Cocktail Kingdom

What We Like
  • Beautiful design

  • High-quality finish

  • Feels great in your hand

What We Don't Like
  • Markings are tough to see

  • Expensive

Correct measurements are key to quality cocktails, and this tool not only helps you portion out ingredients properly but also looks elegant doing it. "I absolutely cannot live without my Leopold Jigger," says Chris Chernock, bar manager at Los Angeles’ Broken Spanish. “ Jiggers come in all shapes and sizes, but you'll instantly notice the weight and balance of this one, which is ideal for bartending in high-paced environments. It has all the measurement markings I need, including the elusive quarter-ounce measurement, which isn't as common as some might think.”

Made by Cocktail Kingdom (one of the leading barware brands in the world, started by the owners of the award-winning Katana Kitten and Mace bars in New York City), the Leopold is banded with a design inspired by vintage jiggers and available in black, copper, gold, and silver finishes. (Chernock prefers silver, but they all perform equally.)

Price at time of publish: $35

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 2.3 x 3.7 inches | Weight: 3.2 ounces

Best Bottle Opener

V-Rod Bottle Opener

Black V-Rod Bottle Opener

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Simple and effective

  • Opens beer caps or liquor bottles

  • Magnetic

What We Don't Like
  • Simple looks

Rochelle Tougas, general manager of Houston’s Loft18, says this bottle opener tops her list of favorites thanks to its simplicity. “I was gifted one by a friend when I was working at my first ‘dive-esque’ bar, and that thing really came through with helping me to work fast and efficiently. The one I received was very thin, making it easy to grab and go⁠. There are times I feel it's just an extension of my arm!”

The V-Rod brand is the staple of working bartenders thanks to its unique shape, with a traditional beer opener on one end and a round shape on the other that's good for removing stuck corks or pour spouts. It's also magnetic and will stick to a bar cart, refrigerator, or any other metal surface.

Price at time of publish: $13

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 0.5 x 1.6 x 8 inches | Weight: 3.2 ounces

Best Muddler

A Bar Above Wooden Muddler

Top Shelf Bar Supply Ergonomic Hardwood Drink Muddler

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Long enough for tall glasses

  • Ergonomic design

  • No varnish

What We Don't Like
  • Wood will split if not cared for properly

  • Expensive

“I always prefer wooden to metal muddlers,” explains Hilda Ysusi, a chef, bartender, and former contestant on "Chopped." “They are much easier to clean and don't impart any flavors to the drink.” 

This beechwood muddler has a rounded top that's comfortable to hold, and a wide bottom for crushing up fruits and herbs with minimal effort. “I love it because it has a flat end. There are no ridges, so it muddles everything perfectly without pieces getting stuck,” Ysusi explains. This model is a full 12 inches long, more than enough to muddle mint and sugar in a tall highball glass for a classic Cuban mojito.

The only problem with a wooden muddler is that it can split if not carefully maintained. This model is unvarnished and completely food-safe, but if you don't dry it thoroughly after washing, it might start to develop cracks in the wood where bacteria can grow.

Price at time of publish: $18

Material: Wood | Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.5 inches | Weight: 7.4 ounces

Good to Know

"When muddling cocktails like mojitos and caipirinhas, be sure to muddle carefully and not with excessive force. The idea is to extract oils and flavors as much as possible without completely disrupting the integrity of the ingredients.” -Hilda Ysusi

Best Bar Spoon

Cocktail Kingdom Teardrop Barspoon, 40cm

Cocktail Kingdom Teardrop Bar Spoon

Courtesy of Cocktail Kingdom

What We Like
  • High-quality

  • Versatile bar tool

What We Don't Like
  • Very long

Yes, a bar spoon is for stirring cocktails from the martini and Manhattan to the white Russian, but it's also a multipurpose tool. The teardrop-shaped bowl of Cocktail Kingdom's beautiful spoon holds an eighth of an ounce, the standard amount to use when a recipe calls for a "bar spoon" of an ingredient. The spiral grooves around the handle can also be used to gently pour a layer of liqueur or other ingredient that's meant to float atop the cocktail.

And this model is good at stirring, too. The weighted teardrop end balances the spoon to make it quick and easy to control its motion, and the 40-centimeter (15.7-inch) length can reach the bottom of any glass or pitcher. (If you're stirring up honey or another thick liquid, try flipping the spoon upside down for extra leverage.)

Price at time of publish: $29

Material: Stainless steel | Length: 15.7 inches

Best Juicer

Breville the Juice Fountain Cold Plus

Breville® Juice Fountain Cold Plus Stainless Steel Juicer

Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

What We Like
  • Powerful and efficient

  • High-capacity

  • Dishwasher-safe

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Large footprint

The hand juicer is a mainstay of home and professional bars, but it can only handle one citrus half at a time. For Pia Days, owner of the Chocolate Tenders bartending service in Los Angeles, this electric juicer is a much better choice. “With 1,000 watts, it’s very powerful and efficient,” she explains. “It can juice whole fruits and vegetables, which significantly cuts down on labor and time.”

The heavy-duty Breville Juice Fountain Cold Plus has an extra-wide chute and extra-large 70-ounce pitcher that let you throw produce in whole and get lots of smooth, pulp-free juice. It can handle lemons and limes of course, but it's also equipped to handle apples, berries, kale—just about anything that has juice in it. It’s also easy to clean: The jug is dishwasher safe, and the other parts disassemble effortlessly for a quick rinse with warm water.

This machine isn't just a cocktail-making tool, either. With its ability to make custom juices on demad, it'll become a mainstay of the breakfast table, too.

Price at time of publish: $290

Power: 1,000 watts | Capacity: 70 ounces | Dimensions: 13.2 x 8.6 x 17.6 inches

Best Blender

KitchenAid 2-Speed Hand Blender

KitchenAid Immersion Blender

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Ice-crushing power

  • Multipurpose

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy and potentially messy

  • Small capacity

  • Corded

Sometimes jokingly called a "boat motor," the immersion blender is a handheld device you can take to whatever needs blending, whether that's a pot of hot soup—or a cup of ice, rum, and the other components of a piña colada. This KitchenAid model has an 8-inch blending arm that can fit into many different vessels, with a two-speed motor that can both crush ice at high speed or create a more thorough and uniform blend at lower speed. The blade arm also detaches from the motor at the push of a button so you can spray it clean in the sink or even pop it in the dishwasher.

The large pitcher that comes with most countertop blenders is a boon for making frozen drinks, but this model includes a blending jar with a 3-cup capacity that serves the same purpose. You can also stick the arm directly into a shaker tin, or even a large-format serving vessel like a pitcher or punch bowl. (The blade has a guard to prevent it coming in contact with the container, but you should be extra-careful putting the blender into anything glass.)

And when cocktail night is over, this is still a full-featured blender that works for anything in the kitchen, from sauces to smoothies to hummus. Plus, it comes in fun colors—from sky blue to neon orange—that let you match your decor or express your personality.

Price at time of publish: $50

Dimensions: 4.4 x 4.3 x 12.6 inches | Weight: 3 pounds

Final Verdict

A cocktail shaker is probably the most important bar tool to own, and we recommend the Koriko Weighted Shaking Tins for a high-quality set that's easy to use and will last a lifetime. If you're a fan of mojitos, juleps and other muddled drinks, the A Bar Above Wooden Muddler is an ideal tool.

What to Look For When Buying Bar Tools

Durability & Materials

Whether it's shaking, stirring, straining, juicing, or anything else, a quality bar tool needs to stand up to lots of abuse. Stainless steel is a common material that's strong and won't be affected by acidic ingredients like citrus juice. Steel can also be plated with copper, gold, silver, or other colorful metals that make a bold design statement. It's also generally dishwasher-safe, but check the care instructions before putting steel tools in the dishwasher.

When it comes to wooden tools, especially muddlers, look for something without any paint or lacquer, which can chip and flake off over time. You should also make sure to thoroughly dry wooden tools after washing so they don't split.

For glass versus plastic, there are upsides and downsides to both: Plastic won't shatter as easily, but it doesn't have the heavy feel of glass, and it's also prone to becoming cloudy with use. We generally prefer glass, but make sure you're springing for mixing glasses and blender pitchers and the like that are heavy and thick-walled.


Essentially, bar tools are supposed to make cocktail hour easier. An undersized shaker or jigger without measurement markings may look great, but when it comes time to mix your drink, these tools will end up making the experience more stressful. The key is the details: Shakers should be large enough to hold more than one cocktail. Jiggers should hold multiple measurements, and strainers should fit in a variety of vessels. When in doubt, ask the bartenders at your local watering hole what brands they prefer.


How do you store bar tools at home?

The most important thing to do before putting your bar tools away is to wash and dry them thoroughly. This prevents rust on metal tools and splitting with wooden ones. Beyond that, bar tools can live in the same place you store any other kitchen tools: A drawer or cabinet is just fine. Some folks have fancy roll-up tool bags, which are great for bringing the bar wherever you go, though a large box (say an empty case of wine or liquor?) will do the trick just fine.

What is a muddler for?

A muddler is a long handle with a flat bottom on one end that's made for crushing cocktail ingredients—herbs, fruits, spices, sugar cubes—in order to integrate their flavors. The mojito, julep, caiprinha, and smash are a few of the most popular drinks that need muddling. The idea is just to crush gently, in order to release flavorful oils and juices without getting solid bits in the finished drink. Muddlers are often made of wood, plastic or metal, and some have a textured bottom instead of a flat one to better break down ingredients. Keep in mind that muddling is not the same thing as blending: You don't want to break up the fruits and herbs so much that gritty bits incorporate into the cocktail.

How many ounces are in a jigger?

It depends on the jigger. The cocktail-focued measuring cups come in lots of different sizes, generally between half and ounce and 2 ounces. With a double-sided jigger, the large side is typically twice as big as the small one—the most common models hold 1 and 2 ounces. Jiggers also often have lines printed on the inside you can measure out smaller amounts accurately as well. A jigger should have its size printed or stamped into the side of the cup, so check that out before getting started. (If you find a drink recipe that calls for a "shot" of liquor, that usually means one full jigger, most often 1.5 or 2 ounces.)

How do you use a cocktail shaker?

There are several types of shaker that work slightly differently, but they all have two separate cups that fit together snugly. The first step is to add the cocktail ingredients to the smaller cup, fill the larger cup with ice, then pour the drink into the ice and seal the shaker. It's a good idea to give the tin on top a smack with your palm to ensure a good seal.

Next, shake. The idea is to cool down the ingredients and to incorporate air, so you want to shake pretty vigorously, for at least 10 seconds. Cocktails with egg white need to be shaken much longer to whip up a nice froth, and they often incorporate an initial "dry shake" where the ingredients are shaken without ice.

After shaking, you need to strain the drink. If you're using a three-piece Boston shaker, you just need to remove the small lid on top and pour through the built-in strainer. With a two-piece shaker, use a Hawthorne or julep-style strainer to hold back the ice and solids.

If you find your shaker stuck together, don't worry! Give the larger tin a good smack or three with the heel of your hand right where the two come together. This should relieve the vacuum and make the two halves separate easily.

Not all drinks need to be shaken. A good rule of thumb is if the drink has citrus or egg whites in it, it requires a shake. If a drink has carbonation, it typically does not need shaking (this will cause the bubbles to fall flat). Outside of those rules, it's completely up to you. Some martini drinkers swear by stirring, while others prefer it shaken. A couple of benefits of a shaken cocktail are that it more thoroughly integrates flavors and cools a drink down quickly.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Kate Dingwall is a sommelier and spirits writer. She has been writing about the bar and spirits world for five years and has her BarSmarts and WSET certification. She has spent a decade working in bars and as a sommelier.

This roundup was updated by Jason Horn, The Spruce Eats commerce writer. He's been writing about cocktails and spirits for more than 15 years, for publications including Playboy,, Serious Eats, Travel Channel, and more.

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