The Basics: Tools

Basic Tools

Every good bar needs a good set of tools, and we’ve got a list of basics that will jump-start your amateur mixology practice in a big way.

Now that you have become an expert in measurement, it’s time to dig a little deeper into the other tools you will need to start making some majorly kickass drinks at home. Below is a list of the basic Must-Haves. There are plenty more that can be great additions to your bar, but we’ll get into that at a later date. Take a look below and get started!


As we mentioned in the first Basics article on measurement, a good set of jiggers and measuring spoons need to be at the top of your list.

jiggers and spoons


This is a great option for a cheap set of jiggers.

And here is a good set of measuring spoons. 


The next item you will need is a juice press.

juice press


This one is great for small citrus (lemons, limes etc), but you should also get something like this to squeeze the big stuff like oranges and grapefruit. If you want to get really fancy, go get yourself an electric juicer, it will change your life.


Next up: a good set of knives.


Lets be honest here, everyone who has a kitchen needs a good set of knives — not just the ones who need to cut fruit for Adult Beverage use. Crappy knives help no one. This is the 21st century and you are adults, go buy yourselves some damn knives.

Farberware Resin knives are a solid choice, and they won’t break the bank.

And now on to the Big Gun: The Shaker

Boston Shaker

If you own a bottle of liquor you must also own a shaker, it is just that simple. From the most simple to the most complex, a lot of the best drinks (in my humble opinion) are shaken, and the only way to do that is with one of these bad boys.

The photo above is what is called a Boston Shaker, which just means that it has one large tin half, and a then bar glass that fits inside. There are several different types of shakers, but I am a big fan of this one because you can also use the glass half to make stirred drinks. Also it looks really cool, and you will definitely impress your friends — and we all want that, right?

And last but not least, if you have a shaker you must also have…

photo 1 (1)

photo 2 (1)


“But Kelly, do I really need two different types of strainers?” Yes, loyal viewer, yes you do.

Here’s the rub, folks: the strainer that you see on the right is your standard cocktail strainer, and is the one that will fit over the tin of your shaker and strain out the majority of the ice from your cool frosty beverage–which is, if it was not clear before, obviously essential. BUT! The conical strainer on the left is, although less well-known, equally as important. This one will take care of the smaller pieces of ice that get through the first strainer’s defenses, and will also get out any spices or seeds that you have been sh-sh-shakin’. Trust me when I say that when you make your first PJ Harvey or Future Fix, both of which contain serrano chilis, you are going to want to strain the seeds right on out before you drink anything, unless you are desperate to know what Hell will feel like.

(Did you see me drop those drink names in there? Are you excited to find out what those little devils may be? Yes, yes you are.) 

So there you have it, my beauties! Basics Lesson #2 is complete! You are so close to all your drink making dreams! Can you feel it? I bet you can, but honestly, simmer down for a moment because I don’t need to see any of that here. Jeez.


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