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Home Bar Tool Sets

Use them while you entertain, use them for yourself – having a collection of bar tools on hand makes all the difference when you’re setting up your home bar. You can stock up on all the glasses, bottles and mixers that you love, but you also need tools such as shakers, strainers and spoons to whip up your favorite cocktails, mocktails and other drinks. Whether you’re stocking a stationary bar or a swanky bar cart that you use for mobile entertaining, consider choosing bar sets that include the tools you need in the style you want. This quick primer from us at Williams Sonoma can help you focus your options to pick the one that’s right for your needs.

Understanding Bar Tools

Not all bar sets come with all the bar tools available that you may want. For this reason, it’s helpful to understand all the options so you can choose sets complete with the tools you’re looking for.

First and foremost, consider the cocktail shaker, which comes in two main styles. The cobbler style is one of the most popular, especially for beginner bartenders. This type of shaker has a strainer built into the lid and a small lid that covers the strainer. You just add ice, your ingredients and the lid and shake things up. The Boston shaker is a two-part shaker with a metal tumbler and a smaller mixing glass. Add your ingredients and ice to the glass, put the metal tumbler on top and shake away. Separate the two and pour the drink over a strainer to keep the ice in the mixing glass.

In addition to a strainer, other helpful bar accessories include jiggers. These tools measure the liquid you put in your glass or cocktail shaker, and they typically come in one-sided or two-sided designs. One-sided jiggers measure 1.5 ounces. Two-sided jiggers give you the extra option to measure an ounce on the smaller end. Bar spoons are must-haves for anyone who likes their martinis stirred instead of shaken. However, these long-handled spoons are great for stirring up any number of drinks that you might not otherwise put in a cocktail shaker. Muddlers let you mash fruit, spices and herbs in the bottom of a glass to release flavor. Mojitos, for example, require that you muddle the mint and lime before adding the rest of your ingredients. Bar sets might also come complete with tongs for adding ice, bottle openers and garnish knives to complete your drink-making experience.

How to Choose Bar Sets

While shopping for sets of bar tools, noting the tools included in the set is one of your first considerations. If you need a muddler, for example, and you find a set that you love but it doesn’t have one, you can always buy one separately. It’s easiest if you can find a set that already has everything you want. In addition to the tools that are included, note if a shaker comes with the set and look at the type of shaker that’s included.

The finish is another important factor. Stainless-steel, copper and metal mixed with wood are some common options. Choose the one that looks best with the rest of your bar and the surrounding room, especially if you plan to keep your bar sets on display. Look for a set that you love – one that works with your personal style. If you like sleek and modern, look for a set made from smooth stainless-steel or brass. If you prefer something a little edgy, consider a set made with hammered copper. Or, look for sets that incorporate some of your favorite design elements or motifs.

Steel or copper, hammered or smooth – the most important thing to keep in mind is choosing a set of bar tools that you feel comfortable and confident using. Once you have the right tools, you’re ready to start mixing drinks for yourself, your family and your friends.

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