- Cocktail or Traditional Shaker- A metal shaker with a tight-fitting top covering a strainer which fits onto a bar tin. Cocktail shakers are available in many stylish designs and are perfect for use in the home bar.
- Boston Shaker- This shaker serves a dual purpose because it is comprised of a 16 ounce mixing glass and a larger, flat-bottomed bar tin. The glass can be used alone for stirring drinks over ice and the two pieces are used together for shaking ingredients with the tin fitting over the glass. The Boston Shaker is typically used by professional bartenders and requires the use of a strainer.
The Hawthorne Strainer is a flat-topped, perforated metal device with a continuous coil of wire around its perimeter, which helps keep the strainer in place. The short handle and either 2 or 4 "thumbs" that extend from the top and sides are designed to keep it in place and allow the bartender to use only one hand.
Jiggers are metal measuring devices that usually have two cones, one on either end. The larger cone typically holds 1 1/2 ounces while the smaller cone holds 3/4 or 1 ounce. The jigger is an essential, aesthetic piece of the bar set up that helps ensure precise measuring of liquids and creating consistent cocktails.
Many bartenders you'll see do not use jiggers for every drink and instead measure using memory, technique, and years of experience pouring a lot of drinks. Read the discussion... Do You Use a Jigger?
Different from the average spoon, a bar spoon typically has a long shaft (for reaching the bottom of tall glasses), a spiral handle (for easy twisting of the shaft) and a petite spoon bowl with holes (for floating liquors). This type of spoon is essential for stirring and layering drinks as well as tedious tasks like fishing cherries out of a jar. The first time you use a bar spoon you will never be without one in the bar, they're that essential.
Tips from the Professionals: Make your bar spoon a little easier to use and versatile by bending slightly it right before the neck so that there's a little extra curve than the manufacturer intended.
A muddler is thick stick, made of either wood, stainless steel, or plastic, that is used to mash ingredients in the bottom of a glass. Often used to mix sugars, bitters, and to extract juices and oils from fruit and mint. Muddling is an essential step in making Old-fashioneds, Mojitos and Caipirinhas.
When buying a muddler choose a thicker one that has a diameter of about 1 1/2-2 inches at the widest point. These will give you more crushing and mixing power than the thinner muddlers.
In order to prolong the shelf life of your distilled spirits, it's best to replace the speed pourer with the original cap if you will not be using it for some time.