Bier Blog #4 - An Essential Guide to Bar Tools

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Have you ever gone into a bar and seen more tools than you saw on “Tool Time” with Tim Taylor? (Yeah, that was totally a “Home Improvement” reference and We. Nailed. It.) With our latest post, we hope to relieve you of any uncertainty you may have when it comes to bar tools. Maybe you’ve always wondered what that crazy looking spoon was for. Maybe you just got a bar tool set for the holiday season and have no idea what to do with it. Why the hell is it called a “jigger” anyway?

The reality is, bar tools are super important to making your favorite cocktails at home. To make a great cocktail, you need to properly measure, extract oils and separate any solids used as flavor enhancers. It’s virtually impossible to have consistency without these ever-important tools. Here are some of the most commonly used tools:

Jigger

jigger bar tool

This may arguably be the most important tool of them all. Why? In order to make your favorite cocktail, you need to be able to accurately measure your ingredients. A jigger typically has two conical shaped measurements on each side. Generally, these measure out to be 0.05-1 ounce and 1.5-2 ounces. There is a lot of debate on where the name for this tool came from. The most commonly accepted is that it’s a unit of liquid measure -- an ounce and a half.

Bar Spoon

spoong bar tool

Vastly different than the average spoon. A bar spoon typically has an extended, spiral handle and a small spoon bowl. The spoon serves as a mixing device to help you mix up your favorite cocktail.

Strainer

strainer bar tool

The strainer you’ve probably seen numerous times is the Hawthorne Strainer. This strainer is best for when you’re making a cocktail shaken or stirred with ice that will be served neat or on new ice. When you’re not using a traditional shaker, a Boston Shaker, the Hawthorne Strainer is a must-have to separate your fruits, herbs or other solid ingredients.

Cocktail Shaker

shaker bar tool

A metal shaker that has a snug-fitting cap. The traditional shakers may have a small opening at the top with small holes. This helps strain your cocktails from the ice or other solid cocktail-enhancing ingredients. A Boston Shaker is another popular cocktail shaker. The Boston Shaker is a bar tin accompanied by a glass cup.

Muddler

muddler bar tool

The muddler is a thick rod with a wider base towards the end used for mashing ingredients in the bottom of a glass. Often times, the muddler is used to extract oils, juices and/or crush sugar cubes.