When it comes to mixing cocktails and serving wine or beer, the right tools and glasses can make a big difference, so before you start shaking, stirring and serving your favorite drinks, check out this brief overview of all the essential barware you'll need.
Essential Bar Tools
- Wine opener – ideally one with a corkscrew, bottle opener and a sharp blade
- Stainless steel cocktail shaker
- Hawthorn strainer – spoon-shaped stainless steel utensil with a spring coil
- Ice bucket and tongs
- Jigger – usually a 2 oz measuring glass
- Pourer – easiest way to pour exact amounts
- Muddler – small wooden pestle to crush fruits and herbs
As you get more comfortable mixing drinks at home, you'll probably also want a dedicated blender, as well as coasters, stirrers, a cutting board and knife, and a bar spoon.
If you're limited on space, start out simply with red and white wine glasses. A red wine glass has a wider, balloon-shaped bowl, while a white wine glass has a narrower bowl.
Next, you”ll want to stock some appropriate glassware for serving beer. The two basics are beer mugs and pilsners. Beer mugs have a handle, and pilsners are tall, narrow glasses.
For a more complete collection of glassware, you might also want:
- Shot glasses
- Rocks glasses – also known as old-fashioned glasses
- Highball and collins glasses – both are very versatile
- Cordial glasses – ideal for serving drinks straight up
- Brandy or cognac snifters – short-stemmed glasses with wide bowls
- Champagne flutes
- Cocktail glasses – commonly known as martini glasses
- Margarita glasses – very wide, shallow bowls
This is certainly not an extensive list of items you'll want to stock your home bar but merely a starting point.