A bar is only as good as its barware. With such a variety of accessories available — an ice bucket, decanter, coasters and a corkscrew, to name a few — it’s hard to tell which ones you absolutely need, let alone which ones are best. While some everyday kitchen tools will do the trick in a pinch, you’ll still want a good set of bar supplies to keep the liquids flowing. Here’s a handy guide to help you narrow down the perfect wine and bar tools:
What kind of bar supplies do I need to serve up some great cocktails?
Cocktails come with their own host of bar accessories, but a few outrank the others in terms of necessity. Here are a few barware items that should make the top of your shopping list:
• Cocktail shaker: Many cocktails are required to be shaken, not stirred, so a functional shaker is a home bar must-have. Look for a durable design that will hold enough liquid along with your ice cubes. The best styles don’t leak while you’re shaking up your concoction, and are easy to split apart for immediate serving. Steel shakers are usually favored over plastic. Shakers come in three distinct styles: Cobbler, Boston and Parisian. Cobbler shakers feature three distinct pieces and a built-in strainer, while the Boston shaker style is simply a shaking tin and mixing glass. Parisian shakers are made of two pieces similar to the cobbler style, but lack a built-in strainer.
• Jigger: This tool will make it easy for you to pour precise amounts of liquor for your cocktail. Look for a design that has easy-to-read measurement markings, since a difference of even an eighth of an ounce can have a drastic effect on your drink’s flavor. These can come solo or in a set and are usually stainless steel.
• Strainer: This simple but nifty contraption keeps ice, fruit and other particles out of your cocktail glass. If you choose a Parisian- or Boston-style shaker, you’ll want to pair a Hawthorne strainer with it. If you have a cobbler shaker, you should have a built-in strainer to go with.
• Bar spoon: If you do stir your drinks instead of shaking them, this specialty spoon is essential. Its long handle allows you to reach the bottom of even the tallest glass without dipping your fingers in the mixture. Most also feature a twisted shaft that helps it spin your concoction while you stir.
What wine accessories are essential for my home bar?
Whether you’re a sommelier or just a casual enthusiast, your wine bar will thank you for adding these necessary additions:
• Corkscrew: There’s nothing more disappointing than grabbing a bottle and finding you lack a way to open it and enjoy its contents. Make sure you have a wine opener on hand to avoid this catastrophe, or try a wine key, which resembles a Swiss army knife and comes with a foil cutter, corkscrew and lever. Whatever style you choose, look for a quality metal design.
• Decanter: If you’ve been imbibing your vino without aerating it, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise when you expose your vino to oxygen with a wine aerator. This simple process allows alcohol molecules to be released into the air, which then carries the flavors all the way to your nose.
• Wine stopper: This little tool is essential for keeping the unused portion of your wine from going bad. Some more elaborate styles feature a one-way valve that creates a vacuum inside the bottle, therefore lowering the oxygen content inside. Others work by placing a heavier, inert gas like argon above the surface of your wine.
• Wine glass charms: If you’re hosting or have a larger family that enjoys a bottle together, charms can be a lifesaver. Never again will you have to reenact the scene with the Dread Pirate Roberts and the Sicilian as you put your wits to the test trying to figure out whose glass is whose. Inconceivable!
Beer is my beverage, so what bar supplies do I need?
Beer drinkers require fewer accessories than their wine and cocktail counterparts, but there are a few key items you’ll want to have close by as you get ready to enjoy that draft:
• Bottle opener: While there are a few hacks that might pop that bottle cap right off, a good opener is still an essential addition to your home bar. You might even be surprised to learn there are a few different varieties available, including a churchkey, simple opener, speed opener and more.
• Kegerator: Keep your draft beer chilled and ready to be dispensed with this beer keg-refrigerator combo. They even come in a mini size for those smaller, five-liter kegs of beer.
• Growler: These amber-hued vessels allow you to take your beer on the go. While we’re not condoning having a beer as your commute-time beverage, these are perfect for taking your brew to a friend’s house without having to worry about negatively affecting the quality.
Get inspired with our curated ideas for Wine & Bar Tools and find the perfect item for every room in your home. With such a wide selection of Wine & Bar Tools for sale, from brands like Made On Terra, Boatman Geller, and The-store, you’re sure to find something that you’ll love. Shop from Wine & Bar Tools, like the the Birch Coaster or the Ravenscroft Crystal Buckingham Decanter, while discovering new home products and designs. Whether you’re looking to buy Wine & Bar Tools online or get inspiration for your home, you’ll find just what you’re looking for on Houzz.