Bar equipment

It is difficult to make the perfect cocktail without proper bartending equipment, so here you will be able to read up on what you need and how to use it.

If you don't have any bar equipment and just want to try it out, then it is recommended to buy a basic bartending equipment set. In such a set, you get the basic things you need to get started. The quality is probably not top notch, but neither is the price. That way, you can get a cheap introduction and get a better understanding of what works and, not least, what doesn't.

Bar spoon

A bar spoon with a twisted handle.
A bar spoon is a spoon with a long handle, which is usually turned so that it slides easily in the fingers when stirring a cocktail. In addition, a bar spoon is also used when making layered cocktails or shots.

The spoon shown in the photo also has a round plate applied to the top that can be used as a muddler in a pinch, but a real muddler is preferred when muddling harder items.

Cocktail shaker

Two piece boston shaker
When thinking of a cocktail shaker, you usually think of a Boston shaker. The Boston shaker is a two-part shaker that simply needs to be pressed together by inserting the smaller half inside the larger half. If this is done with ice in the shaker, the shaker contracts and an airtight seal is created. The seal can be easily broken by slapping it on the side. Sometimes you see that the smaller part is made of glass, although both parts can also easily be made of tin. The size of the two cells is typically 50 cl for the smaller one and 80 cl for the larger one.

In addition to the Boston shaker, there is also a shaker called a Cobbler, which is three-part. Some also call this shaker a “hotel shaker”. The cobbler shaker has a bottom, into which the ingredients are poured together with ice, and a lid (in which there is a coarse strainer), as well as a small lid for the lid itself. The last small lid allows you to pour directly from the shaker, where the ice cubes are sifted from.

However, the general consensus among bartenders is that the Boston shaker is superior to the Cobbler shaker when more than a few cocktails are to be made. The Boston shaker's simplistic design makes it both faster and easier to use.

Hawthorne strainer

A Hawthorne strainer.
The Hawthorne strainer dates back to 1892, when a patent was issued to its inventors, William Wright and Dennis P. Sullivan. It can be used to strain the ice from both shaken and stirred cocktails by inserting it into the shaker or mixing glass and pouring the cocktail into a glass.

In cocktails, where you want to remove the very small ice flakes, you must fine strain, using a fine-mesh strainer together with the Hawthorne strainer.


A juicer for lemon
If you've tried to make more than just a few cocktails in an evening, you know that a juicer is an indispensable tool in the bar. The juice from citrus fruits is used up quickly and since each fruit does not yield that much juice, it should therefore be good to go fast. We use a two-part press, where half of a citrus fruit can be inserted and squeezed dry of juice with a strong pressure. The tool can be used when you need juice for a single cocktail or for a whole evening. Read more about it in the section on freshly squeezed juice.


Jigger with 5 cl in the top and 2 cl in the bottom.
A jigger is a measuring cup used to make precise measurements. By using a jigger, you ensure consistent quality, and you show the guests that every drop in the cocktail must be there.

Jiggers come in many forms, but typically a jigger has two cups (one at each end), where the cups each have a different size. It can, for example, be 2 and 4 cl, 3 and 5 cl, or something completely different. The jigger can be held in the middle with the index finger and middle finger, so that when one beaker is full, it can be quickly turned upside down (the liquid is poured into the glass) and you can continue pouring.

Julep strainer

The Julep strainer was originally invented to serve Mint Juleps. It made it possible to sip on one's cocktail without getting mint or crushed ice, as it was in a time when the straw had not been invented.
Today, it is used together with a mixing glass, where it is put on top so that the finished mixture can be poured into a glass, while the ice remains in the mixing glass.

If one's finances are tight, we would advise to settle for buying a proper Hawthorne strainer, as it is more versatile.


A muddler.
A muddler is used when there is something in a cocktail that needs to be muddled (mashed), and this is done to get the flavor or liquid out of the ingredients. An example of this would be the lime wedges in a Mojito, which just need to be squeezed before adding more ingredients.

It is not recommended to use a wooden muddler, as it will eventually flake. In addition, the surface treatment can give your cocktails an aftertaste, and if it does not have a surface treatment, it absorbs whatever it touches and takes a long time to dry, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

We therefore recommend plastic muddlers.

Stirring glass

Stirring glass
A stirring glass is a tall, round glass with a flat bottom, which is used for cocktails that need to be stirred. An example of a classic cocktail made in a mixing glass is an Old Fashioned. All the ingredients are poured into the mixing glass, after which it is filled 2/3 with ice, and stirred with a whisk until just before the perfect dilution is achieved. The reason you stop before the perfect dilution is because it will be achieved when the cocktail enters the glass.

In the book Liquid Intelligence, Dave Arnold swears by stirring cocktails in one half of a Boston Shaker. His reasoning is that glass takes longer to cool than tin, and therefore the ice cooling smokes in the cocktail instead of the container you use for stirring. However, this difference can be circumvented by keeping the mixing glass in the fridge before use. In addition, a mixing glass also gives the opportunity to show what happens during the stirring, which is an advantage when entertaining guests.


En lille si som kan bruges til at finestraine cocktails.
This is a very small strainer (under 10 cm in diameter) which is used for the perfectly fine shaken cocktails, which must be “fine strained”, such as a Sidecar. The strainer is used to remove the very small pieces of ice that are not taken by either a Hawthorne strainer or the lid of a Cobbler shaker. A cocktail strained with a fine-mesh strainer gives a clearer expression in the liquid.