The Essential Bar Tools

We’ve asked friends and family, scoured the net and put our own experience to good use to bring you this list of essential bar tools, the equipment that will help you make the finest cocktails with the kind of advice that will ensure you don’t ruin your kitchen in the process.

Bar Spoon

Selected by Myles Cunliffe (Mixology Group)Image

When we asked Myles from the Mixology Group to choose his favourite piece of bar kit he said that it’s: “got to be the Bonzer bar spoon and my Mexican elbow. Everything else you can do without.” With that in mind, we thought we’d start off this list with our very own bar spoon. Deemed something of a classic, the Bonzer bar spoon is much loved due to its balance and twisted neck which means that it’s great for layering, in addition to everything else expected from a top quality bar spoon (measuring, muddling, stirring, etc.)

Find out more about the Bonzer Bar Spoon at

Mexican Elbow

Selected by Will Foster (Casita) for Esquire

The Mexican Elbow that Myles Cunliffe mentioned above is also simply known as a citrus press and is a fast and easy way to get juices out of fruit.In Esquire magazine, Will Foster (owner of Casita in Shoreditch, East London) said that the Mexican Elbow is “great at home and ideal in a bar to ensure the juice you’re using is always fresh, and you can find one in sizes to fit everything from limes to grapefruits. Generally, it’s a good idea to press down on citrus fruits before juicing, since it breaks the inside membranes and releases more liquid.”

Find out more about the Mexican Elbow at


Boston Shaker

Selected by Men’s Fitness

When Men’s Fitness put together their list of 10 best bar tools they put the Boston Shaker at the top. Speaking about the Boston Shaker they said: “This classic drink mixer comes in two separate top/bottom pieces, rather than the traditional – and smaller – all-in-one. It circulates more air around to properly dilute your chosen cocktail.” This is where the Boston Shaker comes into its own, making it the best shaker for preparing cocktails with ice as well as highly recommended for anyone who wants to do some flaring.

Find out more about the Boston Shaker at


Hawthorne StrainerImage

Selected by Jim Meehan (Sommelier Journal)

Jim Meehan is a top cocktail maker, responsible for the cocktail menu at New York’s PDT bar and also for compiling recipes for books such as the Food & Wine Cocktails guide and The PDT Cocktail Book. In an article he wrote for Sommerlier Journal he picked out the Hawthorne Strainer as his favourite tool, saying “this metal strainer, with a coiled spring around its circular edge, works best in combination with the Boston shaker: it provides a firm seal against the tin and pours quickly while restraining most ice and muddled solids from reaching the glass. My favourite is made by Bonzer from England.”

Find out more about the Hawthorne Strainer at


Selected by Henry Palmer

Sometimes the simpler items are the most popular. When we asked Henry Palmer – producers of Elephant Gin, a handcrafted London dry gin – for their favourite piece of kit they opted for a knife. They said that the only piece of kit they needed was “a small sharp knife to cut the twist,” to which they would add “gin from the freezer, a beautiful glass [and] a dry vermouth – no other equipment required.”


Ice Crusher

Selected by Tom Gross on Google Plus

We also opened up our search for the best bar tools to our followers on social media. On Google Plus, Tom Gross said that his favourite tool was his “hand cranked ice crusher – it makes every drink better, except scotch on the rocks and Irish coffee.”

Find out more about the Bonzer Ice Crusher at


Selected by GQ

In their article, Upgrade Your Bar, GQ speak effusively of the jigger, the standard tool for accurately measuring spirits: “Some see the use of jiggers in bars as a a sign of stinginess. Do these people complain about bakers using measuring cups, too? Accuracy in cocktail making counts—at least if you want a good drink.”

Bonzer supply jiggers in both 20/40ml and 25ml/50ml measurements.


Selected by Casey Barber for Good Food Stories

ImageContinuing a theme of odd names for bar equipment is the muddler, a tool used for muddling, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “bringing into a disordered or confusing state”. When it comes to cocktails this means slowly crushes herbs and citrus to release their flavours. Casey Barber wrote a great piece on bar tools for Good Food Stories in which she chose the Muddler and had this to say this about it: “The muddler gently crushes herbs and citrus to release essential oils that provide flavour to the drink. Typically a muddler has one end that’s either flat or studded with ‘teeth’ for crushing and pressing, and a skinnier round end for stirring and mixing. Use a muddler to make the strawberry and basil-infused ‘Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder’ or a classic mojito.”

Find out more about Muddlers at

The Complete Bar Tools Kit

If your bar is lacking many of the tools listed in this article you can always remedy the situation quickly by getting yourself a Bonzer Bar Kit. This kit, which is intended to be a one-stop solution for anyone who wants to make cocktails at home or at a bar, contains many of the items listed in this post. It includes the Bonzer Bar Spoon, Hawthorne Strainer, Boston Shaker, Julep Strainer, Muddler, Jiggers and other essential cocktail-making items.

Find out more about the Bonzer Bar Kit at


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