Bar 101: The Basics pt. 1: Equipment


I love bartending for you guys, but one thing I didn’t consider is how to do it. Let me explain.

As I have been saying on the blog and Facebook page, I’ve been making changing on the blog and page, and one thing I noticed as I get feedback on the bar entries is the types of liquor and process. I didn’t take into account, that I’m talking to you guys as if your bartenders too. You may be, you may not be, and so this is what this is about.

Basic Bartending 101.

In this post, we are going to discuss what you need to bartend at home.

Now, most people go online, or ask someone who knows someone who bartends, what you need. There are some great sites out there to tell you what to get. Today, we are going to make it real simple, and explain why these things are needed.

First is, what skills do you have? Just wanting to entertain sometimes? Have you taken a class to learn the basics?

If just entertaining, and just want to expand a little on somethings, you may have most of the stuff already in your kitchen.

This is what I recommend to get you started:

Bottle opener
Can opener
Measuring cups and spoon set
Bar spoon with long handle and muddler on the end
Juice squeezer
Electric blender
Cutting board and a sharp knife
Ice bucket with an ice tong
Mixing glass
Shaker and strainer
Bottle sealers

Boxes/jars to store garnishes in

Now, if you drink wine, and cook, you have majority of this stuff in your house. The things in bold are things, you may or may not have. I recommend looking around for supplies, but is a great place to order from. If your in a hurry, walmart may have it, if not, I know Bed Bath and Beyond or Target will definitely have it, just look around and research.

Next, you wondering why that stuff?

When ever you decide that your going to bartend from home, and you may get a bartending book, or google for recipes, the recipes are going to tell you EXACTLY what to do. If you don’t have these items, it gets really difficult to recreate the drink. Let’s break down supplies.


Corkscrew: For wine. Simple as that. They still have wines that require a corkscrew to open, so I keep two around just in case.

Mixing glass

Mixing glass: If you can imagine a bar in your mind, unless the drink is a “build in glass” drink, this is a glass you need. You mix the drink in the glass/tin, then pour into a glass. Especially if you get into glasses that have rimmed garnishes.

muddler bar spoon muddler

Bar spoon with a long handle and a muddler on the end: Now, I’ll be honest, the kit I have,(premium bar kit, 250.00) these are two seperate things, but if together, they still work the same. the spoon gets into layering drinks, shots, an shooters. It also helps with “swirling” a drink. The muddler is for smashing. Simple as that. Some drink require smashing fruit in the drink to some capacity. You’ll need that to get that effect. Don’t think you won’t need it, because in any of thses drinks, muddling the fruit or what ever the recipe calls for makes the drink.

ice bucket

Ice bucket and Ice tong: I have mine, but only really use it when I have company or bartending a party. It’s easier to use when it’s four or more people, and more sanitary. If you are home, and it’s just you, or close friends, it’s really not called for.

Strainer1 Strainer2 Strainer3

Shaker and Strainer: This is an absolute. You know the James Bond line “shaken not stirred”? Yeah, well this is where this comes into play. Just about every drink that’s made in a martini glass(martinis, comsos, rob roys) are made in a shaker and strained into a chilled glass. It’s also a great cheat for making drinks and straining out the liquid if you don’t want the ice to fall into the glass(ex: long island iced tea).

bottle sealer

Bottle Sealers: This is to make sure your wine, or liquor keeps it’s taste. If not sealed right, in some cases, it will go bad, and all you can do it toss. Read up on the liquor/wine and it will tell you the storage of the liquid.

I included pictures for you to see what you want to look for.

Go forth! Google and research what you choose to buy and what is is you want to do at home. Just entertaining friends? Self teaching? Decoration? It’s completely up to you!

In the next entry, we are going to go over glassware, because it’s important for you know the difference, and why certain drinks go into certain glasses.


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