14 must-have products to up your cocktail game at home
Happy hour in is about to get a lot better.
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With everything going on in the world right now, we could all benefit from a nice stiff drink to take some of the edge off. The only problem? Your go-to bar is closed. But fear not, you can make delicious cocktails that are (almost) as good as your favorite bartender's as long as you have the right equipment. From a top-rated shaker to the trendy Bartesian machine, we've rounded up some of the must-have products for your home bar—all you have to do is add alcohol. Cheers!
1. This alternative to ice
An ice-cold drink is great. An ice-cold drink that's become watered down by said ice? Not so much. The solution is a set of whiskey stones like these soapstone ones from Williams-Sonoma. They're easy to use (simply toss them in the freezer a few hours before you want your cocktail) and they'll keep your drink nice and chilled without diluting it.
2. This top-rated cocktail shaker
No home bar is complete without a good-quality cocktail shaker. This stainless steel one is highly-rated on Wayfair because it has an adjustable lid and base that you twist to find the ingredients (and measurements) for classic cocktails like margaritas, cosmopolitans, and more. Bonus: It also comes with a strainer so any unwanted ice cubes or mix-ins don't slip into your drink.
3. This stylish bar spoon
Trying to properly mix a cocktail with a regular spoon is like trying to scrub your floors with a toothbrush—it's just not that effective. That's why the bar spoon was invented. Reviewers love this elegant one because its long handle (which has a twisted design made specifically for smoother stirring) allows you to get to the bottom of even the tallest glass while the spoon itself doubles as a teaspoon measure and taste-tester.
4. This multipurpose muddler
Whether you're making a minty mojito or an orange-infused old-fashioned, you'll need a muddler. This one is double-ended so it can crush both leaves (with the flat end) and fruit (with the toothed end). It's also made of natural beechwood that won't scratch your glasses.
5. This boozy delivery service
Maybe you can't get to the liquor store or maybe you just don't feel like it (no judgment!). Whatever your reason, you can get your alcohol delivered right to your doorstep with Drizly. The popular service offers a large selection of beer, wine, and liquor—all of which they promise to deliver to you in under 60 minutes, though it may take a bit longer in these trying times.
6. This must-have ingredient
Behind every delicious drink is likely a dash of aromatic bitters. And the number one best-selling bitters in the world—and the most recognizable—is Angostura bitters. Reviewers rave that the Angostura brand is the most flavorful of the bitters they've tried and they like that it adds extra spice and depth to whiskey and bourbon cocktails, in particular.(
7. This stainless steel strainer
There's nothing worse than taking a big sip of your drink—only to get a mouthful of pulp. Enter a handheld strainer, which every bartender (novice and professional alike!) knows to be a must-have. According to reviewers, this stainless steel one is completely drip-free and even has a cushioned finger rest for the most comfortable pouring.
8. These stunning whiskey glasses
You worked too hard making that fancy cocktail to serve it in a basic glass (or worse, a plastic cup). Pour it into one of these elegant whiskey glasses instead. Made by cult-favorite brand Corkcicle, the glasses are very durable—according to their hundreds of rave reviews—and include a silicone mold for making ice "wedges" that fit neatly into the glasses.
9. This instant cocktail maker
Sometimes at the end of a long day, you need a drink—but you don't want to make it. Fortunately, for the laziest of home bartenders (myself included!), there's the Bartesian. Similar to how a Keurig works, you add liquor to the reservoir, pop in a pod, press a button, and voila. People love how easy and efficient it is and that you can choose from classic cocktails like margaritas, whiskey sours, and old-fashioneds.
10. Our favorite citrus juicer
Something about fresh-squeezed juice in a drink just hits different than the store-bought alternative. Hence why you should always use a juicer. Of all the citrus juicers we've tried, we like this one from Chef'n the best because it's incredibly fast at juicing and requires very little effort on your part.
11. This bottle topper for the perfect pour
There's a reason your bartender always uses a pourer when they're making your drink—it controls the amount of liquor coming out so you don't end up with four shots instead of two (which would be fun for tonight, maybe, but not tomorrow). You can get similar pourers for less than $5 at Bed Bath and Beyond. People like that these ones fit snugly on their bottles and that the vents allow for a smoother pour.
12. This gadget for making salt rims
Everyone knows the best part of a margarita isn't the tequila—it's the salt rim (#facts). But as the person making the drinks, you also know said salt rim can be messy to achieve. Unless you have this glass rimmer, that is. With three tiers (one for juice, one for salt, and one for sugar, for instance), reviewers like that it fits a variety of glass sizes and that it makes rimming your drinks as easy as two dips.
13. This chic jigger
Why use a plain old jigger when you could use this stunning rose gold one? I personally own it and love its elegant design (it makes me feel much more sophisticated when I have guests over!) and the fact that it makes measuring out liquor so easy.
14. This mold to take your ice to a new level
Regular ice is just so, well, regular. Upgrade your cubes with a sphere ice mold like this one by W&P Design (a brand some of our editors swear by!). Reviewers say that the spheres hold their shape for hours, melting slower than standard ice so your drink stays cold but not watered-down.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.