Bartending is an art form that requires practice, skill and care. Just like chefs and their knives, bartenders rely on tools all throughout their shift.
Bartending requires a level of skill and precision that has dramatically increased over the years, along with a variety of tools that help make the job possible. There are essential tools every club bartender needs to serve drinks quickly and in a clean, safe and efficient manner. While there are plenty of gadgets and delicate tools that a bartender can use to elevate their craft, the essential tools will help set bartenders up for success and help the bar run smoothly and at peak performance all the time.
A jigger is a tool for measuring ingredient portions in cocktails and drinks. Jiggers reduce over pouring while cutting back on waste and mistakes behind the bar. Using a jigger maintains balance and consistency across drinks, while keeping service running smooth. Measuring the ingredients correctly in each drink is the most important part of creating a quality beverage.
Bar spoons are a necessary tool for drinks that need to be stirred instead of shaken. Bar spoons are longer and more narrow than regular spoons, which are generally too bulky for a lot of drinks. They make it easy to stir any kind of drink, no matter what type of glass it is in. A bar spoon is also helpful for scooping out garnishes for a drink or to scoop out an ice cube or two if a drink is over-iced.
A Boston Shaker is a two-piece shaking kit with the primary purpose of making the beverage cold as it is being shaken. One piece is smaller than the other, so you can put them together and create a tight seal without liquid splashing everywhere when you shake it. Most bartenders prefer to use a Boston shaker as their shaking tool. They are fast, easy to use, easy to strain, can be used as a substitute ice scooper, and they double up as a mixing vessel for stirred cocktails. It is important to have a durable and quality shaker, as it will be a bartender’s most-used bar tool when it comes to creating mixed drinks.
A strainer is a necessary addition to any cocktail shaker and adds a touch of care and craft to cocktail making. The strainer can attach to your cocktail mixer so when you pour the contents of the mixer into glasses, it’ll catch anything that isn’t liquid. They prevent pulp, mashed up fruit, and ice from getting into the final glass, making the drink more enjoyable to consume. Without a strainer, your drinks will be filled with little pieces of whatever you mixed with.
Some drinks are better off with fresh ingredients with flavors and aromas that can be extracted with a muddler. A muddler is primarily used for crushing fruit, herbs and sugar in cocktails that call for muddling, like a mojito or an old-fashioned. However, they also work well as an improvised ice crusher, as you can put cubed ice into the tin of your Boston shaker to crush.
Wine Key and Bottle Opener
A wine key is a three-in-one tool. It consists of a knife to cut the foil of a wine bottle, a corkscrew to remove the cork, and a bottle opener. Even sommeliers prefer a wine key because it is easy to use, convenient and effective. Bartending is not just mixing drinks; it is also serving beer. While a lot of people want beer from the tap, some request it from the bottle, especially if there are unique bottles of beer. For an efficient and professional way of opening beer bottles in front of members, use a bar blade.
Paring Knife and Cutting Board
The best bartending knives are not too big, but it is important to invest in a quality one. It will be used constantly to cut garnishes, lemons ad limes, and any fruit and veggies that end up in cocktails. When cutting things, a chopping board is a no-brainer. You’ll need something to cut on, and a chopping board is more hygienic than a benchtop. It will also help keep your knife sharper for longer.
Pour spouts, also known as speed pourers, are a flow-control tool for pouring. Pour spouts are efficient and speed up the drink-making process without making a mess. The spout will vastly improve proportion accuracy and consistency in comparison to pouring straight out of the bottle.
Using a citrus squeezer allows efficiency and cleanliness that extracts juice to the last drop. Squeezing citrus juice provides a fresh addition to mixed drinks, and using a citrus squeezer is much more sanitary compared juicing to by hand.
Ice is one of the essential ingredients used in making cocktails. It is used to dilute alcohol and keep drinks chilled. Having an endless supply means operations will not be interrupted, and while it is one of the larger investments, it is worth it. Many cocktails require crushed ice, so also having a portable ice crusher is an ideal way for bartenders to crush ice to the right consistency for signature cocktails.
A club needs experienced and professional bartenders to serve its members, but in order to provide members with top-quality service and products, a club needs to invest in the essential tools for its bartenders to build a strong and successful bar program.