14 Essentials for Every At-Home Bar + Poster Freebie

by Maxwell Tielman

Each week this summer, our e-mail newsletter has been guiding you through the season with our essentials for summer style. This week, we’ve got your summer entertaining needs covered with a newsletter devoted to cocktails—from our five favorite summer drink recipes to an interview with some of our favorite “mixologists.” To get you in the booze-brewin’ mood, here are Design*Sponge’s 14 essentials for crafting your own at-home bar. The accompanying illustration by David Saracino will be available as a high-res download in this Friday’s newsletter (perfectly sized to fit an IKEA poster frame!), so be sure to sign up!Max

Rocks Glass – Sometimes all you want is some nice whiskey and ice. These glasses are perfect for that and cocktails like the tried-and-true old fashioned.

Wooden Muddler – Wooden muddlers are perfect for crushing herbs and mixing together cocktail ingredients. Don’t think about making a mojito without one!

Jigger – Measuring about 1.5 fluid ounces, a jigger is a surefire way to get your alcohol quantities right when making cocktails. Typically, one end of the jigger holds a standard shot, and the other side some fraction or multiple of that.

Paring Knife – If you want to get really fancy and add twists of fruit or citrus to your drinks, this is a must-have.

Bitters – An alcohol that is infused with herbs and known for its better flavor, bitters is an essential ingredient in a number of cocktails.

Three-piece Shaker – Used for shaking cocktail ingredients together and, if used with ice, quick cooling. A three-piece shaker contains a strainer and a cap that can be used as a measuring tool.

Mixing bar spoon – With a slender, extra long handle, bar spoons are a great way to combine ingredients in tall glasses. They also look a heck of a lot classier than the typical kitchen variety.

Mixing glass – A mixing glass can be used on its own or in combination with a shaker and oftentimes features drink measurements imprinted on its side.

Highball Glass – Most often used for a alcoholic spirits and non-alcoholic mixers, a highball glass typically contains 8-12 fluid ounces.

Assorted straws – Sometimes a straw is the finishing touch that your cocktail needs! Keep a number of different sized straws in your bar for various cocktails.

Cocktail Picks – Great for keeping a grip on martini olives, mini pickles, cherries, or any other cocktail garnish.

Coupe glass – Designed for the drinking of champagne in 1663, the coupe glass can also be used for daiquiris and Prohibition-era cocktails like Manhattans and Corpse Reviver No. 2s.

Ice Bucket – When making any sort of cocktail, ice is an absolute must. Have one of these on hand to avoid constant trips to the freezer.

Strainer – If you’re mixing a lot of solid ingredients that you don’t want ending up in your final cocktail, a strainer is a good tool to have on hand.


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