Best home bar accessories

best home bar accessories header image

Having an at-home bar takes more than a few bottles of your favorite alcohol, a handful of tumbler glasses, and some ice cubes. After all, a proper cocktail party requires a proper bar setup. Stocking up on the liquors and mixers of your favorite drinks is a great first step in laying the foundation for your at-home bar. If you are a fan of Santiago Cocktails, then it is natural for you to stock your bar with rum, grenadine, and lemon juice. Do you enjoy Tequila Sunrises? Then you’ll want tequila, orange juice, and grenadine ready and on hand. Having the correct ingredients is the most critical step in operating a successful at-home bar, but it’s merely the fundamentals. Once you’ve got your bar stocked with your preferred ingredients, the next step is purchasing the slew of accessories specifically designed for prepping and mixing cocktails with ease, whether it be a generic measuring jigger or a blunt muddler.

Here are our handpicked choices for the best at-home bar accessories, directly culled from our favorite drink experts — ourselves. So, dust off you best cocktail attire and let us help you put the finishing touches on the perfect at-home bar — with specific suggestions you can actually afford. Additionally, check out our picks for the best food and drink apps for iOS and Android, along with the eight best grilling gadgets for the upcoming BBQ season.

Generic Premium Cocktail Shaker ($9) or Bottles-Up Boston Shaker ($19)

Cocktail Shaker / Boston Shaker
Generic Premium Cocktail Shaker ($9) or Bottles-Up Boston Shaker ($19)

Both the cocktail and Boston shaker are quintessential, at-home bar accessories that serve similar purposes despite varying slightly in design and function. The cocktail shaker is a tall metal cup possessing a tight-fitting lid covering a strainer. The traditional cocktail shaker is easier to use than the Boston shaker, and best suited for martini lover who prefer their cocktails shaken not stirred. However, shakers of the Boston variety are handy because of their dual-purpose nature. The first component of a Boston shaker’s two parts is a mixing glass, which you use as a standalone device to stir drinks over ice, while the second component is a larger metal tin used to cover the mixing glass when shaking cocktails. Though not outfitted with a strainer, advanced bartenders can still manage to strain a drink’s ingredients with practice and a steady hand, while amateurs typically opt for a loose strainer to perform the action on their behalf.

Uber Bar Tools ProStirrer Spoon ($20)

Uber Bar Tools ProStirrer Spoon ($20)
Uber Bar Tools ProStirrer Spoon ($20)

As clearly evident in the picture above, a barspoon isn’t your run-of-the-mill spoon. Substantially longer than a typical version of its namesake, a barspoon uses its extended shaft to reach the bottom of tall glasses. Most additionally feature a spiraled handle designed to make it easy to rotate in your hand while stirring your cocktails, and though it may not be the flashiest item on our list, it’s also one of the most convenient if you intend to craft layered shots, cocktails, and other alcoholic drinks. You can also use a barspoon to measure out small amounts of ingredients — a typical barspoon approximately equates to one teaspoon — or perform banal tasks such as fetching olives and cherries. Simply put, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to purchase the utensil once added to your repertoire. 

Winco Hawthorne Strainer ($4) or Winco Julep Strainer ($4)

Even if you have a quality cocktail shaker in your bar inventory, having a standalone strainer on hand is always a great idea. A strainer of the Hawthorne variety features a perforated metal top and a wire coil that works flawlessly with the metal component of the Boston shaker, thus making it ideal for shaken cocktails. Used to not only separate ice from your cocktails, the Hawthorne strainer also works well when straining fruits, herbs, or any other solid ingredient into your mix. The Julep strainer on the other hand, is like the Hawthorne strainer with slight aesthetic variations rendering it less fine and more apt for stirred cocktails. Though both the Hawthorne and Julep strainers tout a perforated top, the latter’s top is shaped more like a spoon, allowing better control when used with a mixing glass. It also separates ice, fruit, herbs, and any solid ingredient from your cocktails. Still, we recommend the Hawthorne strainer the best type for all-around use.

Stanton Trading Muddler ($4)

Stanton Trading Muddler
Stanton Trading Muddler ($4)

There’s no finer device to add to your accessory quiver when it comes to making Old Fashions, Mint Juleps, and Mojitos than a muddler. The simple device is typically made of wood or metal, allowing you to easily mix sugars, mash bitters, and extract juices from fruits alongside essential oils from herbs. Although you can feel free to crush fruit herbs as forcefully as you’d like given your sole goal is extract pulp and juice, you should aim to merely bruise herbs as they often contain their flavor on the outside of the leaves while housing unwanted pigments such as chlorophyll within. The muddler’s build isn’t crucial — it’s designed to smash regardless of the material — but we do recommend going with an unvarnished muddler if you choose the classic option. Varnished wood will only degrade and wear away with time given the acidity of the fruit.

Bonny Bar Jigger ($5)

Bonny Bar Jigger
Bonny Bar Jigger ($5)

A jigger is essentially a shot glass with options. The accessory is made of two components, a 1½-ounce and a smaller cone typically measuring under an once, making it perfect for drinks that rely on precise measurements. It’s not a necessary accessory given most bartenders tend to just free pour drinks, but it is a crucial tool if you desire precise proportions and accurate liquor levels for your drinks.

Next Page: Five more of the best at-home bar accessories


Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Are flat pillows a pain in your neck? Here are the best pillows for side-sleepers

If you've tried doubling up on pillows or buying larger ones to no avail, then it might just be time for a new pillow – one made for sleeping on your side. We've rounded up the best pillows for side sleepers that give neck and head…

These 30 Amazon Coupons can help you save on the things you need

Did you know there are thousands of Amazon Coupons and promo codes that you can take advantage of? We found coupons for everything from tech to everyday products. Find out what savings you've been missing out on.

Safeguard your new Apple smartphone with one of our favorite iPhone XS cases

If the iPhone XS is your next phone, then you’ll want to shop for some proper protection now. That glass sandwich design is all too easy to scratch or crack, so make sure you snag one of the best iPhone XS cases to keep it looking good.

Save energy and money with a $45 discount on the Nest smart thermostat

If you were looking for a smart thermostat, Amazon is offering up to $45 in savings on the popular Nest Learning Thermostat. Use stainless steel thermostat to the keep your home warm and cozy this fall and save energy by scheduling the…
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Product Review

Philip Hue’s versatile outdoor light strip makes drab yards, holiday decor dazzle

Philips Hue fans can at last enjoy the brilliance of this weatherproof light strip, which offers simple, versatile positioning, a rich selection of 16 million color options, and bright, vibrant illumination.
Smart Home

Softly spoken interactions with Alexa now possible with new Whisper Mode

Amazon's Whisper Mode for Alexa has gone live, so now you can talk more softly to Alexa and it'll respond in kind. The feature will most likely come in handy around napping babies or for bed partners you don't want to wake.
Smart Home

Add some nature to your tech with Mui, a wood panel that’s also a smart display

Are you so immersed in technology that you long for a touch of nature in your home? You could get some potted plants -- or you could invest in Mui, a wood panel that is also an internet-connected smart display.
Smart Home

One in 10 smart home device owners report unresolved technical problems

According to a recent survey from Parks Associates, more than one in 10 consumers report they have experienced technical errors with their connected devices that have yet to be resolved.
Smart Home

New Nuimo Click gives one-touch control over smart home devices

Berlin-based technology company Senic has announced the Nuimo Click, a smart switch that harvests kinetic energy to power itself without the need for cables or batteries. The Nuimo Click will begin shipping in December.
Smart Home

SiriusXM, Amazon team up for two Echo Dot deals with freebies

Amazon and SiriusXM partnered on two joint promotions. New SiriusXM subscribers can receive a free Amazon Echo Dot. People who already own an Echo device can sign up for new SiriusXM subscription with the first three months free.
Emerging Tech

A Fitbit for your cat shit: Automatic litter box tracks your kitty’s health

It may look like a sci-fi teleportation chamber, but Footloose is a high-tech litter box that promises to be the most cutting-edge way for your kitty to take a dump. Here's how it works.
Smart Home

Angee’s security service switches from sales to subscriptions

Angee, a successful startup that raised nearly half a million dollars for its home security hub, has pivoted its business model to offer its home security platform as a subscription rather than a smart home product.
1 of 3