In this lesson, we will speak about the essential equipment for preparing cocktails. We will also focus on some equipment alternatives you might have at home. ( I bought this equipment on Amazon, this is the link *not affiliate) and this is the link for the mixing jug.

1. Cocktail Shaker

2. Cocktail measure

3. Mixing jug

4. Bar spoon

5. Hawnthorne strainer

6. Muddler

7. Cocktail sticks

8. Ice tongs

9. Fine mesh strainer

Cocktail Shaker

  • serves for “Shake and Pour” Cocktail types
  • is used for shaking all cocktail ingredients together
  • it doesn’t matter which type you have, you can shake cocktails in a simple larger jar too.

Cocktail Measure

  • serves to measure the liquid ingredients for cocktail
  • standard size is 50ml and 25ml
  • you can see some examples on this link
  • if a recipe doesn’t contain a precise measure of the ingredients, you can assume that 25ml (a smaller cup) is one measure of an ingredient, while the larger cup (50ml) is a double measure
  • in the US, this cocktail measure is called a “jigger”
  • for a home made cocktails, an equivalent tool can be an eggcup, or 25ml is equivalent to 1 tablespoon and 1 dessertspoon (or 5 teaspoons)

Mixing Jug

  • this serves for stirred and not shaked cocktails
  • equivalent tool in the kitchen can be a bigger glass or a kitchen measuring-jug

Bar Spoon

  • it’s a long handled spoon for stirring mixed cocktails or for giving a final stir to a drink served long in a tall glass
  • however, you can use any other spoon instead


  • serves for separating the liquid from the ice, while pouring the cocktail into the glass
  • a cocktail shaker, comes with its own build-in strainer for removing the ice from a drink as it is poured out, but stirred cocktails made in a jug will need a separate piece of equipment (if the ice is not to be left in)
  • type of a strainer used in a bar is called a Hawnthorne strainer. N.9 from the image on top, you can see a fine mesh strainer, which serves for pouring the cocktail into the glass. It helps to separate solid parts of the cocktail that a Hawnthorne strainer didn’t manage to do.
  • When pouring cocktail into the glass, you use both at the same time – one hand holding the shaker with a Hawnthorne strainer, the other had is for holding the fine mesh strainer while pouring.
  • visit the lesson about Building cocktails to see the tutorial about Shake & Pour technique
  • Instead, you can use a tea-strainer, but it is too small to catch more than a single cube of ice, a kitchen sieve (not he other hand) is too large. A good tip: it’s probably better hold something such as a broad-bladed knife over the rim of the mixing-jug as you pour, to keep the ice back.


  • serves for crashing the leaves (for example for mojito), or for grinding granulated sugar for drinks prepared in a mixing jug

Zest peeler

  • does not necessarily serves for preparing cocktails, but it’s very useful for preparing garnishes – such as citrus twists
  • it is not a must-to have item, instead, you can use a knife

Ice tongs

  • serves for adding ice into the cocktail glass directly
  • it’s not a must-to have item, you can use any large tweezers instead

Citrus Squeezer

  • serves for obtaining the juice from lemons, orange, lime, grapefruit and more exotic fruits
  • the image shows you the original citrus squeezer. It’s also practical to quickly wash them up and use again
  • You can use the one you have at home

Cocktail sticks

  • keep it as simple as possible, you can get some plastic straws, cocktail sticks (can be used for holding pieces of fruity garnish), swizzle-sticks are handy for allowing the person to refresh a long cocktail that are taking an inordinate time to drink

And last, Electric Blender

  • any kind you have at home, serves for preparing frozen blended cocktails
  • be aware that adding ice cubes into blender will gradually ruin the little blades.
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