9 Utensils & Garnishes You’ll Need For The Perfect Cocktail

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The perfect cocktail. It is something that we all desire. Whether serving drinks from a bar in your home or from an establishment you operate, you must make sure that you have the proper utensils and garnishes in place.

Obviously, first and foremost you’re going to want to make sure that you are stocked up crucial bar spirits and liqueurs. Here is a quick rundown to get you started:

  • Rum
  • Tequila
  • Whiskey
  • Bourbon
  • Vodka
  • Brandy
  • Gin
  • Vermouth
  • Scotch
  • Irish Whiskey
  • Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • Mixers (tonic water, sour mix, cola, ginger ale, grenadine, fruit juices, etc)

The list goes on.

For this conversation, let’s focus on utensils and garnishes. Sometimes forgotten, these tools allow you to create memorable concoctions that will convey to your guests that you are not cutting corners.

1. Fruit/Garnishes


A margarita without a lime. A martini without olives. A Bloody Mary without celery, pickles, olives and all the fixings.

While still enjoyable, cocktails without their signature garnishes simply fall short. Your budget may not allow you to have every garnish known to mankind, but I recommend offering the basics.

Fruit and vegetables used in cocktail garnishes appeal to the senses. Visual appeal, smell & taste are all part of the equation.

Limes, lemons, maraschino cherries, oranges, pickles, celery, & olives should be top priorities..

2. Drink Stirrers and PicksPalm-Tree-Swizzle-Stick

When serving cocktails, you must have the tools necessary to stir your drinks and to hold garnishes. While some bars choose to use sip straws and toothpicks, plastic stirrers and picks not only exude quality, they also can be related to your unique bar atmosphere. There are standard designs out there that have unique qualities. Some of the most popular designs include palm trees, golf clubs, swords, and music notes.

While standard designs cover several categories, custom stirrers and picks are also popular to upgrade drink presentation. These Custom-Beverage-Pickcan be custom molded and decorated to your exact specifications. If you’re looking for an affordable way to promote your brand and increase the perceived value of every drink you serve, these custom products are worth exploring.

3. Cocktail ShakerUsed to mix cocktails if needed. Include ice in the shaker for cooling the drink before serving.

4. Strainer You’ll need this bar accessory to remove ice from your cocktails as they’re poured into the glass. The strainer is placed over the glass or shaker, as small holes in the device allow only liquids to pass as the beverage is poured.

5. Blender – Essential for frozen drinks like Margaritas and also can be used for crushing ice.

6. Bar SpoonThis long-handled spoon is used for mixing or measuring ingredients for cocktails.


7. Jigger/Measuring GlassA jigger is a tool used to measure liquor, which is typically then poured into a cocktail shaker. A jigger or “shot” usually measures between 1-2 ounces.

8. Ice Used in virtually every cocktail made, don’t underestimate the importance of ice. Cubed, cracked, shaved or blocked, ice is used in a variety of forms.

9. Salt & Sugar RimmerMany cocktails aren’t complete without sugar or salt on the rim of the glass.


Whether creating cocktails in your public bar or in your kitchen at home, these utensils and garnishes should be considered. We all want to mix drinks that we’re proud to call our own, so take the time and make the investments necessary for success.


Please comment below with other suggestions!