Our Favorite Cocktail Equipment: The Essentials

The equipment behind the bar matters.

Published Jan. 14, 2020.

The key to making a great cocktail is having the best ingredients, the best alcohol, the best cocktail recipes, and of course, the best equipment. And if you love making cocktails at home, a few pieces of essential gear can make that quest so much easier and produce cocktails that will taste like they were made by a professional.

In this video, a segment from the very first episode of season 20, Eggs for the Holidays, America’s Test Kitchen TV gadget expert—and Tastings and Testings executive editor—Lisa McManus shows off some of our favorite cocktail equipment to help with your bartending skills. Whether you are shaking, stirring, muddling, or blending, these three tools will help you up your cocktail game and impress your guests.

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Featured Equipment

Fletcher's Mill Maple Muddler

The Best Muddler: Fletcher's Mill Maple Muddler
At 11 inches long, it was the biggest muddler we tested, standing tall in every vessel. It had a moderate weight, and its slightly indented, unvarnished wood body was especially easy to grip. [BUY ON AMAZON]

OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cup, Clear

The Best Jigger: OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cup, Clear
Our winner isn’t a jigger at all but rather a small measuring cup. It is essentially a tiny plastic beaker with a single large mouth that is easy and neat to pour into and out of. [BUY ON AMAZON]

Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Hawthorne Strainer

The Best Hawthorne Strainer: Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Hawthorne Strainer
With closely spaced, moderately tense coils, this strainer filtered out all but the fewest, tiniest bits of lime pulp, mint, and ice. Long wings allowed it to sit securely on the small and large halves of the shaker, and a tab on the head made it easy to grip while pouring. [BUY ON AMAZON]

Want to see more of Lisa and the rest of the America's Test Kitchen TV cast? To find out when and where the show airs in your area, enter your zip code into our station finder

Want to see other ways you can improve your kitchen? Check out some other equipment round-ups:

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