We’ve been talking a lot about cocktails, mocktails, and everything you need to make them this season. We shared a “Semiserious Guide to Mezcal Cocktails”, an expert-led how-to for picking the perfect cocktail glass, broke down apéritif hour, and sang the praises of tequila spritzes.
All that cocktail-making inspiration is fun, but we know that setting up an at-home bar can quickly become intimidating. Whether you are trying to find the perfect glassware or deciding on the best liquors and liqueurs to add to your bar cart, the once-fun task can soon feel like a chore.
Fortunately, here at Food52, we enjoy making these decisions easy, and the best way to build the perfect home bar is to start with bar accessories. That’s right, the bits and pieces that you should have on hand to help make your cocktails shine. We’re talking cutting boards, mixing glasses, juicers, vinegar (you read that right), and even countertop carbonators. Keep reading for the at-home bar accessories we recommend, plus a few recipes we can’t get enough of. Cin-cin!
From Our Shop
Before we dive into the accessories, tools, and gadgets that will elevate your at-home bar setup, we thought we’d talk cocktails. Whether you’re a fan of the classics—like a dirty gin martini, daiquiri, and Manhattan—or prefer more unique pours like a Mezcal Amaro Cocktail or a sage-infused margarita, we have countless tried and true cocktail recipes to choose from.
To help narrow things down, here are six of our favorites:
From Our Shop
1. Aarke Carbonator III,
Impress your guests with this countertop carbonator. Next time someone asks for a vodka soda or a spritz, you can trade that store-bought bottle of fizz for some freshly made bubbles. The carbonator is cordless and electricity-free, making it easy to set it on any countertop, table, or bar cart. To use, you’ll just fill the glass bottle to the line with water, screw it into place, and pull the lever down. In 10 seconds or less, you’ll have a fresh bottle of sparkling water. Just make sure you have a couple of extra CO2 canisters on hand to refill the base when needed.
2. Breville Citrus Press, $150
It’s no secret that many cocktail recipes include citrus. Most of your favorite drinks have at least a splash of lemon or lime (if not both) in them and it never hurts to have orange and grapefruit juice at the ready, either. This juice press will help you prep batches of your juice-of-choice quickly, easily, and without a mess, thanks to its drip-stop system and dishwasher-friendly nature.
Prefer a hand-held juicer instead? Try the Dreamfarm Fluicer our community loves.
3. Five Two Bamboo Double-Sided Cutting Board,
You’ll need a surface to prepare your garnishes, whether they be an orange peel, lemon wedge, or skewer of cherries. This bamboo cutting board from our Five Two line gives you a knife-friendly surface to get that perfect lemon slice and even features a groove that’ll hold your phone upright to help you keep a hands-free eye on any recipe.
To get that aforementioned lemon slice, you’ll obviously need a knife. Both the straight pairing and utility knife from this collection of Italian cutlery will help you do just that. Each knife has a faux-tortoise lucite handle with brass rivets and features the initials of the artisan who made it, right there on the blade.
5. Stacking Ice Trays, Set of 3, $60
These two-part ice trays will let you stock up on both regular cubes and pebble ice all in the same stackable container. Each tray is made from silicone—making them sturdy enough to hold their shape but flexible enough to pop out the frozen cubes with ease—and comes with a lid to help keep freezer smells and flavors out of your ice.
This cocktail shaker really does do it all. No, seriously. The double-walled, stainless-steel workhorse has a leak-proof twist top, a built-in strainer, a lid with jigger measurements, an easy-to-hold shape, a roomy 28-ounce capacity, and is vacuum-sealed to help keep drinks cold. When it comes to shaking cocktails, this is the tool you want in your hands.
If you prefer to stir cocktails versus shake them, you’ll want a good mixing glass in your collection. This one is made from lead-free crystal, includes a metal stirrer (don’t forget, if you’re pouring a carbonated drink into the glass, pour down the handle to help prevent overflowing bubbles), and is dishwasher-safe.
8. Wood & Corian Muddler Set, $36+
This muddler set is a bar must-have for anyone who is tired of muddling berries, herbs, or sugar cubes with a spoon. It’s sturdy, timeless, and small enough to fit almost anywhere in your kitchen.
If you’re unfamiliar with shrubs, they’re tangy, vinegary fruit elixirs that first gained fame in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were often called “drinking vinegars” and, to this day, are still mixed with cocktails, into soda water, and even used in coffee drinks. Similar to a flavored simple syrup, it’s always fun to have a shrub or two in your at-home bar collection.
This elderberry and huckleberry shrub is a best-seller in our shop and works magic in anything from a gin and tonic or a non-alcoholic spritz, to a vinaigrette or for drizzling over a scoop of ice cream.
10. French Wood Electric Corkscrew, $130
Opening a wine bottle just got a whole lot easier with this electric corkscrew. No more manually winding the corkscrew or wiggling the cork, hoping it doesn’t break off or snap in half. Just press it onto the bottle, let it do its thing, wait for the corkscrew to stop, and then tilt it sideways—it’ll push the cork right back out.
Not only does keeping your whiskey in a decanter look great (we love an aesthetically pleasing set up here at Food52), it also helps to remove sediment and encourage oxidation, which can improve the flavor and smoothness of your pour.
12. Handmade Colored Glass Straws, $48+
If you enjoy drinking out of a straw but don’t want to keep plastic or paper ones around, this pack of handmade glass straws deserves a place in your kitchen. They’re made from sturdy glass, are dishwasher safe, and come in a variety of warm-toned, cool-toned, and rainbow colors.