Bartending Tricks For the Home

Updated: May 19

I love cocktails. It's a huge reason and motivation for opening our distillery.

Even though I love cocktails enough to want to make alcohol from scratch, I actually never invested in any really nice bar equipment. I just found ways to do all those fancy bartending techniques with things I already had. Now you can do them too!


I'm going to be honest. Having the actual tools is definitely pretty handy, but until you feel comfortable shaking up a cocktail every week, it doesn't make sense to spend the money. when the day comes you want all the fancy tools, I highly recommend checking out the company Fifth & Vermouth.


Here are some images of standard bartend tools.


Bartending Tools & Their Home Alternatives


Things like a bar spoon or a mixing glass can easily be replaced with typical kitchen wares like a spoon or a tall jar. For all the other tools, we've come up with some less obvious alternative tools to bartend with.


  • Shakers: used to mix ingredients, usually with ice to cool it down and dilute the alcohol.

  • Alternative: Metal to-go mugs (or tumblers). You can even use most lids to strain out the big chunks of ice. Second alternative is a mason jar with a lid (just be careful of the glass!)


  • Jiggers: a quick way to measure out liquids.

  • Alternative: baking spoon measurements. 1 oz = 30 ml and 1 Tbsp = 15 ml. If you use a regular shot glass, make sure you measure it's volume first.


  • Strainers: made to fit inside shakers and mixing glasses, to strain out large bits and ice chunks.

  • Alternative: a regular mesh strainer. Second alternative is a slotted cooking spoon or spatula.

Last but not least:

Large Ice Cubes: large ice melts slower, keeping your drink colder for longer. Even better is clear ice. Alternative: This is NOT an easy alternative, primarily because of time. But you can make the nicest ice you've ever seen right in your own home. You need a small cooler that can fit in your freezer OR it needs to be freezing outside (Oh Canada) and a serrated knife.

  • Put water in the cooler, then put it in the freezer without the lid. It'll take 24 hrs to freeze.

  • Put cooler upside down in sink, until the ice block falls out.

  • Take the knife and cut off all the non-clear ice.

  • Use the knife to cute the ice block into smaller cubes.

Full step-by-step instructions can be found here: CLEAR ICE INSTRUCTIONS


Good luck practising bartending and cocktail creation! We hope our advice helps you save money and not reduce the quality of your cocktails. Cheers!



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