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Tools of the Trade: A Look at Basic Bar Tools

Tools of the Trade: A Look at Basic Bar Tools

It takes a surprising number of different tools to craft the perfect cocktail!

Bartending is an art and a science. Like any other trade, it involves a working knowledge of industry basics and an understanding of how to use special tools. The bartender’s tools are actually more varied than you might suspect, but all bartenders must have at least these basics available.

Bar Blade

A bar blade is a hand-held bottle opener that allows you to quickly and easily open beer bottles. Some bars will have bottle openers secured to the bar, but a bar blade is an easy to carry tool that allows you to open a bottle in front of the customer no matter where they are sitting during happy hour.

Wine Key

Also sometimes called the Waiter’s Friend, this is a standard corkscrew. It does take some strength and dexterity to use, but it is fairly easy and very efficient for opening corked wine bottles. It is also cheaper than the type that has wing-like handles that you push down to lift the cork out.

Knives And Cutting Board

Bartenders need at least one knife for cutting garnishes, like lemon and lime wedges, for the side of the glass. Paring knives are best, with ceramic blades holding up the longest. A cutting board is a must. It is more hygienic but it will also protect your knife – cutting on the bar top is an easy way to ruin a knife.


Joggers are special liquor measuring cups that allow you to quickly and accurately measure the components of a drink. They tend to look like egg timers. While a standard liquid measure would work also, it doesn’t have the same type of showmanship.


Strainers allow you to hold back the ice, herbs, and any other solid ingredients in the mixed drink while you pour it into a glass. A fine mesh strainer is for double straining while the Julep and Hawthorn strainers catch the ice and leaves with a coil.


This tool is used to smash or crush herbs, veggies, and fruits to release their flavor into drinks. They are often made of wood, plastic, or metal and it is best to avoid any sort of varnish.


While this may be a hated tool, there is no good alternative for making a frozen cocktail. They are loud and can be time-consuming, but including one on your bar set up will increase the variety of popular drinks you can make. Just make sure to buy an industrial one.


State Fare is conveniently located at 748 Frederick Road in Catonsville, Maryland. Our extensive menu has a variety of unique options for breakfastlunch, and dinner that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. We even have many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options! Our fully-stocked bar holds a huge collection of bourbons and whiskeys, as well as several different wines. On tap, we have several different local craft beers to show off the best beer that Maryland has to offer. We’re open every day from 8 am until 2 am, so make your reservation or just stop in and see us today!

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 2nd, 2019 at 1:29 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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