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Making cocktail bar-worthy drinks at home doesn’t have to be hard — as long as you have the right equipment. It’s not just about stocking up on your favorite liquor either. To really impress your guests, you should be equipped with a well-stocked cocktail kit.
The right cocktail shaker set is essential in order to make concoctions from your own kitchen look and taste more like what you’d find in a swanky bar. You may not realize it, but there can actually be a wrong way to mix drinks. If your cocktail calls for juices, dairy, or egg whites, stirring the cocktail will result in a sub-par beverage. To properly blend the required liquids and achieve a consistent, unified flavor, a shaker is in order. If your beverage needs a thorough chill, shaking it with ice is also the quickest way to reach the desired temperature.
However, not all cocktail shaker sets are designed the same. Some models have integrated strainers while others – built in the Boston Shaker style – require a separate piece of straining equipment. While they both effectively do the job, the best cocktail kit is a matter of preference, just like the cocktail menu you choose to assemble.
The cocktail shaker set you choose will depend on whether you’re looking for a basic setup that will simply help you be more creative at home or if you’re seeking an arsenal of tools that will allow you to compete with even your favorite bartender. Consider the types of cocktails you want to make and the number of people you are serving. You’ll also want to keep in mind the space you have at home. We found mini cocktail kits that can be tucked away easily, but some show-stopping sets that are worth displaying on your bar cart or countertop too. No matter your needs, these picks will bring out the mixologist in you.
1. NÄUZone Professional Bartender Kit
NÄU Zone’s professional-grade kit is built around a two-piece Boston Shaker, consisting of a large shaker and separate tin. A separate strainer is included and the rest of the tools encompass everything you’d find behind the counter of your favorite cocktail bar.
Some of our favorites from the kit are the pro muddler, the cocktail bar spoon (with a fork on the opposite end), and the five liquor bottle pourers. Plus, everything is dishwasher-safe, so you won’t have to worry about the cleanup afterward.
Pros: Eye-catching stainless steel, comes with a wide variety of tools.
Cons: Utilizing any Boston Shaker requires a bit more skill.
2. Cresimo Cocktail Shaker Bar Set
This set is designed for ease. The shaker itself is a three-piece Cobbler Shaker, which means you can forget your external strainer – this one is built-in. It’s made of stainless steel, giving your home bar an added touch of class.
While the selection of included tools is limited to a mixing spoon and a jigger for measuring your liquids, this is really all you need to start making professional-quality cocktails. Plus, we love that this set comes with a little inspiration: a recipe booklet to guide you through cocktails that once seemed so complex.
Everything tucks away easily in your cupboard or drawers, making this a great portable kit if you’re limited on space or want something to take with you to your next party.
Pros: Easy to use, great for beginners, and comes with a recipe guide.
Cons: Additional bar tools are limited.
3. Barillo Elite Bartender Kit
Barillo’s heavy-gauge stainless steel kit is a long-lasting addition to your home bar. The shaker itself – a Cobbler Shaker – lends itself to beginners and experts alike. However, the rest of the kit will be enjoyed most by those who have spent a bit more time developing their craft.
The included muddler is sleek in design, but also offers a functional grip that will help you extract the most flavor from any fruits or herbs you choose to add to your beverage. A velvet bag makes for storage simple, and prevents your shaker and tools from getting scratched.
Pros: Rust-proof, leak-resistant design.
Cons: The sturdiness of the shaker may require more force to remove the lid.