Amid the ongoing pandemic, some of us are back at our parents’ houses, while others are stuck in one-bedrooms with tiny kitchens. Others, still, are simply reluctant to spend money on bar tools they’ll rarely use. And with many bars and restaurants still closed, such imbibers may be finding it difficult to recreate their favorite drinks at home. From jiggers, to shakers, to muddlers and mixing glasses, there are myriad tools mentioned in drinks recipes that many of us don’t own. While these tools are helpful and make home bartending an easier feat, cocktail enthusiasts don’t need to break the bank in order to make their favorite drinks.
In fact, bartender TD Sidell says home bartenders don’t really need any bar tools to make their favorite drinks. “You can pretty much find whatever you need in your kitchen,” he argues, saying that these tools are really just for bartenders who are making many cocktails in a row. Just as you “don’t need a super-fancy chef’s knife to cut some onion,” he says, you don’t need professional bar tools to make a cocktail at home.
The only exceptions? Sidell says every homeowner should definitely purchase a corkscrew. You may also want to invest in a hand juicer, as “juicing lemons and limes sucks immensely,” according to Sidell. For those who don’t want to spend on a juicer, Sidell recommends sticking to all-spirits cocktails like Negronis.
To help our readers find ways to make delicious cocktails from the comfort of their own homes — with the help of Sidell — we’ve put together a list of kitchen tools that, in a pinch, can be used in place of common bar tools. Keep reading to see which tools to use when recipes call for bar spoons, zesters, garnish knives, and more.