Are you looking to take your dinner parties to the next level? Do you like to drink the occasional cocktail on a weeknight but don't have the energy to go to a bar? Chances are that you need a good bartender kit so you can have all the right tools at your disposal to create the perfect drink.
With how many kits there are out there, picking the right one can be overwhelming, but we've done the research and curated a list of the 10 best bartender kits. Our favorite one is X-Cosrack's Premium Bartending Kit, a kit with a great combination of functionality, quality, and practicality. Check out some other bartender kits from our list below, as well as our buying guide reviewed by a professional alcohol expert for tips on how to choose the right kit for you.
Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, an English-language drinks blog specializing in Japanese whisky, spirits, and Tokyo's cocktail culture. He has lived in Tokyo since 2008. He is a certified Cocktail Professor, SSI Shochu Kikisakeshi, and he provides consulting services for foreign spirits brands seeking to enter the Japanese market. Since 2021 he has served on the Executive Committee and as a judge for the Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
The best bartender kit is one that includes all the tools that you need, suits your level of expertise, and fulfills your portability requirements. We designed a guide to help you understand your bartending needs a little better so you can decide what bartender kit is perfect for you.
Bartender sets can have anywhere between six and 20 plus pieces. Some of the most essential pieces you'll find in a set are a shaker, a muddler, a jigger and a mixing spoon. More complete kits can include different types of strainers, liquor pourers, muddlers, citrus juicers, tongs, and extra tools like corkscrews and bottle openers.
If you're starting your home bar from scratch, look for a set with all the basics, and remember you can always add on to it later. This might be better if you're a beginner and not sure which tools you'll actually end up using.
Shakers are arguably the most important part of a bartender kit since they add texture and set the drink to the optimal temperature and degree of dilution. There are three types of shakers: Boston, French, and Cobbler.
Consider getting a Boston shaker if you’re an experienced bartender or if you make plenty of cocktails per event. They consist of two tins, one bigger than the other, that fit together to chill the perfect cocktail. These shakers are the favorite of every seasoned bartender for two reasons: they make more cocktails at once, and they make them faster.
They can make up to three drinks at a time, and the tins are easy to detach, unlike Cobbler and French shakers. Some versions have the smaller tin substituted by a 16-ounce pint glass, which most bartenders prefer since they are able to see the ingredients they’re shaking.
Some level of expertise is required to shake the two tins without spilling any liquid, making this a trickier shaker for a beginner bartender. These shakers also don’t have a built-in strainer, so you will have to use a separate piece to remove ice and solid materials.
A Boston shaker may be difficult to work with at first, but it shouldn't take too long to get used to. Once you've mastered the technique, you'll be able to use almost any Boston-style shaker anywhere in the world. Because of their simplicity, Boston shakers are also less likely to break or warp over time.
Opt for a cobbler shaker if you’re just starting to mix your first cocktails, if you want to only use it at home, or if you plan to make just a few cocktails at a time. They consist of three pieces: a tin, a built-in strainer, and a cover.
Unlike Boston shakers, there is no risk of spilling when it comes to separating the tins, but the separation process can take some time. It's very common for the two tins to get stuck due to the temperature drop, so you'll have to find your own techniques to separate them. Putting them under hot water usually does the job.
Lastly, keep in mind that the built-in strainer can be slower than a Hawthorne used with a Boston or French shaker, but that shouldn't be a problem if you're a beginner practicing in the comfort of your own home.
Cobbler shakers have the advantage of being easier to open than Boston shakers. Some people prefer the aesthetics of a Cobbler shaker as well, so there are certainly many professional bartenders who use Cobbler shakers alongside or even instead of Boston shakers. Choose a shaker that's comfortable for you and it will become an indispensable part of your kit.
If you’re more of a collector or an eccentric bartender, you will love a French shaker. These shakers consist of two pieces that look like one when put together.
Like the Boston shaker, they don't have a built-in a strainer. Like the Cobbler, they are easy to seal correctly. They generally open more easily than the Cobbler, though. Their main disadvantage is that they're hard to find.
Choose a kit with extra strainers if you want to make perfectly smooth cocktails from recipes that contain complex ingredients like fruits or herbs. Except for the most basic kits, like the ones that only include the built-in strainer of a Cobbler shaker, the majority of sets include a Hawthorne strainer.
If you’re looking to make fruity cocktails that may contain pulp, look for a kit that includes a mesh strainer. They are good to have, as some tiny pieces of ice or pulp may get through a Hawthorne strainer.
You might even consider using a julep strainer. They are easier to clean than their mesh and Hawthorne counterparts. Julep strainers are shaped like shallow bowls and, when placed at the right angle, fit snug in a shaker to prevent ice and other solids from being poured out with the drink.
With an ever-growing number and diversity of cocktail ingredients, having additional strainers beyond a standard Hawthorne will allow you to explore a wider world of mixed drinks.
Many professional bartenders for example use a technique called "double straining", which involves using the Hawthorne strainer to remove big chunks of ice and a fine mesh strainer to catch things like pulp from fresh-squeezed citrus.
In order to create the most accurate drink, you'll want to have a jigger handy. Double-sided jiggers come in most bartender kits. You'll find these hourglass-shaped jiggers commonly have the capacity for either one and a half ounces on one side and three quarters of an ounce on the other, or one ounce and a half ounce.
One type is the bell jigger, which has rounded cups and a midsection that's easy to hold. However, the most common double jigger is the Japanese jigger. While its tall and narrow form makes it harder to pour and see into, it also makes it easier to pour out of. It can be lenient on beginners, since its smaller diameter means going over or under the right measurement is less of a mistake.
Aside from double jiggers, there are single jiggers. These look like tiny measuring cups and usually have measurement markings shown all on one side. There are graduated versions of these, which are great for beginners since they make it even easier to pour the precise amount.
Having a graduated jigger can save you from a lot of hassle and guesswork at your bar, enabling you to maintain consistent quality in your recipes. With many more complicated drinks now calling for 5 milliliters or this or 10 milliliters of that, it can be very useful to have a single jigger that can handle all necessary measurements.
Bartender kits often have bags or bases to store all the tools they come with. You'll want to consider a kit's size, how many items it comes with, and if you anticipate traveling with it or keeping it in one spot.
If you plan to keep your set at home, a kit that comes with a base may be best. With a variety of designs available, you can choose a base that matches your home decoration or is just nice to display. However, if you’re a working bartender, a bag would be more useful so you can pack your tools up and take them anywhere.
If you like to make complex and custom drinks, choose a kit with different types of strainers, extra pourers, and a good muddler. On the other hand, if you plan on making the same few drinks, you might be better off with a simpler kit, otherwise you could end up paying for tools you will never use.
Though it's certainly possible to add components to your kit down the road, many kits are designed to only hold the tools that are included in the standard package. Adding something like a muddler of a different design or a mixing glass could have a negative impact on the overall feel of your kit.
You'll want to make sure the kit you get can last and is easy to clean after each mixing session. Accordingly, the vast majority of bartender kits have tools made from stainless steel, a very durable, shatterproof material that's generally dishwasher-safe. There may also be a few pieces included that are made from plastic, glass, or wood.
Plastic can warp, crack and stain over time, so you may want to steer clear of it, at least for the most important and frequently-used items in the kit. Metal tools are often plated in copper, brass, or gold finishes, which look nice but can chip and wear off. If you like that style, check the reviews to see how durable that shine really is.
One bartender tool you'll often find made out of wood is a muddler. While stainless steel ones are durable, using them in a mixing glass could lead to the glass breaking, so look for a rubber cap if you plan to use a steel muddler in a glass. The wooden variants last long and are softer, however wood can stain, hold odors, and is not dishwasher-safe.
Some kits have additions such as extra pourers, different strainers, lemon squeezers, corkscrews, cocktail cards, ice tongs, stoppers, and bottle openers. These are all great accessories, but to avoid tool saturation in your kit, it might be better to consider kits with accessories that are relevant to you.
If you're a beginner, you might appreciate a kit that includes a mixture of strainer types so you can experiment or get a feel for which type works best for you. Kits that come with drink recipe cards are perfect for those who don't yet know many, or can't remember them!
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Premium Bartending Kit
Best Practical Bar Kit With a Rotating Display
A Bar Above
Home Bar Accessories Set
Best Essentials Kit With a Boston Shaker
Pro Cocktail Shaker Set
Best All-In-One Bartender Kit for Experimenting
Mixology & Craft
Mixology Bartender Kit With Stand
Best Stylish Kit That Can Hang on the Wall
Mixology & Craft
Mixology Bartender Kit
Best Bartender Kit for Simple Cocktails
Travel Bartender Kit Bag
Best Bartender Kit for Traveling
Bartender Kit and Bamboo Stand
Best Bartender Kit for Making Any Cocktail
Cocktail Shaker Set
Best Bare Essentials Kit With Recipes
Premium Cocktail Bar Set
Best Stylish Kit With a Portable Base
Bartender Travel Kit
Best Travel Kit With a French Shaker and Extra Storage Space
This 18-piece bartender kit includes the basic tools plus extras, like a bottle opener, ice tongs, five liquor pourers, four straws, a corkscrew, and a drink recipe booklet. Its rotating design allows you to have all the pieces handy without taking up too much space. It comes in silver, black, gold, or rose gold finishes.
Although this kit has a unique rotating base, some reviewers felt the base was not sturdy, as it often tilted and failed to hold the tools snugly. However, many reviewers reported this kit to be gorgeous, classy, and easy to clean. They were also pleased that it included all the tools they needed, and said it impressed their families and friends!
The Boston shaker in this kit has one weighted and one unweighted cup. The unweighted cup can create a tighter seal, while the weighted cup is more rigid and stable for stirring and muddling. Aside from its six cocktail picks, this kit includes all three different types of strainers and an extra long wooden muddler, plus a jigger with measurement markings.
This kit doesn't come with a dedicated storage option, but reviewers commented that they were impressed with the quality of the tools and were glad that the kit came with the essentials. Many stated how pleased they were that the kit held up well after regular use.
If you want to have every tool at your disposal, this complete bartender kit will have you covered. It has just about every accessory you could ever need, as well as variations of the essential tools, coming with both a Boston and Cobbler shaker, every strainer type, two steel jiggers, and one plastic jigger with measurement markings.
Although this kit is packed with nearly every bartending tool out there, the carrying bag for it is sold separately or in another bundle. Still, many reviewers expressed they were happy with this kit as they found it perfect for setting up their home bar. Many people commented that it was a great starter kit that had everything they needed and more.
If you need a kit that's both functional and stylish, then this one is perfect. It comes with all the essentials: a Cobbler shaker, Hawthorne strainer, muddler, mixing spoon, and two double jiggers, as well as a few extra accessories. You can show off these tools with the rustic wooden stand, which can even be hung on the wall with the included rope.
Most reviewers found the shaker and the other tools to be perfectly functional and solid. They also felt the kit with its wooden stand looked classy when placed on the wall. They recommend it for gifting, too.
This is the perfect simple bartender kit if you're a classic cocktail drinker and you just want the essentials, as there are hardly any unnecessary extra tools. It includes a Cobbler shaker, double jigger, ice tongs, muddler, mixing spoon, corkscrew, and two liquor pourers, all of which can be stored on the kit's elegant metal base.
Some reviewers complained that the spoon and jigger didn't fit in the base properly. On the other hand, most reviewers were happy with the kit's simplicity and that it gave them just what they needed to make cocktails at home. They also found the recipe cards easy to follow for beginners.
In its waxed canvas roll-up bag, this bartender kit has space to fit every tool in the kit, plus some extra space in the shaker compartment. This kit has all the essential tools, and an assortment of extra accessories like a citrus squeezer, zester, and tweezers.
The large majority of reviewers were pleased with this portable kit. Specifically, they were impressed with how well-made the bag was and felt that the tools were high-quality overall. They also appreciated that the pockets had pictures to indicate where each tool goes.
This bartender kit comes with a total of 23 pieces to cover all of your bartending needs. There won't be a cocktail you can't make. Aside from the built-in strainer in its Cobbler shaker, it includes a Hawthorne strainer. All of the tools can be displayed on its bamboo base or even carried with you, as it comes with a velvet carrying bag.
Some reviewers felt that some of the tools were made of thin metal, causing them to be weak and flimsy. However, the vast majority thought it looked great and was very functional. They appreciated the tool selection and felt it was nicely curated for beginners and amateur mixologists.
If you only want the bare minimum tools required to make a cocktail, consider this six-piece kit. It comes with just a weighted/unweighted Boston shaker, a Hawthorne strainer, a Japanese jigger, two liquor pourers, and a nice set of cocktail recipe cards.
Many reviewers reported that they were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the tools included in this kit and noted that they were well-built and sturdy. They also appreciated that the included Japanese jigger came with inner measurement markings.
This bartender kit is easy to move around using the handles on its wooden holding crate. This kit also looks great on display, and it's compact, coming with the essential bartender tools like a Cobbler shaker and two jiggers, plus ice tongs, a corkscrew, and liquor pourers.
A few reviewers reported that the handles were loose, however, most people were pleased with the crate and appreciated that the kit had useful and sturdy tools. They were also happy with how nice the kit looked in their bar or on their counter.
This kit includes every basic tool you would need to make any cocktail, including a French shaker that will impress your guests. The carrying bag features 10 small pockets, two foldaway pockets, and three adjustable inserts, and is the perfect size to fit additional drink supplies such as syrups or garnishes.
A few reviewers reported that the straps of the bag were flimsy and the design put weight on the buckles. However, most reviewers reported that it held up well over several months. They were glad that the tools could fit in the bag with room to spare, and that they could add more items, like a knife, cutting board, or condiment jars.
In addition to reviewing and commenting on our buying guide, Whiskey Richard also took the time to answer a commonly asked question about bartender kits.
"Begin by thinking through the kinds of cocktails you want to make and what kinds of cocktails your guests may want," Whiskey Richard explains. "It's good to have at least one bottle each of the "big 5" base spirits (whiskey, brandy, rum, vodka, gin, tequila, or mezcal) plus a basic selection of liqueurs and mixers to accommodate a wide range of needs.
At the same time, don't feel obligated to appeal to everyone all the time. While most liquors and liqueurs won't go bad even if they're opened, you don't want to find yourself stuck with a lot of bottles you'll never use."
Now that you know all about bartender kits, you'll probably want to look at more items that you can use to keep making drinks. Take a look at these other products to complete your bar at home!
If you still need a little help narrowing down your choices, or if you want to check out what other people are picking out, head on over to Amazon's best selling list of barware tool sets.
No. 1: X-Cosrack｜Premium Bartending Kit
No. 2: A Bar Above｜Home Bar Accessories Set
No. 3: Barillio｜Pro Cocktail Shaker Set
No. 4: Mixology & Craft｜Mixology Bartender Kit With Stand
No. 5: Mixology & Craft｜Mixology Bartender Kit
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