Owning some essential barware pieces can work wonders in elevating your approach to home mixology. A well-stocked bar needs much more than spirits, mixers, garnishes, and glassware to really shine. Details matter!

We’re here to help you create a world-class cocktail experience every time, whether you’re hosting a lavish party or sipping a simple nightcap after dinner. A proper home bar will provide a lifetime of enjoyment, so invest in high-quality barware that’s made to last.

Without further adieu, here are eight must-have cocktail accessories to turn an ordinary home bar into a five-star mixing station.

1. Ice Buckets

First up on our home bar essentials list: ice buckets. Often overlooked, ice buckets are the unsung heroes of home bars. They may be inherently utilitarian, but once you incorporate one or two into your spread, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them.

It only takes one time running out of ice to understand just how crucial ice buckets are to the overall experience. After all, nobody wants a warm cocktail unless it’s called for in the recipe!

Fortunately, ice buckets don’t have to be eyesores. In fact, the right one can be a beautiful, artistic addition to your spread. Check out our TundraSierraOrion, and Helyx collections for stunning examples.

2. Ice Scoops and Tongs

Next on our home bar essentials list: ice scoops and tongs. Like ice buckets, these essential barware pieces are frequently ignored, yet so important—especially when entertaining guests. 

Besides adding a professional touch to your mixing and serving, scoops and tongs are a sanitary way to handle ice and other accouterments. They also allow you to work quickly and choose the perfect amount of ice for each glass, naturally making you a better bartender.

Our Sierra, Orion, and Helyx ice buckets have matching ice scoops, so you can use a complementary set. You can also find a beautiful standalone ice scoop in our El Dorado collection. 

3. Pitchers

A stainless steel water pitcher on a tray

No home bar essentials list is complete without pitchers. Guests always appreciate having quick access to water for staying hydrated after a stiff round of drinks or taming a smoky Scotch with a few drops. 

Pitchers aren’t just for water. They can be filled with pre-mixed margaritas, mojitos, sangria, or any other tasty concoction you feel like mixing up. As an added bonus, allowing guests to serve themselves makes your hosting duties that much easier.

4. Cocktail Shakers and Tools

Some people prefer their cocktails shaken, not stirred. And some cocktails absolutely demand it! Shakers let you create frothy textures, and they’re so handy on summer days when instant chilling is a must.

Besides shakers, every home bar essentials list should include essential barware tools to complete the full setup, such as a jigger, stirring spoon, cocktail strainer, and bottle opener. If you’re just getting started as a home mixologist, these basics will put you on the right path.

5. Bottle Chillers and Wine Totes

When it’s time to pop the bubbly, you’ll be glad to have your bottle chiller keeping your Champagne perfectly frosty and crisp. These versatile accessories aren’t just for celebrations either. If you want any bottle to stay cold, bottle chillers do the job with no fridge runs required.

Of course, not all bottled beverages should be served cold. That’s why we included wine totes (like those featured in our Durango collection) on our home bar essentials list. They add a classy touch to your home presentation, and they’re especially useful when bringing wine to parties.

6. Coasters

A wooden coaster holding a bottle of alcohol

Coasters are both practical and decorative. Icy cocktails cause condensation, leaving a ring on surfaces. Besides being messy, those rings can leave unsightly permanent marks! Additionally, some types of glasses can nick, scratch, or dent soft wood surfaces.

Coasters are classic cocktail companions for a reason! We invite you to explore our functional pieces of art to enhance the presentation of your home cocktails. You can find some wonderful examples in our GingkoSanta FeKenya, and Paloma collections, among others.

7. Serving Trays

We included serving trays and platters on our home bar essentials list because they’re so versatile. Serving trays are essential barware tools because they can be used as a base to carry large rounds for the whole crowd, but that’s just the start.

Besides allowing you to transport drinks and tools anywhere throughout your indoor and outdoor space, every cocktail party deserves some finger foods on the side! Serving trays can be used to serve cheeses, charcuterie, tea sandwiches, or any other hors d’oeuvres that deserve an elegant spread.

8. Utensils

The Versa olive spoon with olives, wine, and other accouterments

If you’re new to home mixology, you might be surprised by how often you end up reaching for various utensils, especially as your recipe repertoire grows. There are some specific utensils that belong on every home bar essentials list.

An olive spoon is a must-own piece for anyone who makes martinis, bloody marys, and other cocktails garnished with olives. A slotted spoon is ideal for stirring or straining, and a double-pronged fork makes spearing cherries, cocktail onions, pineapple chunks, and other garnishes a breeze.

9. Glassware

Sure, you could serve your fabulous cocktails in an ordinary glass, but using the right glasses for different types of drinks really gives you and your guests the authentic cocktail bar experience.

The various glass styles aren’t just for presentation, either. Many glasses are designed to enhance the flavor and scent of certain spirits. 

For example, if you frequently enjoy Scotch, a snifter should be on the top of your home bar essentials list. The shorter mouth traps the spirit’s aromas, while the larger bowl is perfect for swirling the Scotch to awaken those scents.

Here are 10 essential barware glasses to add to your collection:

  • Martini
  • Margarita
  • Highball/Collins
  • Rocks
  • Shot
  • Beer
  • Red wine
  • White wine
  • Champagne
  • Specialty cocktail

10. Muddler / Mortar and Pestle

Muddlers and mortars and pestles both serve similar purposes—they allow you to extract bold flavors and aromas from various ingredients, such as herbs, spices, and fruits. However, there are some key differences between the two tools.

While you could add both tools to your home bar essentials list, you really only need one. Muddlers are cocktail-specific, while mortars and pestles are general kitchen tools that are commonly used for a wide range of culinary purposes.

Muddlers are wands that are used to break down ingredients while they’re in the glass. Mortars and pestles are for crushing and grinding the ingredients separately, and then those processed ingredients can be added to the drink.

Popular drinks that use these tools include mojitos, mint juleps, old fashioneds, caipirinhas, and caipiroskas. That said, having a muddler or mortar and pestle opens up infinite avenues for creative cocktail creations!

11. Bowls

The Tundra triple bowl with sliced limes

Bowls belong on any home bar essentials list worth their salt because you need something to hold your cocktail accouterments, like salt! Garnishes can really elevate the cocktail experience, so don’t overlook this crucial detail.

You can use bowls to hold all sorts of add-ons, like herbs, spices, citrus twists, berries, olives, cinnamon sticks, cocktail cherries, cocktail onions, and pickled foods.

Of course, when it comes to essential barware, you don’t want to be serving garnishes from your cereal bowl! You can find some lovely garnish bowls in our ButterflyOpus, and Silhouette collections, among others.

12. Cutting Board and Knife

You probably already own a cutting board and knife, but you may want to add one to your home bar essentials list anyway. It’s nice to have a dedicated set specifically for your home bar so it’s always ready to make a drink when you are.

For a home bar, a compact board and a cocktail knife should do the trick just fine for slicing and peeling citrus and trimming various garnishes. 

If you plan on working with larger fruits like pineapples or various meats and vegetables, you may want to incorporate a chef’s knife into your spread.

13. Cellarette

A bar cabinet, also known as a cellarette, will really tie the whole home bar together. If you decide to add one to your home bar essentials list, be sure to shop around. There are many different cellarette styles out there.

For example, some have multiple shelves to store and showcase bottles and glassware. Others are utilitarian work fixtures designed for personal use. 

You could also choose a tray with wheels if you want to move your essential barware from room to room or to an outdoor area.

Shop Bar Essentials at Mary Jurek Design

You only need to buy high-quality barware once. Here at Mary Jurek Design, our stainless steel barware is masterfully crafted by hand using traditional metalworking techniques. They’re functional, heirloom-worthy pieces of art that are made to last a lifetime and stay in the family.

Everything on this home bar essentials list can be purchased from Mary Jurek Design, so shop our products to find the essential barware that matches your personal taste and home décor. 

Our products are naturally sustainable, eco-friendly, and 100% recyclable. They’re also food-safe, dishwasher-safe, and anti-corrosive. Your home bar deserves the finest barware. Explore our upscale barware now, and start using cocktail accessories that make every sip worth celebrating!

Author Mary Jurek

Mary Jurek is the founder of Mary Jurek Design, a luxury serveware brand. She started her career in the jewelry industry, designing for notable brands such as Piaget Watch, Tiffany & Co., and Cartier. After receiving four international awards for her work, she was inspired to step out on her own. Her experience working with luxury jewelry firms led her to establish Mary Jurek Design Inc in 1997. She lives in Los Angeles and loves the arts, entertaining friends and family, gardening, and all things that make a home comfortable and inviting.