Bottles of booze are known quantities. Sealed, taxed, displayed on shelves. Same for their mixers. A Whiskey Ginger will taste the same at $15 from your favorite bartender as it will when prepared at home for $5. But once your home drinking moves past the type of basic cocktails that include the entire recipe in their name, things begin to break down; “shaken not stirred” becomes an irrelevant distinction without a shaker or long bar spoon. The difference between a cocktail and a great cocktail lies in the details, the little tweaks only possible with the right tools. For those still using a soup spoon to muddle their mint juleps, there are better days ahead, and they don’t require much of an investment.


Bentwood Leather Bar Stool
Because everything tastes better atop walnut and leather. $339+
Budget Option: Vasari Adjustable Barstool — $130


Golden Fist Napkin Weight
Because a hearty-enough laugh can take down any napkin stack. $60
Budget Option: Handmade Bird Napkin Holder — $22


Hammered Solid Copper Cocktail Shaker
Because copper is good for your health, even if your drink isn’t. $99
Budget Option: OXO Stainless Steel Shaker — $30


Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup
Because simple syrup shouldn’t be your only sweetening option.
Classic ($14) | Pineapple ($15) | Raspberry ($15) | Orgeat ($15)


Edward Double Old-Fashioned Glasses, Set of 4
Because good presentation can save a bad drink, sometimes. $80
Budget Option: Marquis Collection Vintage Old-Fashioned, Set of 4 — $31
A Visual Guide to the Perfect Bar Cart


Alcohol remains an enduring motif in the great American narrative. That’s probably because those that wrote it drank, and drank well — epitomized by the enduring symbol of the most sophisticated of drinking cultures: the bar cart. Here’s our take on the perfect cart. See it here.


Bar Tool Set
Because great drinks require their own tools, not repurposed food cutlery. $80
Budget Option: OXO Steel 7-Piece Barware Set — $54


Riedel Vinum Glasses (4 Bordeaux & 4 Chablis)
Because with Riedel you can break out the good stuff without breaking the bank. $150
Budget Option: Govino Wine Glass Flexible Shatterproof Recyclable, Set of 4 — $15


Filthy Pickle Stuffed Olives and Angostura Bitters
Because sweetness needs to be balanced.
Olives ($15) | Bitters ($20)


Old Dutch Hammered Ice Bucket with Tongs
Because your freezer doesn’t need to make an appearance at cocktail hour. $53
Budget Option: Kapalini “Rain” Stainless Steel Ice Bucket — $33


Proteak Cutting Board
Because your lemons shouldn’t taste like the roast you sliced for dinner. $124
Budget Option: Mode Series Butcher Block by Tree & Co — $67
17 Perfect Gifts for the Mixologist


The mixologist received his MA in Drinking. Here are the tools to help them craft the perfect drink. See the list.


Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails
Because your iPhone isn’t spill-proof. $24
Pre-Order Option: The Canon Cocktail Book — $28


Waterford Elegance Pitcher
Because when imbibing, a glass of water can protect yourself from yourself. $150
Budget Option: Handblown Moroccan Glass Pitcher — $30


Chateau-Laguiole Grand Cru Barrel
Because a bad opening can ruin a good night. $160
Budget Option: Trudeau Laguiole Red Stablewood Waiter’s Corkscrew — $30


Chateau Laguiole Oak Barrel Wood Coasters
Because they’ll pay for themselves in avoided water-rings. $98
Budget Option: Dacasso Mocha Leather 4-Round Coaster Set — $49
How to Create a Professional Charcuterie Platter


From the meat to cheese to figs, this is everything you need to know for your next charcuterie platter. See the guide.


Cocktail Kingdom 55mm Ice Ball Maker
Because nothing says “I’ve made it,” like slower melting ice. $150
Budget Option: Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds — $22


The Jackson Cannon Bar Knife R. Murphy
Because you need only cut the lime, not your finger. $74
Budget Option: Rabbit Bar Knife — $9


Riedel Vinum XL Leaded Crystal Martini Glass, Set of 6
Because your martini glasses need a size upgrade. $195
Budget Option: Luigi Bormioli Crescendo Martini Glasses, Set of 4 — $34

J. Travis Smith

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