Useful Bar Tools and Accessories: Your Top Choices
When you have built your bar, what is needed to give it a finishing touch are some bar accessories and tools.
Many of these items cost just a few dollars and even the most expensive accessories can be found for less than $40.
Some of the suggestions listed below are really practical in the running of your bar, while others are more decorative but do add to the ambience of the bar area.
While this may be the most obvious suggestion for a bar, there are several different types of glasses, and having a wide selection of glasses means that you can serve your drinks in the ‘right’ type of glass.
While many people will happily drink beers from bottles and can, if you’re serving draft beers, getting a set of 16 oz. glasses is good idea.
If you like different types of beers and lagers, a set of differently shaped glasses designed for a variety of beers adds to the enjoyment of the tasting.
An alternative that is worth considering is a ‘party set’ of glasses. These come in different combinations and quantities, but as an example, a set of four each of a beer glass, a wine glass, a martini glass, a shot glass and a mixer glass costs around $30.
A cocktail shaker is a must for any bar.
A basic cocktail shaker can cost less than $10. If you want to have a cocktail shaker kit with several accessories, one can be found for under $20.
The price then rises to several hundred dollars for something a little more stylish and professional-grade. When you get your cocktail shaker it is well worth investing in a cocktail recipe book, even though you’ll probably only mix a small fraction of them, it is fun to try something different every now and again.
Having a bottle opener is, like glasses, an obvious choice for a bar.
Instead of having a small opener, why not consider a bar (or wall) mounted opener. It’s in a set position, so it won’t get misplaced and you can get a variety of types ranging from ones with a small bucket included to catch the caps as they come off to magnetic openers that hold the cap on the opener.
Again, a very useful accessory that costs less than $10.
Bat mats are a very useful accessory for a bar. They are available in a traditional toweling material or more often today in a non-slip rubberized material. They not only protect the surface of the bar, but also tend to have raised dimples on them. These dimples keep the base of the glass on a slightly raised surface that allows spills and condensation to not keep dripping from the glass every time it is raised, and also stops the spills from spreading – making cleaning up easier.
Tin Bar Signs
There is really no practical purpose for tin bar signs apart from the fact that they add a bar-like atmosphere. There are old-fashioned tin advertising signs, both genuine old signs as well as modern day copies. The copies are less expensive than the originals, but even an original (with a few dents and chips in the paint) can be bought relatively inexpensively.
Illuminated Bar Signs
Illuminated bar signs tend to come in two different styles, the old neon signs and more modern LED signs. The neon signs are fixed and may be able to flash on and off. LED signs on the other hand can do a whole variety of things, from multicolored messages that can scroll to ever changing patterns. Prices vary greatly, the more that a sign will do the greater the price.
Fixed Glass Washing Brushes
If you have a sink at your bar and have a lot of glasses to wash, a simple device which can make this both easier and quicker to do is a triple brush glass washer. It is simply three brushes attached to a suction pad that sits on the base of your sink.
The center brush cleans the inside while the two outside brushes clean the outside of the glass. All with just a twist or two of your hand. It is a bit more effort than a dishwasher but it is quicker than washing by hand. It is intended for commercial bars and restaurants but for around $15 it’s a well worthwhile investment.
These come in a variety of styles. From holding a single bottle to rows of up to four. There is also a revolving type that can hold up to four bottles.
These dispensers are useful as they save opening and closing bottles, which can be time consuming if you are having a party where several different types of liquor are being served. An added advantage of having a dispenser is that they deliver a fixed measure of alcohol.
An ice bucket (or more than one) is a must for any bar. It allows people to serve themselves and saves time, especially when people want to top up their ice. Make sure that you have a scoop or tongs as well, it saves people having to pick the ice out by hand.
Wine Bottle Opener
Otherwise known as a corkscrew. There are many variations available, from the very simple to very sophisticated systems.
At a party where you may be opening several bottles of wine a simple device like the Rabbit opener may be a good choice.
It inserts the screw into the cork and then extracts the cork with little effort, then it also removes the cork from the screw just by lifting and lowering the lever.
Don’t forget the little extras like straws, skewers, mixing sticks, and napkins (and maybe umbrellas and sparklers for those exotic cocktails that you will be mixing).
There are several organizers that are specifically made to hold all the little odds and ends tidy and in one place.
There are a number of different types and sizes and prices start at just a few dollars upwards.
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