Once you’ve armed your home bar with the basics—a shaker, a few jiggers, rows of cocktail glasses—it’s time to invest in pieces that will truly set your collection apart.
These bar tools, gadgets and games let you show off a bit and have some fun by elevating every drinking experience from a solo happy hour to an eight person punch party. These aren’t “need to haves” or even “nice to haves.” They’re “awesome to haves.” Go ahead, treat yo self.
No one notices bad ice or even okay ice, but everyone notices great ice. There’s no quicker way to upgrade a cocktail than by pouring it over a well-crafted sphere, and this tray allows you to make perfectly round, eye-catching ice every time. The silicone material easily releases from the ice so you don’t chip your creations, and the four-ball set-up provides enough ice for a round of fancy cocktails with a few friends.
If your home bar is more of a home brewpub, you need a keg that can pour the perfect pint. This upgraded growler looks great on your bar, ready to dispense your latest home brew, but it doesn’t require extensive construction like installing a full-sized tap. The insulated stainless steel walls keep beer cold up to nine hours, and an adjustable pressurization cap allows you to alter carbonation. And when your party packs up to head to the next spot, the growler can come along, too.
Gin Rummy gets a whole new meaning with this gin-themed playing card set. The deck features 40 gin brands from around the world, along with 12 classic gin cocktails. An accompanying booklet provides detailed background info on the brands and recipes for the cocktails, so any juniper aficionado can study up on their gin knowledge ahead of poker night.
You haven’t really lived until you’ve macheted the cork off a champagne bottle like some kind of boozy warrior. With one swoop, you can instantly ramp up any party from a humdrum affair to an all-out bash. A proper champagne sabre makes it easy for anyone to achieve that feat (with a little practice) and ensures you won’t end up on YouTube in a Champagne Opening Fail video.
Inject a little tropical flair into your weeknight drinking with this golden pineapple tumbler, complete with metal straw. While it’s not made of real gold (it’s actually plated brass), the pineapple does offer sunny vibes to lighten your mood. At 16 ounces, it’s hefty enough to hold a small punch or two-person tiki drink, but we doubt you’ll want to share that straw for one second.
This unusual jigger looks gimmicky at first, but it’s actually a piece of bartending history. According to the History Company, Albert F. Saunders designed a line of barware for the Benedict Manufacturing Company after the end of Prohibition. This recreation of one of Benedict’s historic designs looks and feels just like the midcentury original. The stainless steel finish and ergonomic, balanced design ensure that the jigger backs up its old-school looks with modern accuracy.
It’s only natural for a home bartender to invite a few pals over to show off a fancy home bar, but once you start whipping up cocktail orders, you’ll quickly find it a pain to play both bartender and waiter. Make it easy on yourself by delivering libations to your thirsty friends with this cocktail carrier. Not only does the shiny gold finish fancify any cocktail or beer glass, but the carrier will keep you from looking like the “too many limes guy” meme with all your drinks.
Never suffer a dull conversation at your home bar again. This British pack of drink mats (as they call coasters across the pond) comes with 30 coasters, each with a different mini-game printed on it to keep you busy. The pack includes everything from a mini dart board played with coins, to a swear jar, to snakes and ladders, to something called “beer blots.”
Any serious host needs a serious punch set. Enter David Wondrich, cocktail historian extraordinaire and the mind behind this punch bowl. White stoneware lends gravitas to any soiree, while the fine Georgian-era stemmed punch glasses give drinks a high-class touch. In case you’re wondering about the Latin inscription inside the bowl, it roughly translates to “Let us eat, drink and be merry; after death, there is no pleasure.” Seems like sound advice to us.
Sure, there are cheaper corkscrews on the market, but budget rip-offs push corks in and blow up bottles. This professional, chrome-plated model looks great mounted on the wall and it won’t leave an explosion of Cabernet all over the kitchen. The easy lever action makes it a cinch to open several bottles in a row, making this the perfect tool for party hosts who open a lot of vino.