Rum old fashioneds, scotch negronis, and reverse manhattans are among the imaginative riffs feeding do-it-yourself mixology’s rise. The deftness for creating delicious interpretations on classics isn’t reserved for seasoned bartenders; learning to build a drink has never been more accessible. Though the allure of going to a bar has staying-power, we’re celebrating the modern man’s impulse to cultivate more than a talented tongue for ordering the right drink. True appreciation for craft cocktail culture starts with getting your hands dirty at home and acquiring the tools to execute with style. Stopping at mixing glasses, shakers, and strainers doesn’t do your pursuit justice. We feel you. To that end, (along with some basics) the CYTIES team handpicked some must-haves to class up your home bar.
Arch Whisky Bottle
The handcrafted 33.8 fl oz Arch whisky bottle by NUDE has more curves than the Le Mans (yea, we’re into things that go fast) race course: It’s stylish, winding, and timeless. If the handsome design isn’t enough, the piece is accompanied by a serving bowl and two whiskey glasses—made of the lead-free crystal. Give your best whiskey the home it demands.
Speakeasy: 200 Underground Cocktails
A book worthy of your bar, Speakeasy: 200 Underground Cocktails honors the cocktail recipes born during Prohibition when drinking was a tight-lipped pastime. With plenty of source material, you can master classics and establish a baseline for concocting your own interpretations. You may never buy a drink again (okay, that’s a lie).
Craighill’s Ripple Opener
Let’s be honest: sometimes a cold beer is all we need to get by—which doesn’t mean we should neglect style when popping a top. Craighill’s ripple opener definitely makes waves (see what we did there). Forged from Wisconsin steel, it’s homegrown, and finished with a striking nitrocarburized coating—a hardening process also used on drive train components in cars and heavy equipment, so you know It’s built to last.
Jack Ruby Co. Bar Tool Set
Some bar tools are essential. A proper jigger and stirrer fall in that category. This versatile bar tool set by Jack Ruby Co. hits the mark. A stainless steel double-graduated jigger and matching Japanese-style dual spoon-trident are sleek foundational pieces.
Moore & Giles Inc./Jim Meehan collab. Bar Roll-up
Some men are rolling-stones, part-time amateur bartenders, or next-level daters (yes, it’s okay to come prepared to impress when she makes you dinner). Wherever you fall on that scale, always be a Boy Scout. A well-crafted Moore & Giles Inc./Jim Meehan collab. bar roll-up, with compartments and pockets-a-plenty, is perfect for getting your mixology hustle mobile in a hurry.
Snake Cocktail Picks
Countless recipes call for adorning drinks with cherries, ginger, and lemon twists (among others)—to that end, toothpicks just won’t do gents. Lucky for you, the style and elegance gods birthed these badass Love & Victory snake cocktail picks. The four-piece gold and black enamel set slither to your door in a signature printed box—nuff said.
Hiware Metal Straws
We’re an environmentally friendly crew. In that vein, please drop this 12-pack of reusable Hiware metal straws into your virtual cart. They’re dishwasher safe, cool, and kind to the planet (we went there).
Well-made craft cocktails in the right vessel look and taste better. We stand by that. With these handsome rocks glasses from YARAI® you can imbibe with swagger. Start here, then invest in a good set of Collins and Nick and Nora.
2-prong Stainless Steel Strainer
Strainers make the shortlist for bar-building 101. After stirring or shaking your ingredients to bliss, this 2-prong stainless steel accessory (adaptable to large and standard mixing glasses) is fundamental to finishing with the perfect pour.
CRUDE’s “Pooter” bitters
Treat your bar like you would a lab. Any “chemist” worth his weight in whiskey knows a formula is only as good as its complementary parts; high-quality ingredients elevate taste and profile. Enter CRUDE’s “Pooter” bitters—a smoky, salty, subdued spice triumph. Just a couple of drops adds an unforgettable punch to liqueurs, tequila, or bourbon.
007 (with much respect to the world’s suavest spy, hands down) had it wrong—martinis are stirred not shaken. Without going down that rabbit hole—ice, ingredients, and a spin of your spoon (in a beautiful glass such as this) are all that’s required. Strain with poise and control, and serve.
Weighted Shaking Tins
Cocktail ingredients (when called for) require only 12-15 seconds of shaking for optimal dilution, aeration, and chilling. Now that we’ve dropped that knowledge, the other half of it is: there’s no excuse not to look dashing in the act. These matte black weighted shaking tins add the right amount of sophistication to your performance.
When the mood (or occasion) to enjoy a Mint Julep or Moscow Mule strikes, w&p’s quick freeze crushed ice tray will feel like The Dark Knight swooping in to save the day. Don’t be left wanting with a couple of sad ice cubes. Never say we didn’t do anything for you.
Mid-Century Bar Cart
An eye-catching bar cart is not only a conversation starter; it’s a confidence booster for any amateur bartender. A well-chosen bar cart also inserts some dazzle and class into your space—putting your curated collection of spirits and accessories on full display. West Elm’s Mid-Century Bar Cart pays homage to the 1950s and 60s style (with straight lines and timeless walnut and brass elements) and is a must-have signature piece. Here’s where we drop the mic.
Pick a signature cocktail for the home bar and stick to it when having the crew over
Common ingredients like juices, soda, and tonic are often overlooked, stock it up
Every good set up needs a few Tiki mugs
Add a clutch Amaro like Braulio to the shelf for an after-dinner sip
Invest in a good channel knife for twists