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Bartending Basics: Supplies & Tools

Instructor: Ian Lord

Ian is a real estate investor, MBA, former health professions educator, and Air Force veteran.

A commercial bar must have a number of basic tools and supplies on hand to quickly and efficiently prepare customer orders. Quick service and minimal waste help a bar maintain profits.

Bartender Supplies and Tools

Barry has just received a liquor license for his burger restaurant and is ready to order some of the supplies and tools needed to efficiently run a professional bar. Equipment choices are important; the right tools allow a bartender to work quickly and reduce waste that eats into profits. Let's take a look at some of the essential pieces of equipment for a professional bartender.

Basic Supplies

Although fancy drinkware and exotic liquors may be Barry's idea of the fun part of buying equipment for a bar, the fundamental though boring tools are still absolutely necessary. The basic tools include what you would commonly see in almost any regular kitchen: towels, bottle openers, wine corkscrews, and can openers. Some equipment might be a little different though. Instead of a handheld bottle opener, some bars use ones that are mounted on a wall which solves the problem of someone losing the bottle opener. Although home bartenders might have multitasker tools that open beers, wine bottles, and cans, these items are often more expensive and more complicated to use and clean.

A commercial-grade blender with multiple carafes is helpful for making drinks such as margaritas. Cutting boards, knives, and graters are useful for preparing fruit or herbs. No bar should ever be without ice; insulated ice buckets and tongs are other essential items to keep on hand.

Drink Mixing Tools

If Barry wants his bar to be profitable, he will need to make sure that drinks are made with a minimum of waste. Pouring and measurement tools help with this. A pour spout is inserted into the opening of a liquor bottle and narrows the opening, which has the effect of reducing spills. A jigger is a measuring tool which is two cones fused together; the first side typically holds one shot or one fluid ounce, and the other side holds half an ounce. This allows bartenders to consistently pour the exact amount of liquor in the right proportions needed for a drink recipe. Jiggers also come in many different sizes to help bartenders quickly and efficiently prepare drinks.

Jigger
Jigger

Pour Spouts
Pour Spouts

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