Best cocktail kit: Mix things up with home bar essentials
Love fancy cocktails, but not paying the tab? Invest in the best cocktail kit and raise the bar for at-home mixed drinks.
Ever witnessed a bartender flip liquor bottles into the air and catch them like it’s no big deal? Thought to yourself how you’d love to learn how to do that? Well, if it’s flair and fanfare you want…you should probably sign up for a class. However, if you want to know how to stock home bar essentials that will let you whip up all the classic cocktails, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you love Old Fashioneds, Margaritas, Tom Collins, or Mojitos, there are some key bar tools you can purchase that will help these delicious drinks be less daunting to make from scratch. The best part is that they often come in sets with cocktail recipe books so all you have to do is follow some clear instructions, then sit back and drink in all your success. Find the best cocktail kits below.
- Best mixology set: Drinkworks Home Bar by Keurig
- Best cocktail kit gift: The Margarita Cocktail by The Cocktail Box Co.
- Best cocktail shaker set: X-cosrack Cocktail Shaker Set
- Best martini shaker set: Cressimo 24 Ounce Cocktail Shaker Bar Set
- Best budget cocktail bar set: Modern Mixology Store Cocktail Shaker Set
The best cocktail kit to make all your favorite beverages
The best cocktail kit will provide all the tools you need to make your favorite drinks. To start with the basics, you’ll want a cocktail shaker and you can choose between a Boston shaker or a Cobbler shaker. The Boston shaker consists of two pieces—a shaking metal tin and a mixing glass (which may be tin)—and is what most bartenders use. It’s important to note, however, that you will need to purchase a separate cocktail strainer. The Cobbler shaker, on the other hand, is a great choice for beginners because there is typically a built-in strainer that makes the pouring process a bit easier.
Once you’ve picked a receptacle, you’re going to want to start putting alcohol in it. And for that, you need a jigger, which is a tool that measures out your liquids, whether it’s alcohol, lemon or lime juice, or simple syrup. Double jiggers are great because one side is 1 oz. and the other is 2 oz. The next useful accouterment is the bar spoon—this is what you will use when stirring your chosen libation. As a general rule of thumb, whether you shake or stir will depend on the ingredients in your drink—if there are additions beyond assorted spirits, you shake it. And, of course, there is the muddler, which you use to press and release the scents and flavors of fresh ingredients into your drink. It may seem like a lot to think about, but the best cocktail kits are available for relatively affordable prices whether you’re outfitting your home bar or thinking of the perfect housewarming gift.
What to consider when shopping for your home bar
With so many great cocktail kits available, consider which bar tools you need. Some sets are elaborate, while some only include home bar essentials. If you’re a beginner dabbling in mixology, then opt for a simple but high-quality kit. What makes a bar set high-quality? It’s really about the materials used. Look for ones that are made from stainless steel because they are rust-proof and easy to clean.
There is, of course, another option. If the sound of drinking your cocktail sounds way better than making it, then you may want to invest in the Keurig Drinkworks Home Bar. The company is known for its coffee makers, and the Drinkworks Home Bar operates on the same pod-based principle. It’s a steep investment, but worth a look for the ease and coolness factor this mixology set will bring to your countertop.
Best mixology set: Drinkworks Home Bar by Keurig
Drinkworks by Keurig
If you’ve ever wanted an in-house bartender, then the Keurig Drinkworks Home Bar is something you need. With a push of a button, you can have a premium cocktail in your hand in just one minute. There are over 30 liquid pods to choose from that have all of the ingredients, including premium spirits, real juices and other natural flavors and ingredients: they include Margarita, Moscow Mule, Mojito, Vodka Soda, Red Sangria, etc. Truly, this is amazing. The Keurig Drinkworks Home Bar adds cold water and carbonation (with a CO2 filter—your introductory purchase contains two) to deliver the perfectly chilled and/or fizzy drink you desire. While the price is steep at $299.99, just think of how much money you’ll be saving in the long run with this mixology set vs. going to the bar.
Best cocktail kit gift: The Margarita Cocktail by The Cocktail Box Co.
The Cocktail Box Co.
Fit snugly inside an adorable tin box is everything you or friends and/or family need to make three to six perfect margaritas: orange bitters, margarita syrup, lime juice, cocktail picks, muddler spoon, and a cocktail napkin. You may notice there’s no actual alcohol, but that’s an easy thing to pick up (plus, everyone has their preferred brand). The kit is even TSA approved, so you can whip up a gorgeous Mad Men-style cocktail on a flight. The Cocktail Box Co. offers six cocktail kits—Old Fashioned, Champagne Cocktail, Gin & Tonic, Moscow Mule, Mai Tai, and the Margarita—so you and/or a loved one can enjoy your favorite drinks.
Best cocktail shaker set: X-cosrack Cocktail Shaker Set
Did you know you needed 19 tools to make a cocktail? You probably don’t, but this set has you covered with a cocktail shaker with a built-in strainer, double jigger, hawthorne filter, mojito whisk, ice tongs, mixing spoon, four stainless steel straws and, for the wine and beer lovers, three wine pourers, three bottle corks, and one bottle opener. Each tool is made with 304 stainless steel, which is resistant to rust and corrosion and is dishwasher safe. The Bamboo display rack spins so you won’t have to spend any extra time looking for what you need. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with cocktail making but didn’t have the proper tools to do so, this set is for you.
Best martini shaker set: Cressimo 24 Ounce Cocktail Shaker Bar Set
This best-selling three-piece set is all you need to make a great cocktail, specifically a martini. The sleek design of the cocktail shaker—with a built-in strainer, twisted spoon, and jigger—will add professional vibes to your bar cart. And it includes an illustrated cocktail book should you get sick of Martinis (impossible!). This set is BPA-free, rust-proof, and dishwasher safe and, should something happen, there is a two-year warranty.
Best budget cocktail bar set: Modern Mixology Store Cocktail Shaker Set
Whether you like to travel in style or are a beginner cocktail creator, this $20 best-selling set is perfect for you. It includes the essentials of cocktail making—a shaker, muddler, mixing spoon, two pourers, and a double jigger. It also comes with cocktail recipe cards so you can experiment with new drinks or get your favorites just right. Each tool is made with durable stainless steel alloy so this works well with liquids and is dishwasher safe. No downsides here.
Best cocktail kit FAQ: people also ask
What do you need in a cocktail set?
The most important tools are the shaker, a jigger, a strainer, and a spoon. Many shakers now have built-in strainers that make the drink-making process much easier. The shaker is what you’re making the drink in and if you’re muddling different ingredients into it, you’ll want a strainer so there aren’t bits and pieces of mint in your drink, unless you want it there. The jigger is instrumental in pouring the correct measurements—you don’t want your drink to be too strong or not strong enough. Some drinks are meant to be stirred, not shaken, so you’ll want that nice long twisted spoon for that.
What to buy to start making cocktails?
If you’re a beginner, stick with the basics at first! The shaker with a strainer, a jigger, and a spoon will get you pretty far. A lot of the cocktail kits include a cocktail recipe book which is a great way to learn about new drinks and experiment with different ingredients. If you want to start by making a specific cocktail, say, an Old Fashioned, purchase those ingredients: rye whiskey or bourbon, sugar cubes, angostura bitters, and n extra-large ice cube tray for those extra-large ice cubes, if you want to feel really cool.
Where to buy a carry-on cocktail kit?
Amazon has great carry-on cocktail kits in a variety of drinks. The Margarita Cocktail by The Cocktail Box Co. or The W&P Craft Cocktail Set is TSA-approved. The liquids included, such as syrups and bitters, are under 3.4 oz and all you need to do is add the liquor and stir!
A final note on the best cocktail kits
Whether you’re a novice, a professional, or somewhere in between, having home bar essentials is exciting whether your night is kicking off or your day is winding down, plus quality bar tools look very chic on your countertop. When you’re building your bartender kit, start with the basics and go from there—feel out what you think you need. The best cocktail kits are the ones that fit your bartending needs. Now go on and make that delicious mojito you’ve been daydreaming about.