A well stocked bar means more then just having the right spirits on hand, it also means having the proper tools at your disposal for mixing your cocktails just right.
In the following list, I'll try to identify and describe as many different tools as might be usefull to have in your bar. Many of these of course will only be needed on rare occasions, if at all.
If you are just a beginner, and are wanting to collect just the bare essentials, I would recommend that you first start out with the following implements:
Cocktail Shaker, Jigger, Strainer, Bar Spoon, Juicer, Muddler
Here is my list of different bar tools you might want for your bar.
Doubles as both measuring spoon and stir rod.
For those spirits that you are constantly using, this is a must
For when those screw tops are getting to annoy you.
A definite requirement
Nothing can replace a good quality cocktail shaker
Get one you are comfortable using
Large enough to be useful, small enough to not get in your way
A noisy addition to any bar, but useful to have on hand for certain cocktails
Nothing in a bottle can replace the Quality of fresh fruit juice in a cocktail.
A bar without glassware? What were you thinking?
Useful for a small self hosted bar, but think Ice Tub if you're doing anything bigger
Normal Ice Cubes are too big for cocktails
You never have enough fresh ice
A must for those of us who aren't experienced enough to accurately measure with a speed-pour
A good juicer is one that is easy to use
Not all drinks are shaken, some are best stirred
A good muddler is important. Make sure it is long enough
Napkins & Coasters
Usefull for soaking up misty glasses
For cutting orange slices, lemon zests, quartering limes
A plastic bottle of club soda will do, but a soda siphon on the shelf at least looks impressive
Don't even think of trying to strain a cocktail through your fingers
We're not just talking long straws here. Get some good solid ones for your guests to use