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    28 Things That'll Help You Make (Really Good) Cocktails For Your Home Happy Hour

    We've all got that one tool that unleashes our inner bartender.

    by ,

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    1. A set of 12 heavy-base (no treble here) rocks glasses. Also known as tumblers, these will make a nice home for your Old Fashioneds, margaritas, and even a glass of wine.


    Of course, you're going to need a recipe to make some of those Old Fashioneds.

    Get a set of 12 from Overstock for $34.99.

    2. An ice mold for making four spherical ice cubes to cool down and fancify your favorite drinks. Wait: How can spheres also be cubes?


    Hot tip! Well, actually more of a cool one. One big sphere of ice will often melt slightly slower than a few cubes because spheres have less surface area. But there are some exceptions to that theory.

    Get the four-sphere maker from Overstock for $10.89.

    3. A citrus peeler and zester that keeps the pith to a minimum, ensuring that none of that citrus detritus lands in your cocktail.


    And just for your own edification, here are 9 Super-Useful Ways To Repurpose Leftover Citrus Peel.

    Get it from Oxo for $6.99.

    4. A stainless-steel ice bucket with tongs guaranteed to look super classy on your bar cart. But hey, it's not just a pretty face. The double-wall design works hard to keep minimize melting so you don't have to.


    This particular bucket is actually designed with an internal moat to keep any ice that's already melted away from the cubes that aren't. Plus, the lid flips open easily (and stays open until you're ready to close it again) so you don't have to put down your negroni while you fish around the bucket for a few extra ice cubes.

    Get it from OXO for $49.99.

    5. A pair of shiny, hammered copper mugs that, while often reserved for Moscow Mules, can honestly keep any cocktail chilled and at a healthy 20 oz (that's 2 and a half cups), should keep you pretty chill as well.


    Who knew there were so many ways to make Moscow Mules? Well, it looks like we sure did.

    Get a 2-piece 20oz. set from Macy's for $20.99.

    6. A set of geometrically-designed coasters for keeping tabletops free from liquid stains that can be arranged into any number of modern art designs (even when you're sober).

    Urban Outfitters

    Available in black or multi-colored versions.

    Get it from Urban Outfitters for $16.

    7. A proper set of cocktail glasses (in a four-pack or a six-pack) with long stems for keeping your drink nice and chilly. They're also dishwasher-safe so you don't have to worry about being the bar-back at the end of the night.


    Get a four-piece set from Overstock for $25.49 or a six-piece set from Cocktail Kingdom for $33.99.

    8. A cocktail rimmer sure to enhance the taste of your alcoholic concoction — and make your cocktail glasses look super Insta-worthy at the same time. These rimmers combine coarse sea salt with other unique flavors so you can get *super* creative with your drinks. Red chile on a Bloody Mary, anyone???

    Williams Sonoma

    The red chile salt combines Oregon sea salt, lime juice, and chile peppers for bit of a kick. Pink Himalayan salt consists of pure Himalayan salt. And, the salt sweet orange rimmer is made from pure cane sugar, Oregon sea salt, and orange peel. In other words, you might wanna get your tastebuds ready!

    Get the red chile salt from Williams Sonoma for $10.95 (or the salty sweet orange and pink Himalayan salt flavors for the same price).

    9. A juicer for your preferred method of manually extracting liquid gold from citrus, be it the squeeze-it-with-one hand-type or the squeeze-it-with-two-hands-type type. Either way yields delicious mixers for cocktails.

    Bed Bath & Beyond, Overstock

    Put that juicer to good use while testing out any of these tasty recipes for "25 Fruit Juice Cocktails You'll Actually Like Drinking."

    Get the hand juicer from Bed Bath & Beyond for $14.99 and the 2-in-1 Lime and Lemon Juicer from Overstock for $22.59.

    10. A variety pack of bitters because they're like the salt and pepper of the bar cart for adding some extra flavor to your cocktails. No home bar should be without them.


    Check out "The Best Non-Alcoholic Mixers For Making Boozy and Non-Boozy Drinks" including the N/A Fee Brothers.

    Get it from Drizly for $24.99+.

    11. A bar cart — one with hanging shelves for wine glasses and wine bottles or another with a handy removable tray — to display all of your cocktail-making accouterments. The best part? You can go to the booze or it can be wheeled to you.


    Now, how should one go about filling that bar cart? Well, "Here's What You Actually Need On Your Home Bar Cart, According To A Mixologist." Problem solved.

    Get the White Metal Cart for $131.84 or the Red Metal with Removable Tray for $75.66 from Overstock.

    12. A stainless-steel ice tapper for easily breaking ice by hand (no more murder weapon-looking ice picks for you) before stirring smashed frozen shards into your cocktail.

    Cocktail Kingdom

    An ice tapper is a bit of a throwback and not the easiest implement to find for your home bar. But, boy does it work well and I love the noise it makes while cracking large chunks of ice or small cubes. It's so satisfying to hear.

    Get it from Cocktail Kingdom for $12.99.

    13. A six-piece set of classic-looking, long-stemmed martini glasses or a six-piece set of wide-bottom martini glasses that don't care if you prefer your cocktail shaken or stirred, Mr. Bond.

    Get the long-stem 6-piece set from Macy's for $37.49 or the wide-stem 6-piece set from Overstock for $36.49.

    14. A set of shots glasses (classic version or copper version) ideally meant for mixing cocktails, but as the night progresses and someone inevitably starts chanting "shots, shots, shots," well, they can handle that too.

    Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's

    Get the glass shot glasses from Bed Bath & Beyond for $6.99 or the copper shot glasses (with phrases like "Adventure Awaits" or "Keep Paddling" inscribed) from Kohl's for $24.

    15. A cocktail mixer caddy filled with 6.8 oz each of Blood Orange Mandarin, Jalapeño Lime, and Pomegranate Blueberry juices that make cocktail making as simple as two parts of one to these to one part (or maybe more) of your favorite spirit.

    Williams Sonoma

    Always keep some premade mixers on hand because sometimes you won't have the time to run out and pick up fresh ingredients (let alone whip up an entire batch).

    Get it from Williams Sonoma for $39.95.

    16. A dishwasher-safe cocktail shaker with silicone seals designed to help you safely *shake off* the week's stresses without making a mess all over your living room floor. Or a pretty pineapple shaker (with a built-in strainer) that'll chill your drink without diluting the flavor. Either way, the only thing you need to worry about now is whether you'll mix yourself a chocolate martini or a Manhattan next.

    OXO, Williams Sonoma

    Promising review (for the stainless-steel cocktail shaker): "I love OXO products. They are always easy to use and well-constructed. This shaker is a great size for prepping drinks. I love the finish — no fingerprints and it looks cool. The cap is a jigger, with measures inside. The top is also a strainer. I can't say enough about this shaker. It's the one you need and the one you will want." —JoanneChicago

    Get it from Macy's for $19.99 (originally $33.99; sale ends 4/5) or the pineapple cocktail shaker from Williams Sonoma for $79.95.

    17. A mini measuring cup with markings to indicate how many ounces of your desired liquid you're about to add to your glass. Admit it. We've all accidentally ruined what would have been a perfectly balanced LIT by adding just a *smidge* too much tequila.

    Sur La Table

    Speaking of a Long Island iced tea, we've got a handy recipe for a delicious one, as well as some other refreshing as hell cocktails you might enjoy.

    Get it from Sur La Table for $12.

    18. A set of books on 100 Essential Cocktail Recipes to turn you into the personal bartender you (and your S.O.) have always hoped you'd become. This collection of eight different recipe books will have you churning out Mai Tais and martinis like you've been mixing drinks for years.

    Urban Outfitters

    These eight mini notebooks are packed with a total of 384 pages' worth of cocktail recipes. The recipes are organized by ingredient, which makes it easier for you to just skip ahead to your liquor of choice — you'll get one book each highlighting recipes using whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, tequila, champagne, sherry, and amaro. Plus, once you feel like you've dabbled in enough recipes and are ready to invent your own, you can jot 'em down in the blank space in the backs of the books.

    Get it from Urban Outfitters for $20.

    19. A long, twisty bar spoon designed for perfectly swirling cocktails in extra-tall mixing cups since you've accidentally lost your normal mixing spoon in your glass pitcher while making bulk drinks at least five times too many.

    Sur La Table

    Get it from Sur La Table for $15 (available in two colors).

    20. A set of stainless-steel or multi-colored reusable straws so you can slowly savor your drink while you relax on the couch. And unlike plastic straws, metallic straws have a chilling effect on the liquid. So even if the ice has melted because you were taking your sweet time flipping through your novel, your Moscow mule will still feel cold when it reaches your lips.

    West Elm, Food52

    Get a set of eight from West Elm for $19.20 (originally $24) or a set of three differently sized rainbow straws from Food52 for $24+ (available in nine additional finishes; the set comes with a sleek carrying case and a cleaning brush).

    21. A steel muddler that's tough on those mint leaves and lime juice but gentle on the insides of your delicate glasses — psst! The head is actually made from nylon so you can crush your way to a refreshing, minty mojito without leaving unsightly scratch marks on the bottom of your glass. *Sideyes other muddlers*


    FYI, a muddler actually makes a ~smashing~ gift for the aspiring bartender in your life. To make sure you're never left without a great gift idea, check out 21 Gifts For The Friend That Actually Hosts Cocktail Parties.

    Get it from OXO for $14.99.

    22. A zester and spice grater set sharp enough to quickly shave the peels of as many lemons as your cocktails desire — who doesn't love a more ~aromatic~ sidecar, anyway? And because this is a two-piece set, you can use the other one to grate some nutmeg and spices for a hassle-free bourbon flip.


    Promising review: "I highly recommend this for peeling and zesting. It works really well, but be careful — it's sharp! You don't want finger parts in with the lemon zest." —Fran S.

    Get a set of two from Food52 for $25 (available in four color combos).

    23. A compact cocktail strainer you won't be disappointed in since it forces your drink through stainless steel springs to keep any pulp in place (read: out of your glass). You can also opt for a long-handled strainer for a more comfortable grip.

    OXO, Overstock

    A strainer is just one of the tools that make up a well-thought-out bar cart — according to a mixologist, here are some other things that'll get you on your way to having an at-home bar cart your friends will be totally jealous of once they see those Friday night pics on Instagram.

    Get it from OXO for $7.99 or get a strainer with a longer handle from Overstock for $14.94.

    24. A bottle of Fire-Roasted Bloody Mary mix that's the best reason (next to hot wings of course) to stock up on celery (and vodka).

    Williams Sonoma

    Just because you're socially-distancing and the days are fading into each other, doesn't mean that weekends aren't still happening. Weekends mean brunch and brunch means "Bloodies." Now, these Bloody Mary recipes went too far but these four are just right.

    Get it from Williams Sonoma for $19.95.

    25. A handy dandy shot pourer that easily caps the opening of your liquor bottle to — first and foremost — make you look hella cool when you smoothly pour a shot, and to give you a more controlled and precise pour, thus preventing you from spilling and wasting yet another bottle of vodka.

    Bed Bath & Beyond

    Promising review: "I have two of these. The first one I bought has lasted about two years and is still going strong! I bought this one to replace a shot pourer from another brand. The ribs on it were plastic and they wore out quickly. The ribs on this one, however, are rubber, which is why they have lasted so long." —Andrew

    Get it from Bed Bath & Beyond for $7.99.

    26. An ice tray mold that creates six or eight picturesque ice cubes that'll actually melt slower so you and your roommates can enjoy a round of tasty drinks free of dilution.

    Macy's, Overstock

    Both trays are made of silicone and are dishwasher safe.

    Promising review (for the six-cavity tray): "Everyone loves the ice cubes from this! We've had so many compliments on them because they're much larger than normal. We tried to survive with only one, but finally got a second." —Skye

    Get it from Macy's for $7.99 (originally $20) or get the eight-cavity tray from Overstock for $11.57.

    27. A set of super-colorful fused-glass swizzle sticks to stir things up, while also giving you every opportunity to work the word "swizzle" into conversation.

    Etsy / GlassyDebbie

    Get them from GlassbyDebbie on Etsy for $17.05.

    28. And a Drinkworks Drinkmaker for a literal cocktail at the press of a button — minus the liquor bottles, juices, and muddled fruit. So if it's been a long damn day and you haven't the energy to shake a White Russian (or clean all your tools afterward), you'll delight at the sight of this machine doing all the hard work for you.


    If you've ever used a Keurig to brew a hot cup of coffee, you can pretty much use The Drinkmaker, too! Pop a cocktail pod into the top of the machine and get your glass ready under the drink spout. Press the 'start' button and watch as the perfect cocktail is dispensed in seconds right before your very eyes. You can choose from over a dozen different drinks, including a Cosmopolitan, Cuban Daiquiri, Long Island iced tea, a margarita, a mojito, a Moscow mule, an old-fashioned, a whiskey sour, and a White Russian. This happy hour-saving contraption comes with two CO2 canisters, cleaning tablets, and a water filter.

    Get the Drinkmaker from Drinkworks for $299, and get a set of four liquid drink pods for $17.99 (available in over 24 cocktail varieties and in two variety packs).

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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