14 Helpful Tools for Making Summer Drinks

Here are our favorites, including Williams Sonoma's Citrus Press, which makes it easy to add fresh citrus juice to your cocktails.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Tamarind Mezcal Sour Recipe
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Whether it's a refreshing spritz, bright and tart sangria, or frosty margarita, summer cocktails are a great way to cool off on a hot day. If you'd like to bring your summer bar cart to the next level, you may want to invest in a few of the best bar tools for making summer drinks.

From classics like muddlers, strainers, and shakers, to tools that are particularly helpful for summer drinks (like a blender for frozen cocktails, and a pitcher for big-batch drinks), we've researched the best bar tools for making summer drinks. Having these specialty tools on hand will make whipping up your favorite summer cocktails a breeze. One of our favorites is the Williams Sonoma Citrus Press. This handheld citrus press makes it easy to add fresh lemon, lime, and orange juice to your summer drinks.

To help you narrow down your choices, here are the best bar tools for summer drinks currently on the market.

Citrus Press

citrus press
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

If your drink calls for fresh citrus juice, Williams Sonoma's Citrus Press is the perfect tool. The press comes with a marked, twist-on measuring cup, so you can squeeze out the exact amount you need. This durable hand press is made of stainless steel and silicone and is simple to use. Slice the citrus fruit you're juicing in half, place it in the press, and close. It makes juicing a variety of citrus quick and easy and is small enough to store in a drawer.

The Williams Sonoma Citrus Press is top-rack dishwasher-safe and easy to clean, and it comes in two colors, yellow and white. If you're juicing large quantities of citrus, try Breville's highly rated electric model.

Williams Sonoma Citrus Press, $45 at williams-sonoma.com; Breville Citrus Press, $140 (was $200) at surlatable.com

Zester and Channel Knife

oxo zester
Amazon

Speaking of citrus, having a zester and channel knife will allow you to make garnishes for your drinks.

OXO Good Grips Citrus Zester With Channel Knife, $12 at amazon.com

Muddler

muddler
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Muddlers come in handy for, well, muddling herbs (such as mint for mojitos) and fruit (like in this strawberry daiquiri). Oxo's stainless steel muddler got great reviews from Amazon customers, and it has a nylon head to prevent it from scratching glasses—if you'd prefer a wooden muddler, go for this lacquered walnut option from Winco.

OXO Steel Muddler, $15 at amazon.com and williams-sonoma.com; Winco Lacquered Walnut Muddler, $5 at amazon.com

Bar Spoon

bar spoon
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

This sleek gold bar spoon has a "turned stir rod" to help aerate mixed drinks and the added bonus of a muddler on the opposite end. For a set, grab this trio of spoons from Hiware, which have long handles ideal for taller glasses.

Gold Bar Spoon With Muddler, $10 at crateandbarrel.com; Hiware Stirring Spoon, $10 at amazon.com

Swizzle Stick

swizzle stick
Courtesy of Amazon

This Third-Wave Swizzle calls for a swizzle stick (you can also use a long bar spoon) to create a well-mixed, frothy drink.

Piña Barware Swizzle Stick Stirrer, $25 at amazon.com

Cocktail Jigger

cocktail jigger
Courtesy of Amazon

Measure out the liquids you need for your drink with this top-rated double jigger. One side has measurements for 1/3-ounce, 3/4-ounce, and 1 1/2-ounce, and the other has measurements for 1/4-ounce, 1/2-ounce, and one ounce.

OXO Steel Double Jigger, $10 at oxo.com or amazon.com

Strainer

oxo strainer
Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

A Hawthorne strainer is an essential cocktail tool, and it keeps ice, muddled fruit and herbs, and other ingredients from passing from the shaker or mixing glass to your glass. Once again, OXO's model is one of the most highly rated options on Amazon, and it's under $10.

OXO Steel Cocktail Strainer, $8 at amazon.com and bedbathandbeyond.com

Cocktail Shaker

boston shaker
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Cocktail shakers are another essential used to mix everything from this Tamarind-Mezcal Sour to these margaritas. A cobbler shaker is easier to use, but you can also try a Boston shaker (pictured).

OXO SteeL Cocktail Shaker, 24 oz, $20 at amazon.com; Stainless Steel Boston Shaker, $20 at crateandbarrel.com

Blender

blender
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

For frozen drinks, you'll want a good blender, and we found Breville's Fresh & Furious blender (an updated version of the Breville Hemisphere Control blender) to be a great basic option.

Breville Fresh & Furious Blender, $200 at amazon.com or williams-sonoma.com

Ice Cube Trays

ice cube tray
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Peak's well-reviewed Everyday Ice Tray yields 12 1.25-inch cubes, which have a higher surface area to prevent them from diluting your drinks too quickly. If you're making an Old-Fashioned (like this Banana-Rum Old-Fashioned), you'll want to use a larger single cube instead of a few smaller ones—Crate & Barrel's silicone tray makes six, and it received a near-perfect rating.

Peak Ice Everyday Ice Tray, $14 at crateandbarrel.com and amazon.com; Jumbo Grey Silicone Ice Cube Tray, $16 at crateandbarrel.com

Ice Maker

ice machine
Courtesy of Sur La Table

If you need large quantities of ice, this machine makes 26 pounds in 24 hours, and it can make two different cube sizes, too. An automatic shut-off feature ensures it only runs when there's enough water.

Stainless Steel Ice Maker, $150 at surlatable.com

Pitcher

pitcher
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

If you're planning on whipping up a pitcher cocktail or other batch drinks, this model can hold a whopping 140 ounces, so you'll have plenty of room. It's acrylic and "break-resistant", which makes it ideal for outdoor use, and it's dishwasher-safe (top rack) to boot.

Sora Acrylic Pitcher, $20 (was $25) at crateandbarrel.com

Outdoor Wine & Cocktail Glasses

outdoor cocktail glasses
Courtesy of Food52

Like the pitcher above, these wine and cocktail glasses are also made from acrylic and are described as shatterproof. You have a few different set options to pick from, depending on the type of drink you prefer—there's white wine glasses, red wine glasses, margarita glasses, martini glasses, and finally, all-purpose glasses.

Fortessa Tableware Solutions Shatterproof Outdoor Wine & Cocktail Glasses (Set of 6), $60 at food52.com

Cocktail Rimmer

salt rimmer
Courtesy of Amazon

Add salt to the rims of your drinks with this silicone cocktail rimmer. It's ideal for margarita and martini glasses, and you can throw it in the dishwasher once you're done using it.

Frill Cocktail Rimmer, $16 at wayfair.com and amazon.com

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles