14 Helpful Tools for Making Summer Drinks
Here’s what you need for frozen cocktails, mojitos, and more.
Whether it’s a refreshing spritz, bright and tart sangria, or frosty margarita, summer cocktails are a great way to cool off, and these tools can help you out. We’ve included a few classics like muddlers, strainers, and shakers, along with a few tools that would be particularly helpful for summer drinks (think blenders for frozen cocktails, and a pitcher for big-batch drinks.) Read on for everything you’ll need to stock your summer bar cart.
If your drink calls for fresh citrus juice, Williams-Sonoma’s press comes with a marked, twist-on measuring cup, so you can squeeze out the exact amount you need. For an electric model, try Breville’s highly rated press.
Zester, Peeler, and Corer Set
Speaking of citrus, having a zester and peeler will allow you to make garnishes for your drinks.
BergHOFF Neo 3-Piece Peeler, Zester, and Corer Set in Black, $24 at bedbathandbeyond.com
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.
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.
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
Measure out the liquids you need for your drink with this top-rated double jigger. The 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.
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.
Cocktail shakers are another essential, used to mix up everything from this Tamarind-Mezcal Sour to these margaritas. A cobbler shaker is easier to use, but you can try a Boston shaker (pictured), too.
Ice Cube Trays
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.
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
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
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
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.