Bar Necessities: Bar Essentials Every Cocktail Geek Needs

At the end of the day, nothing beats a really good cocktail. There's just something absolutely satisfying about the alchemy of mixing two things like, say, gin and tonic or vodka and soda to make something that is as refreshing as it is absolutely delicious. 

Why not, then, try starting your very own home bar? With all the certified mixologists and booze geeks out there, though, the idea of creating your very own home bar may seem a bit daunting. Not to worry! We asked The Curator's head mixologist David Ong on tips, tricks and essentials that every novice home bartender will need to have in their repertoire.

It's time to get mixing!



According to David, you can get tools from international stockists such as Cocktail Kingdom, Kappabashi Street in Tokyo or Urban Bar. Filipinos who aren't wont to jetset can also stock their bars via BevTools, a local stockist that has everything one needs to build a good home bar.

Here are a few tools of the trade you will  need:

Boston Shaker Tins (Small/Large)

A bartender’s best friend. Iconic for its use in shaking drinks to perfection.

Mixing Glass

Just as its name implies, the mixing glass is a tall clear glass with a pouring spout used for mixing drinks before pouring into their prepared glasses. 

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Muddler Barspoon

A multipurpose spoon for stirring and muddling ingredients like herbs and peel.)

2-oz/1-oz Jigger and 3/4-oz / 1/2-oz Jigger

Little measuring tools which are great for easy measuring.

Hawthorne Strainer

A strainer specifically designed for straining from a shaker tin. Great for straining ice and sediment away from prepped drinks. 


Julep Strainer

Just like the Hawthorne Strainer, the Julep Strainer is perfect for keeping your drinks nice and clean. Designed originally for preparing Mint Juleps, hence the name, but can be used for any drink prepared in a mixing glass.

Basic Liquors

What's a bar without some liquor? Here, David helps us list down a handful of basic liqours that every aspiring barkeep should have in stock.


All these brands are available in leading supermarkets and liquor stores.

Blended Scotch Whisky: Johnny Walker Black

Bourbon Whiskey: Maker's Mark

Blanco Tequila: 1800

Gin: Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire

Blanco Rum: Bacardi

Dark Rum: Don Papa

Vodka: Stolichnaya

Dry & Sweet Vermouth: Martini

Bitter Liqueur: Campari

Other Liqueur: Amaretto, Cointreau, Green Chartreuse

Bitters: Angostura

Pantry Staples

Bars aren't just about the booze. You'll need a handful of basic ingredients on hand to help your bring out the essential flavors in your cocktails. Here are the things you'll need:


For sours and sweeteners, most classic drinks would either use lemons or limes and sugar or honey. Orange and grapefruit are useful as well.


It would be good to stock up on the following items as well: eggs, heavy cream, soda water, tonic water, ginger beer, and seasonal fruits.


WATCH: How to Make a Margarita


WATCH: How to Make a Rum Sour

Collage by Riell Santos

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