BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Kitchen

What you need to make the best summer drinks

Adobe Stock

Delicious drinks

The best, most delicious cocktails require the right tools. If you can't measure precisely, don’t have the correct type of ice or aren’t equipped with the necessary accessories, even the finest ingredients can turn a good drink into a dud.

Summer calls for a properly stocked bar along with a variety of items that make crafting, serving and enjoying drinks — whether you’re inside or out in the sun — enjoyable. We’ve rounded up some of the necessary items you need to make any refreshing cocktail you desire this summer.

Essential items


OXO Steel Strainer

A strainer is a companion piece to a cocktail shaker, allowing you to pour out cold, mixed contents without pouring out the ice alongside. The strainer makes for a smoother, gentler flow, so you have more control when creating your finished drink. If your cocktail shaker doesn’t come with one, we suggest investing in a simple, quality option like this strainer by OXO.

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

Godinger Hammered Copper Moscow Mule Mugs

A Moscow mule is a refreshing summer drink made with lime juice, ginger beer and vodka. It’s such an iconic beverage that it has its own vessel named after it; the Moscow mule mug. We recommend this pair of attractive and durable copper options with handles to help keep your hands dry on a hot summer day.

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

Riedel Tumbler Collection Cocktail Set

The classic tumbler or rocks glass is one of the most versatile vessels available and a necessary part of any functioning home bar. We love this set of four crystal tumblers by a trusted name in glassware. These options are easy to hold and dishwasher safe. The group even comes with cocktail recipes for inspiration.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Muddler

Some of the most popular and refreshing summer cocktails require muddling, the process by which you mash or disturb an ingredient to release its flavor. You can enhance a mint julep, mojito and even screwdriver by muddling. If you include a fruit or herb in your drink, you’ll want this tool in your collection.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Jordan’s Skinny Mixes

For those making a lot of cocktails but short on time, we recommend investing in some premade mixes to help you be more efficient in the kitchen. We like this six-pack of cocktails mixes that offer a range of delicious summer drinks, including the mojito, bellini and three types of margaritas.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Crafthouse by Fortessa Stainless Steel Bar Spoon

This tool is for more advanced users but another useful accessory to make the finest cocktails, particularly those that need careful mixing. A quality bar spoon, like this stainless steel option, allows for the easy and gentle mixing of cocktails in large glasses, as well as the layering required in drinks like a mai tai or Harvey Wallbanger.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Kraftware Fishnet Serving Tray

A serving tray is an often neglected but mighty useful accessory when having guests over for cocktails. Particularly for martinis or full cocktails in more oversized glasses, a serving tray provides stable support without fear of dropping. We like this colorful set of four designed for summer drinks. It’s easy to carry, prevents condensation and resists fading in the sun.

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

2-in-1 Lemon and Lime Squeezer

Most cocktails require a bit of citrus as the main ingredient or finishing touch. We suggest this efficient lemon and lime squeezer that can make the job not only much simpler but also far less messy.

Sold by Amazon

Zulay Kitchen Japanese Style Cocktail Jigger

Every home bar requires a jigger, which allows you to quickly and easily measure out an ounce of liquid to add to your drink. We recommend not only investing in a double jigger that features a 2-ounce capacity on the other end but in a set of them for increased efficiency. We particularly love this durable, elegant set of colored options when making a variety of different cocktails.

Sold by Amazon

Adoric Ice Cube Trays

You’ll need plenty of ice cubes at the ready for your summertime cocktail party. We advise employing a variety of molds for various cocktails. This set of ice cube trays by Adroic offers both traditional cubes and larger spheres that stay cold longer without diluting your drink - they look great in a glass too.

Sold by Amazon

Kraftware Fishnet Plastic Old Fashioned Glasses

For those concerned about glassware breaking outside, we recommend investing in a pair of quality plastic options. This set of four by Kraftware is elegant and convenient for a variety of cocktails. They’re light and durable, resist condensation and won’t break if dropped. Opt for the highball collection, the rocks set, or get both, so you’re ready for any requests.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Final Touch Cocktail Picks

Most cocktails recipes call for at least one garnish, and while we like adding a wedge or two along a rim, some more elaborate recipes call for a cocktail pick. When adding a few items to your drink, we recommend a heavy-duty, stainless steel option that will last a long time and cater to various popular summer drinks.

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

Highball & Chaser Gunmetal Bar Kit

Lastly, if you’re starting your home bar from scratch, it’s best to invest in a comprehensive kit to have you covered for all potential drink needs. We like this option by Highball & Chaser that includes a shaker, strainer, spoon, knife, jigger and a variety of other helpful items like an ice scoop and corkscrew. We’re also partial to the bamboo stand.

Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: