Best Bar Spoons

Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

76 Models Considered
28 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
182 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best bar spoons

Anyone who likes to mix cocktails at home knows how important it is to have the right tools and equipment. But while you may invest in items like a cocktail shaker or jigger, don’t forget the importance of a bar spoon.

A bar spoon is specifically designed to make mixing cocktails quick and easy. It has a longer handle than most spoons and a small, narrow bowl. Its shape and size make it easy to stir drinks inside tall cocktail glasses or a cocktail shaker. Some bar spoons feature a tool at the opposite end, such as a muddler or fork for garnishes, making them even more versatile.

Not all bar spoons are equal, and you’ll need to make a few decisions when shopping: type, length, and handle style are just a few. In this guide, we serve up the tips you need to find the best bar spoon for your home bar. 

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When mixing a cocktail, move the bar spoon as gently as possible. Aim to keep it “quiet” while stirring; noise usually signifies that you’re knocking into ice and diluting the drink.

Key considerations

Why you need a bar spoon

You may be wondering why you couldn’t use a regular spoon for mixing cocktails. Let’s explore all the ways you can utilize a bar spoon and why it comes in so handy for your home bar.

  • The most common way to use a bar spoon is for mixing cocktails that are meant to be stirred, not shaken. Its long handle makes it easy to stir inside your cocktail shaker or mixing glass without making a mess.
  • A bar spoon’s flat shape makes it an ideal tool for creating layered cocktails, like a B-52.
  • A bar spoon usually holds a little more than a teaspoon, so it can be a handy tool for measuring ingredients you use in small quantities.
  • When you’re garnishing cocktails, a bar spoon works well for removing excess pulp from fruit. You can also use the twisted design of the handle to create citrus peel curls to garnish drinks.

Types of bar spoons

A few different types of bar spoons exist. Each works well, so choice usually comes down to personal preference.

American bar spoon

With a fairly basic design, an American bar spoon is probably the most common and affordable type. It has a handle that’s twisted in a corkscrew in the middle and a plastic or rubber cap at the end. An American bar spoon is typically only used for stirring and measuring.

European bar spoon

European bar spoons have a thicker, sturdier design than American models and a metal disk or hammer at the end instead of a plastic cap. They are twisted all the way from end to bowl and work well for stirring, measuring, layering, and even muddling fruit or cracking ice with the disk at the end.

Japanese bar spoon

This is the sturdiest type of bar spoon and slightly longer and skinnier than the other options. Like the European model, its handle is twisted from end to bowl. Some Japanese bar spoons have a rounded teardrop at the end, which is excellent for making layered cocktails. Others have a fork for handling olives and other garnishes.

Some mixologists can prepare two cocktails at once with a bar spoon in each hand. Bar spoons with longer handles work best for this technique, known as “double-stirring.”

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Features

Length

Length is a crucial feature to consider when comparing bar spoons. Most measure between 10.5 and 16 inches long, which is considerably longer than the average spoon.

For most home mixologists, a bar spoon length between 10.5 and 12.25 inches is the best option. This length allows the spoon to rise at least 4 inches above the top of a cocktail shaker and most cocktail glasses. Bar spoons that measure up to 16 inches long may actually be a little unwieldy in the hand.

Handle design

Traditional bar spoons have at least a partially twisted handle, but you can find some with completely smooth handles. It’s best to opt for a twisted handle because it offers a better grip when the spoon is wet than a smooth handle.

When it comes to the twist, many people prefer bar spoons that are twisted from top to bottom because they provide a solid grip all along the length of the spoon. If the handle is only twisted in the center, options are limited as to where you can grip it.

Bowl size and design

Bar spoons are known for their smaller bowls, but a medium-size bowl typically offers the best performance. A medium-size bowl measures approximately 1 inch across at its widest. It’s small enough to move freely inside a cocktail shaker or glass but large enough to hold garnishes like cherries and olives and move ice easily.

If you opt for a bar spoon with a smaller bowl, you may not be able to move the ice around as effectively and may not be able to handle garnishes as easily. On the other hand, a spoon with a very large bowl doesn’t maneuver as well in a cocktail shaker or glass.

Built-in tool

Some bar spoons have a built-in tool at the end rather than a rubber cap or disc. You can find models with a fork for spearing garnishes or a muddler for crushing fruit and herbs or cracking ice.

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DID YOU KNOW?
When stirring a cocktail, move your bar spoon around the outside perimeter of the shaker or glass with the bowl facing inward.
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Accessories

Cocktail shaker: BruMate Triple-Insulated Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker
You definitely need a cocktail shaker to go with your bar spoon if you’re practicing your mixology skills at home. We love this one from BruMate because it features triple-insulated construction to keep cocktails cold and a top that doubles as a cocktail glass.

Bar set: Buddy 16-Piece Stainless Steel Bar Set
If you need more than just a bar spoon to start mixing cocktails at home, buying a bar set is your best bet. This one from Buddy is a favorite because the tools are made of heavy-gauge stainless steel for improved durability.

Bar spoon prices

Inexpensive: The most affordable bar spoons are usually 12 inches long or less. They often feature a completely smooth handle or one that’s twisted only in the center. These models generally feature a cap at the end and not much in the way of versatility. Expect to pay between $1 and $5 for these bar spoons.

Mid-range: Mid-range bar spoons typically measure between 12 and 16 inches long. The handle is twisted in the center or all along the length for a better grip, and many feature a disc or other tool at the end to make the spoon more versatile. Expect to pay between $5 and $12 for these bar spoons.

Expensive: The priciest bar spoons are usually 12 inches or longer. The handle is twisted from end to end to provide an excellent grip, and they typically have a disc or other tool at the end. Some models feature a decorative item at the end, such as a snake head. Expect to pay between $12 and $20 for these bar spoons.

Instead of placing small garnishes like cherries and olives in a cocktail with your fingers, use a bar spoon to keep it sanitary.

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Tips

  • Before mixing a cocktail with a bar spoon, make sure your shaker or glass is properly chilled. That prevents you from having to add too much ice and accidentally diluting your drink.
  • Pour your spirits into your cocktail shaker or glass first. Before adding ice, place your bar spoon inside. That way you won’t have to roughly jam the spoon into the glass to get around the ice.
  • When mixing cocktails, the usual method is to stir for 10 to 20 seconds in one direction and then 10 to 20 seconds in the opposite direction. However, if you’re using higher-proof spirits, you may want to stir a little longer.
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Use a strainer to pour a mixed cocktail from your shaker into your serving glass to remove big chunks of ice or other ingredients.

FAQ

Q. What is the best way to hold a bar spoon?

A. Because you want to use your fingers and not your wrist to move the spoon, a proper grip is important. Hold the spoon between your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger just as you would a pen.

Q. How should I measure ingredients with a bar spoon?

A. Some cocktail recipes call for a bar spoonful of an ingredient, which makes measuring easy — as long as your spoon has a bowl that’s the standard size of 2.5 milliliters. That provides a measurement somewhere between a dash and a quarter of an ounce.

Not all bar spoons have a 2.5-milliliter bowl, though, so make sure to choose one that holds this amount if you want to use it for measuring.

Q. Is a lightweight bar spoon better than a heavy bar spoon?

A. It may not make sense, but a heavier bar spoon is usually easier to stir than a lighter spoon. That’s because the weight causes you to be more deliberate with your motion so you don’t bang the spoon into the side of your cocktail shaker or glass.

 

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