1. Citrus juicer
Fresh is best (powdered bar mix should be illegal), and hand juicers are also the most rewarding way to strengthen your grip.
Citrus press juicer ($45, the Crafty Bartender, 905-986-5346, thecraftybartender.com)
2. Vegetable peeler (for thick twists)
Y-shaped veggie peelers pull thick twists, expressing clouds of citrus oil that lend irresistible aroma to cocktails.
3. Cocktail picks
Do: commit to classiness when serving cocktails. Don't: make your guests dunk their digits into a Manhattan to pluck out cherries. NB: get original Luxardo brand maraschinos and avoid those of questionably radioactive origin.
Stallion cocktail picks ($12, BYOB Cocktail Emporium, 972 Queen West, 416-858-2932, byobto.com)
Fleur de Lis cocktail picks ($4.75, BYOB Cocktail Emporium)
4. Measuring tool (jigger or marked shot glass)
Measuring is the key to consistency - it's the only way to guarantee your heavy hand doesn't demolish your chances of mixing a balanced drink.
Japanese jigger in gold ($34, the Crafty Bartender)
5. Mixing glass
James Bond had it backwards - spirit-forward cocktails like the martini should be stirred, not shaken, to mix a crystal-clear cocktail and control dilution. If you don't want to drop big bucks on a gorgeous Japanese Yarai, a simple Boston glass does the trick. Etched mixing glass with strainer ($34.95, BYOB Cocktail Emporium)
6. Large-cube ice trays
Big ice looks rad as hell and keeps your cocktail cold without over-diluting it to impotable dribble.
Tovolo Perfect cube tray ($20.95, BYOB Cocktail Emporium)
7. Fine strainer (mesh)
It sounds finicky, but certain cocktails taste best smooth and sans fruit pulp or ice shards. Fine-strainers can save your smile from sneaky bits of mint and strawberry seeds.
CoCo Cocktail Strainer ($10, the Crafty Bartender)
8. Bar spoon
The best reason to own a bar spoon is that they're so damn pretty, but you can always skip the aesthetics and use a chopstick instead.
5 x Bar Spoon ($4.95, Linen Chest)
Premium gold-plated Japanese trident bar spoon ($40, the Crafty Bartender)
9. Boston shaker
A simple tin container is the bare essential of at-home cocktailing. Whether you're using a glass or steel insert smacked to seal it in place, a proper shake is always thrown on a vigorous horizontal. Another good smack on the tin's side easily breaks the vacuum and spares you having to deal with a stuck shaker; cocktails are designed to release frustration, not breed it. ($7.95 (insert) and $10.95 (shaker), BYOB Cocktail Emporium)
10. Hawthorne strainer
A sprung and pronged strainer designed to fit on your Boston tin, it works with most mixing glasses, too.
Gold-plated Hawthorne strainer ($20, the Crafty Bartender)
All photos by David Hawe