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If you’ve ever correctly fielded the request ‘shaken not stirred,’ you know a bar spoon is essential to stirring up a solid Martini. Not to mention how crucial a good stir is to a Negroni, Sazerac, and any cocktail served on the rocks.
While you could opt for a standard kitchen spoon, these elongated utensils are specifically optimized for cocktail making. The best are designed to spin ice with ease, and make mixing and chilling down a breeze. The long handle will fit in shaker tins, mixing glasses, rocks glasses, and highballs, while the spoon end is a perfect teaspoon size—ideal for measuring out small quantities or floating ingredients on top of, say, a Penicillin or a New York Sour. The Cocktail Kingdom Teardrop Spoon is our top pick, a Japanese-style tool that has everything you need.
Here are our favorite stellar spoons to stir up your cocktail game.
Best Overall: Cocktail Kingdom Teardrop Spoon
Cocktail Kingdom’s Japanese-style option is somewhat of a classic, with a smooth, weighted teardrop end on one side and a curved spoon at the other. The weighted teardrop at the top allows you to stir smoothly and quickly, plus the end doubles as a way to crack ice with ease or muddle down sugar cubes or herbs in the bottom of an Old Fashioned or Smash. On the other side of the utensil, the spoon allows you to stir and taste a cocktail, plus add small quantities of a spirit or ingredient to a cocktail—think floats in New York Sours, dashes of absinthes, or other oft-overpowering ingredients.
The longer handle makes stirring easy, regardless of whether you have small hands, you’re just learning, or if you’re a seasoned bartender.
Best Gold: CB2 Brushed Gold Cocktail Stirrer
This bar spoon has the stature of a traditional bar spoon, with both a flat end and a spoon end. But this tool is the most handsome of the bunch, with a hand-polished, electroplated Champagne gold coating, finished in a protective lacquer so the gold doesn’t flake into your drink. This piece requires hand washing.
It is only 11.75 inches long, so far shorter than a standard bar spoon. That makes it perfect for single-serving cocktails—stir your Negroni or maybe Don Lee’s Benton’s Old Fashioned with this one. If you want a well-styled home bar, CB2 also has a matching brushed-gold strainer and ice shovel.
Best Budget: Red Tip Bar Spoon
Seasoned bartenders (or regular bar flies) will instantly recognize the signature red cap on this red tipped bar spoon. It’s a durable workhorse of a bar spoon, able to foam, mix, float, and stir with ease.
The twisted handle helps layer and integrate flavors while twirling and spinning ice smoothly in your container of choice. Toss it in the dishwasher when you’re done with it—it cleans up quickly with minimal effort.
The red end is removable, but if you work in a bar or deal with allergens on a day-to-day basis, use the red tip to signify a spoon safe from allergens (opt for a black or no-tipped bar spoon for stirring cocktails with nuts or dairy).
The affordable price means if you lose one, it won’t blow your budget to replace it, though the tough quality means you may have this for years.
Best Set: Hiware Bar Spoon Set of 3
Can’t decide between European, American, or Japanese-style bar spoons? This set includes one of all of the above. All three bar spoons are made of premium-grade 18/10 stainless steel, making them durable, rust-proof, and easy to clean at the end of the night.
The bar spoons come at 12-, 12-, and 11-inches long, ideal for working in a mixing glass, a shaker, or directly in the cocktail glass. The brand recommends picking your bar spoon from this set for the type of glass you’re using or the type of cocktail you’re building. Outside of cocktails, these extra-long spoons also double as excellent stirrers for larger coffees or cold brews.
All the bar spoons are dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean up after a few rounds.
Related: The Best Bar Tools
Best Gift: Gaz Regan Negroni Finger Stirrer
For those who have ever sat in front of the late, great Gaz Regan’s bar, you know he had a tendency to dive his finger into a Negroni and give it a good stir. Health restrictions may bar us from doing that these days, but you can still pay homage to one of the forefathers of cocktails with his signature Negroni finger stirrer.
The stirrer is a life-size cast of Gaz’s own finger, made with stainless steel and plated in gold. The gold plated version is not dishwasher friendly, though the brand does sell a stainless steel option that is dishwasher friendly. For the bartending nerd, this is a touching, smile-inducing gift option.
Related: The Best Gifts for Bartenders
Best Copper: Viski Trident Barspoon with Full Twisted Stem Handle
While many bartenders may opt for a more traditional teardrop or flat bar spoon, consider the trident end. The fork-like tines on the handle end are useful for crafting garnishes—think spearing cherries or dropping olives from a jar to a Martini. No more digging your fingers in the bottom of the cherry jar—use the forked tip to spear garnishes and cleanly place them on your cocktail pick or rim.
This style of spoons were initially used by apothecaries—they could crush up tablets and blend them with ease thanks to the teardrop-shaped muddler.
Outside of the trident, this spoon offers a suave copper finish. It’s longer than most options available, clocking in at 15.75 inches long (perfect if you’re working with larger shaking tins or a bigger Yarai).
Best for Pros: Crafthouse by Fortessa Professional Metal Barware
There’s a lot to love about this bar spoon. It’s affordably priced if you break it or lose it; the handle provides an optimal, comfortable grip for stirring cocktails., and the bar spoon provides a standardized 1 teaspoon.
The flat end of the spoon offers a range of helping hands when making a drink. Use it to muddle up sugar in the bottom of an Old Fashioned or micro-muddle small amounts of mint. The spiral handle also helps layer drinks—the disc helps provide control of the spirit or liquid and evenly disperse it across the top of the drink. None of this should come as a surprise considering the bar spoon is crafted by Charles Joly, an Aviary vet and award-winning bartender. His line of bar tools is designed specifically for the working bartender.
At 12-inches tall, the length is relatively versatile. Use it in a mixing glass, carafe, or in a shaker, or give a Negroni a spin with this. It is dishwasher safe for easy clean up.
Related: The Best Garnishing Tools
Best Tiki: Bulu Pineapple Bar Spoon
For the tropical cocktail enthusiasts, this bar spoon nods to those warm-weather inclinations by topping this bar spoon with a cheeky pineapple, fronds and all. Even Though the design leans whimsical, the construction is still built for serious bartending.
The precision bowl holds a perfect tablespoon, while the 18-8 stainless steel is strong and durable—it won’t rust or tarnish over time, plus it's free of lacquers and paints that will chip and fall into your drink.
To ensure the bar spoon holds up through services and happy hours, Cocktail Kingdom tapped bartender Daniele Dalla Pola of Esotico Miami to help design a high-performing, stylish bar spoon. The spoon is not dishwasher safe. It is 13 inches in length.
Cocktail Kingdom’s teardrop spoon (view at Cocktail Kingdom) is a workhorse, designed to break ice, muddle herbs, and stir up a rainbow of drinks with ease. If you want a range of different-tipped bar spoons to play around with, check out the Hiware Bar Spoon Set of 3 (view at Amazon).
What to Look For
Bar spoons come in a range of sizes, so ensure you’re picking up the right size for what you'll be using it for. Whether you plan to stir in a larger mixing glass or directly in a rocks glass, your bar spoon will need to fit in the glass and have ample room for your hand. If you just want a spoon for stirring a Negroni in a rocks glass, you may not need the length.
While there are plenty of bar spoons out there that have glitzy finishes, remember that this spoon is going to spend a lot of time in sticky liquids. While lacquers and finishes are fun and all, over time the lacquers will chip and fall into your drink.
There are roughly three different options for bar spoon ends: teardrops, flats, or decorative ends. If you want a Japanese-style spoon that lends itself well to cracking ice and muddling, teardrop is for you. Other ends may benefit your style of bartending more cohesively.
What is the average size/dimensions of a bar spoon?
A bar spoon is typically around 11’inches long, perfect for standard shakers, mixing glasses, and glassware.
What's the advantage of using a proper bar spoon versus average silverware?
A bar spoon is specifically designed for bartending, with an ergonomically-designed handle and a measuring spoon at one end.
How do you clean a bar spoon?
Stainless steel options are dishwasher friendly, while copper and gold-plated options do need to be hand washed.
Why Trust Liquor.com?
Kate Dingwall is an experienced spirits writer and glassware collector. She has been writing about the bar and spirits world for five years, including extensive coverage on glassware. She owns a concerning amount of bar ware from art deco Karl Palda decanters to 1800s-era crystal coupes, and she’s happy to wax poetic about all of them.
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