While the cocktail pick may seem like just another bar tool, it serves a very specific, very important purpose: fishing out cherries or briny olives from the base of your Martini or Manhattan. Sure, you could use a toothpick or a spoon, but where’s the fun in that? From stainless steel to bamboo, and vintage-inspired, the following cocktail picks will elevate your happy hour, offering style and quality to the side of your glass.
Best Overall: 20-Piece Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks
If you’ve ever worked a bar or stocked cocktail picks at your home, you know how quickly these tiny picks disappear down sinks and in dishwashers. This stainless steel set offers 20 martini picks at an affordable price, meaning, you won’t sweat if one vanishes.
There are four different styles of picks—five of each. All are minimalistic, perfect for perching on the side of a Martini glass or stabbing a small olive or onion with.
Made with anticorrosive, unbreakable, and rustproof stainless steel, these picks are designed to last through years. Place them in the cutlery compartment of your dishwasher or rinse clean after use.
Pro Tip: Tired of having cocktail picks disappear? Store them in a small glass on top of your bar or bar cart for easy access.
Best Style: Love & Victory Cocktail Picks
Love & Victory, a Brooklyn-based creative studio founded by designer Meg Moorhouse, has long been a favorite of the craft cocktail community, often partnering with spirits brands to create custom swag.
These eye-catching cocktail picks will not only look effortlessly chic atop an elegant coupe or rocks glass, but they'll also serve as a conversation starter for your cocktail guests. Choose from a set of four leopard, snake, or evil eye pins made from metal with gold-tone, with an enamel finish. You'll want to hand wash these beauties.
"I'm a fan of Love & Victory's cocktail picks. I love the mix of luxe and whimsical in Meg's designs. The leopard ones look especially fierce poking out of a cocktail glass." — Prairie Rose, Editor
Best Budget: 35-Piece Cocktail Pick
While many cocktail picks are offered in just one size, this set comes with three different length options, ideal for every and any type of cocktail. Thread a few olives on the 4-inch stick and rest it on the side of a Martini or drink served up. The 6-inch stick will fit perfectly in any rocks glass—citrus threaded for something stirred, or tropical fruit in a Tiki-leaning drink. At 8-inches long, the larger stick is ideal for Highballs or Bloody Marys—add your favorite pickles or a slice of bacon onto it and pop it in your drink.
Made with 304 stainless steel, the material is easy-to-clean, food-safe, and rust-resistant.
Best Splurge: Martini Pick Him and Her
While many picks are designed to be lost without a care, Martini Pic’s over-the-top options are crafted to be the focal point in your drink. Handcrafted from sterling silver and carefully polished to finish, two picks are included in this set (‘his and hers,’ the brand notes). One is straight and slightly tapered, while the other has minimalistic, post-modern curves.
Both arrive in a black velvet pouch. Pricey? Yes. A great gift for a celebrating cocktail-loving couple? Absolutely.
Related: The Best Cocktail Glasses
Best Design: FS Objects Spar Cocktail Picks
These undeniably chic picks offer a multitude of uses. Use them to usher olives into your mouth, pin them through tiny sandwiches, or rest them on the side of your cocktail glass—they’re up for the task. These tiny rods are vaguely inspired by the nautical (spot flags, fishing bobbers, and buoys) with small shapes dotting every inch or so.
Each pick is ever-so-slightly unique, allowing guests the opportunity to identify their drink. Four picks come per order. At five and a half inches long, these are suited to most standard cocktails. They aren’t the cheapest of options, but for what they lack in price, they make up with in design.
Best Stainless Steel: Cocktail Kingdom Stainless Steel Picks
Simple, classic, and sturdy, these no-fuss stainless steel cocktail picks from barware giant Cocktail Kingdom are designed for maximum use.
Dishwasher safe and made with durable stainless steel, these are designed to withstand high-volume bars or happy hours where the drinks are flowing. They come in a pack of twelve, so if you lose one you’re equipped with plenty of backup.
At 4-inches long they’re the perfect size for a Martini, though they’re also long enough to fit in most standard cocktail glasses, plus, they’re the ideal length to pick cherries out of the bottom of your Manhattan.
Related: The Best Reusable Straws
Best Vintage Inspired: Viski Gunmetal Picks
Viski’s gunmetal black cocktail picks give a nod to the cocktail movements of yore; each pick is topped off with an Art Deco-inspired fan detail. They are heavy, durable, and best of all, the finish is designed to last—it won’t chip off and flake into your drink.
These picks also have a nice weight to them—they’re pleasant to hold in your hand. Each pick is made with stainless steel, allowing easy clean-up.
At 5-inches long, these are slightly longer than your standard cocktail pick. Use them to add garnishes to your favorite drink, or these picks double as a sleek tool for picking up small plates—cheeses, meats, dried fruit, and other snacks.
Best Bamboo: Handmade Cocktail Picks
While stainless steel, last-forever cocktail picks certainly serve a purpose, if you’re entertaining a crowd or if you tend to lose picks, investing in higher-priced ones may not be a swell idea. That’s where bamboo picks come in. These high-quality, low-cost picks are meant to be tossed.
The picks feature smooth edges—no splinters or burrs. With little gold balls perched on the top of each skewer, these are a little more elevated than your standard disposable Martini pick.
Each set comes with 120 4.7-inch skewers.
Related: The Best Garnishing Tools
Best Copper/Gold: Mae Champagne Gold Cocktail Pick
Sleek and minimalistic, CB2’s golden cocktail picks offer up serious style. Made of 14/1 stainless steel and finished with a shiny Champagne gold finish, this option sits atop a cocktail in style, or looks great on top of a bar cart stored in say, a vintage glass. The picks are five inches long and come in a set of six. Take note that they do need to be washed by hand.
Pop these into a Champagne cocktail. The brand also offers a full matching cocktail set, including an ice bucket, cocktail stirrer, and cocktail shaker.
You can’t go wrong with this 20 Piece Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks from Amazon (view at Amazon)—with a variety of different sizes and a durable finish, there’s a pick for any drink you could ever need. If you’re looking to add a little style to your home bar, Viski Gunmetal Picks (view at Amazon) give a nod to the golden age of cocktails.
What to Look For
How methodical are you with cleaning your barware? Some cocktail picks need to be run through the dishwasher, while others must be washed by hand after every use. Depending on how dedicated you are to cleaning post-cocktail, choose your cocktail pick accordingly.
Not all cocktail picks are the same size. Some are short—designed to sit neatly in a Martini glass—while others are longer, big enough to hold a whole host of garnishes and sit in a variety of glasses. Think about what cocktails you drink the most often. Do you want a home for your Martini olives, or are you looking for a cocktail pick to dig out garnishes from the bottom of a longer glass?
Price will dictate the style and the quality of your glass. And while you can certainly shop within a budget, consider how frequently you may lose a cocktail pick! If you’re entertaining or if you plan to wash these in a dishwasher, a guest may lose one or one may fall through the bottom of the dishwasher. They can be pricey to replace!
What are the average size/dimensions?
Most cocktail picks are 4 or 5 inches long, appropriate for rocks glasses or cocktail coupes. There are some longer ones designed to sit in Highball glasses or Collins glasses.
Can you use it for uses other than cocktail garnishes?
Yes! Use them for garnishes, or use them to fish cherries or olives out of the bottom of your glass. Cocktail picks can also be used for appetizers or small bites.
What is the best way to clean?
Most cocktail picks can be cleaned by a dishwasher, but keep in mind the size of the picks—they can very easily fall through the dishwasher and get trapped at the bottom. Try rinsing and wiping them down by hand instead.
How long do they last?
High quality picks will last years! But you do need to take care of them, washing after use and taking care not to lose them.
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.
Read Next: The Best Cocktail Mixing Glasses and Tins