Behind the Bar Rail: Bar Spoons

Mixing it up? A bar spoon is essential for cocktails that need a little whirl to live up to their potential. Martinis, Negronis, Manhattans, you name it. It's lengthy stem is especially designed with a twist to make stirring the perfect endeavor. Opt for a spoon with a different end and the possibilities almost seem endless. 

The 3 Types of Bar Spoons

cocktail being stirred

A regular spoon will do the job but not as well. A bar spoon is special in the sense that it can fit any glass and cocktail shaker. The teaspoon on the end can be used to measure small amounts of ingredients to pour on top or stir inside the drink. A weighted spoon balances out the long stem and feels great to use. Bar spoons have 3 basic types: American, European and Japanese. 

The American Bar Spoon

The American bar spoon has drawbacks. Most are not fully twisted towards the end and have a cheap cap on the top. They are quite inexpensive but may feel awkward to use. There is also very little weight to them making them prone to breaking, twisting or not being able to stir as well. 

Also try: Muddler

The European Bar Spoon

The European offers high versatility with a flat top. Use it to crack ice, muddle or stir. The rigid stem will most likely never break. The durable stainless steel can be cleaned and tossed into a dishwasher for easy maintenance. While it’s quite tough it may be harder to stir if the correct technique is not properly used. 

Also try: Jigger

The Japanese Bar Spoon

The Japanese bar spoon is the most recommended out of the American and European styles. The extra length and thinner frame allows for almost anyone to use. Whether an an expert bartender or one just starting, the Japanese feels great to use. The spiral makes it easier to grasp along with a hefty but balanced weighted teardrop towards the end. 

Also try: Cobbler Shaker

The Verdict

All of these spoons can be used to create a great cocktail. The true strength of them lies in the hands of the bartender. Or should I say “wrists” of the bartender. Practicing stirring is an art that relies on push and pull motion of the wrist. Holding a bar spoon should be like holding a pencil. Rest the spoon between your thumb, middle and ring fingers and let it roll in between. As the saying goes “practice makes perfect!”

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