Bar equipment on counter with a bartender mixing a drink in the background


First Call! The Guide To NYC Bar Essentials

Sam Tell stocks your New York City bar with every crucial tool you need to serve a variety of cocktails.

October 21, 2021     7 minute read

Much like an artist or scientist, a New York City bartenders must be equipped with the proper tools of the trade in order to create magical concoctions in a clean, safe, and efficient manner. 

Sam Tell has been in the business of stocking bars and restaurants for a long time. And over the years, we’ve seen countless establishments excel at service and exceed expectations simply because they had all of the most crucial supplies at their disposal. Conversely, we’ve witnessed bars and eateries with all of the talent in the world fall short because they didn’t stock up for every possible service scenario. 

You need to meet the needs of any customer that bellies up to the bar, no matter if they want to order a simple draught beer or a mixed cocktail in a salt-rimmed glass. Here are the most important bar essentials you’ll ever need—all of which you can order through Sam Tell!

  1. cocktail shakers

    Cocktail Shaker

    Mainly made of metal, cocktail shakers are cylinder-shaped containers used to mix alcoholic beverages with other drinks and ice. The primary purpose of a cocktail shaker is to make the beverage cold as it is being shaken. We recommend your NYC bar has two sizes of shakers on hand: the 30 oz. and 15 oz. This ensures that you can meet most any drink order.
  1. strainers


    There are mainly two types of strainers, a Hawthorne strainer and a Julep strainer. Perhaps the most widely-used strainer, the Hawthorne strainer features a metal disc with perforated holes and an attached handle, stabilizing prongs to keep it in place on top of a shaker tin or glass, and a metal spring aligned on the disc that catches any solid particles when pouring a drink. A julep strainer looks like a slotted spoon but not as shallow and has a shorter handle. It has a round and shallow container with tiny holes that catches the solids.

  1. jiggers


    Cocktail jiggers are small hourglass-like devices made from stainless steel used for measuring purposes in mixology. Jiggers come in different shapes and sizes, but the most popular types are called double jiggers. These bar tools feature different-sized bowls on each side, allowing the New York bartender to mix cocktails with the exact amount of alcohol, which guards against wasteful over pouring. 

  1. bar spoonBar Spoon

    Bar spoons are what you use to stir your drinks. They are like regular spoons but have longer and slimmer bodies, and the end has a variety of styles. Sam Tell recommends the American Bar Spoon—also known as the basic bar spoon. With its iconic red rubber tip on the handle end, the American has a simple but functional design. 

cutting board
  1. Cutting Board

    A durable cutting board might just be the unsung hero of the New York City bar. These omnipresent surfaces are used to cut fruits and other ingredients at the bar. A dishwasher safe, polyethylene cutting board is the most user friendly, needing only a simple, soapy wash—as opposed to wooden cutting boards that need a lot more tender loving care. 

  1. paring knife

    Paring Knife

    Every chef, whether professional or amateur, needs a good paring knife. The same goes for bartenders. A small, sharp, well-honed blade is crucial for creating beautiful garnishes, zesting a lemon or simply prepping citrus fruits for squeezing.

  1. drink bar mix pourer unit

    Pourer Storage Bottles

    These handy canisters allow you to pre-emptively mix cocktails for speedy delivery in high-pressure—and high traffic—NYC bar scenes. A complete set of mix-n-pour canisters are color coded for easy identification and each one features a non-slip neck, lid, and spill-stop spout. These canisters also act as storage bottles.

  1. liquid pourer

    Liquor Pourer

    If you’ve ever attempted to quickly pour a drink from a bottle without a liquor pourer, you’ve probably made a mess of your bar. Liquor pourers should be equipped on one of every liquor bottle for easy and accurate pouring. These tools are a great way to get identical measurements on every pour, thereby saving money on wasted booze.

  1. druink bar mix pourer lid

    Dust Cover

    Your NYC bar patrons want drinks that are inventive, delicious, and most importantly, clean. Fit these handycovers on top of your stainless steel pourers to guard against dust or worse, fruit flies. 

  1. margarita glass rimmer

    Glass Rimmer

    Glass rimmers are multiple shallow plates that fit an array of glassware sizes. These enable you to quickly rim your glasses with salt or sugar, depending on the cocktail. 

  1. scoop


    Ice can be a crucial ingredient in many different cocktails or drinks in general. But as with all other bar items, cleanliness is key. Sam Tell stocks ice scoops that are dishwasher safe, with a removable draining cap, and mounting tools. 

  1. ice tote

    Ice Tote

    Designed for food and employee safety, an ice tote transports ice and can be used as  temporary storage for cubes you plan on using in the very near future. Virtually unbreakable in its construction, the ice tote helps you keep your cool while serving drinks. 

  1. mixing glass

    Mixing Glass

    You can never have too many means of mixing cocktails. A standard 18 oz. mixing glass is a sleek alternative to their stainless steel counterparts, giving you another option when working behind the bar.

  1. condiment holderCondiment Holder

    Condiment holders—also called bar garnish centers—are a great way to store your fruit and bar garnishes within easy reach of the bartender. Sam Tell offers condiment holders made with a heavy gauge, stainless steel frame, with six removable plastic pint containers. 

  1. bar mat

    Bar Mat

    Bar mats protect your bar surface from spills and keep glasses and other tools in place. Made of slip-resistant rubber, bar mats also help in maintaining cleanliness on your counter by containing spilled liquids.

  1. picks, wood Toothpicks

    Made from either bamboo or other types of wood, toothpicks can be a stylish way to place fruits or olives into cocktails. 

  1. strawsStainless Steel Bar Straws

    Plastic straws are out—stainless steel straws are in. These reusable specialty straws are considered eco-friendly, making these a great alternative to standard plastic drinking straws.

  1. bitter dash bottleBitters Bottle

    An elegant bitters bottle allows you to add a dash of bitters to your customers’ favorite cocktails. These bottles are meant to dispense bitters only a few drops at a time, eliminating the risk of over pouring. These classic-style bottles feature a cork and stainless steel copper dasher top.

  1. muddler


    When you want to add fresh ingredients to a high-end cocktail, you must have a muddler on hand. Extract the flavors and aroma of citrus or mint leaves with these hardwood, highly polished, alcohol-proof bar tools. 

  1. mixing-glassMixing Beaker

    A glass mixing beaker is a patterned, stylish mixing tool with a spout for the ideal pour. Modern mixing beakers are sturdy and don’t tip over easily. And as for looks, the mixing beaker is a mixologist’s dream, seamlessly blending into the decor of the modern New York City bar. 

Order Your NYC Bar Essentials With Sam Tell

Contact your sales rep today to stock up on all the most essential bar tools. We carry all of the above items and more!

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