You don’t have to invest in professional bartending tools just yet — just use these everyday kitchen swaps instead.

Miss happy hour down at your favourite tippling clubs? Us too. While you can easily remedy that by ordering a cocktail delivery from these local bars, you might also want to try your hand at crafting your own cocktails.

We’re sure you’ve already started making your own meals more often and even going beyond by making bread and baking more cakes than you’ve ever had in your life. Cocktail-making is the same, if not simpler.

If proper bartending tools are your main concerns, worry not. During our #LSALepakSessions with Wholly Spirits last week on Instagram Live, we spoke to representatives Jordan Lim and Koh Kay Kim on cocktail basics. This included breaking down bartending tools and how you can easily swap them for everyday kitchen items.

From using your fingers as measuring equivalents to replacing a shaker with your protein shake bottle, now you can be on your way to crafting your own cocktails at home.

Swap the shaker for a protein shaker or water bottle

bartending tools
(Image credit: Unsplash/ Hunter Newton)

Working on them gains recently? You’re in luck — you can use your protein shaker to replace a regular cocktail shaker perfectly. They’re both optimised to blend ingredients well by way of shaking. If you don’t have a protein shaker on hand, we’re sure you have at least a water bottle with you — that works fine too.

Swap the Hawthorne Strainer with a fork or mesh strainer

Use a fork to strain from smaller vessels. (Image credit: Unsplash/ Street Angle)
You can even use a large mesh sift as a makeshift strainer. (Image credit: Unsplash/ James Yarema)

Bartenders usually have two kinds of strainers on hand: the Hawthorne strainer and the Julep strainer. The former has a spring around the strainer, which is designed to perfectly fit into the cocktail shaker to strain out any pulp or seed into a cocktail glass. As for the latter, it’s designed to fit into a cocktail mixing glass.

Most of us will probably have a mesh strainer at home, whether it’s a small one or a larger one like above. If you don’t have these at home, we’re pretty sure you have at least a fork — use that as your cocktail strainer.

Swap the jigger with your fingers

Use your fingers to measure. (Image credit: Unsplash/ Brigitte Tohm)

A jigger is the standard measuring tool used by bartenders. But you don’t have to specially purchase one of these for your home bar. If you have measuring spoons for baking, you can use those. Another nifty way, according to Koh, is to use your fingers as a measurement tool.

Wrap your fingers around the bottom-most part of your glass, and think of one finger as ‘one part’. Most cocktail recipes will call for you to add one part of this ingredient, and two parts of another. One finger will be ‘one part’, while two fingers will be ‘two parts’, and so on. It’s not accurate down to the digit, but it’s a handy metric.

Swap the bartending spoon for a single chopstick or spoon

A single chopstick works fine to replace a bar spoon. (Image credit: Unsplash/ Andraz Lazic)

Similar to the jigger, you don’t have to get a bar spoon for your home bar. Sure, it’s a nice addition to show off to your guests (when you can have some over), but a single chopstick works perfectly fine to stir down your drinks. Even a spoon works just as well.

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.