What is a bar spoon? Bar spoons, or bartender spoons, are specialized equipment used to simplify the mixing process when putting together a cocktail. Though most drinks are shaken, some require stirring instead, and a specialized spoon makes it easier for bartenders.
Because they are crafted from stainless steel, bar spoons are easy to clean, durable, and won’t affect the flavor of drinks.
It’s hard to determine when a bar spoon became a thing. In the past, bartenders used to use whatever spoon they could find, but at some point, there was a need for an actual bar spoon.
There are two ideas of where bar spoons might have come from. The first is the Sucket spoon, which was a spoon that had a fork on the opposite end of the handle and a spiral shaft in between. Sucket was a dessert with fruits served in syrup, which made the tool useful for eating it. In the late 1800s, when fruit cocktails began appearing in American bars, they were often served with a Sucket spoon to allow the patron to eat the fruit.
Then there is the Mazagran spoon, which is thought to have originated as a French apothecary spoon. It was used as a tool of measurement and a muddler for crushing medicines.
Despite how simple a spoon may seem, bar spoons have several uses behind the bar.
In measuring a bar spoon to a tablespoon, a bar spoon measurement is roughly one tablespoon. Bar spoons measure out small quantities into drinks.
Not all cocktails need to be shaken. Spirit-forward cocktails with few ingredients all of similar density require stirring, and bar spoons perfectly act as cocktail spoons. Examples of such cocktails are the Martini, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned.
The flat bowl of the bar spoon is often used by mixologists and bartenders to layer different spirits into one drink, and this method is used for shots like the Angel’s Kiss, the Bob Marley, and the B52.
The bar spoon is useful in removing extra pulp or seeds from fruit garnishes, like a strainer spoon.
Bartenders use fruits, herbs, and spices in their drinks; generally, a muddler is used to mash them. However, the end of some bar spoons can be used to muddle instead.
There are many different styles and designs for bar spoons available, but below are the more common options you’re going to find when shopping.
Also known as the forked spoon, bar spoons that have a fork on the end originated with the Sucket spoon, and they were used to remove fruit from a syrupy dessert. Bar spoons with this design are very useful behind the bar for garnishing drinks.
Muddlers are slowly losing their presence in bars due to the decorative ends of bar spoons. Some bar spoons are fitted with a flat disc at the end, which can be used instead of a muddler to crush herbs and fruits. They are also known as bar spoon muddlers.
Also known as the Red Cap bar spoon, the American bar spoon is both inexpensive and easy to find. It is usually identified by its simple design, which is a twisted handle with a red plastic cap on the end. It may be one of the cheaper options, but it functions just as well.
Having a decorative shape, like a teardrop, at the end of the bar spoon is becoming a popular option for bartenders and mixologists. Not only do the decorative shapes look nice, but they also add extra weight, which helps push the spoon to the glass and make mixing quieter.
The Japanese bar spoon has a slimmer handle and is one of the sturdier options. There are different ways the end of the handle can be designed, such as with a teardrop or a small fork.
The spoon part of a bar spoon is not the only aspect of it that differs. Often, bartenders have several bar spoons with different handles.
The textures of the handles of the bar spoons tend to either be spiral or smooth. Traditionally, bar spoons are known to have a spiral shaft because it’s useful in layering cocktails. With practice, the spoon can glide smoothly in one’s hand while stirring.
Smooth-handled bar spoons are becoming more popular now, though. In terms of functionality, the two don’t have many differences. It’s more of a preference.
How big is a bar spoon? The bar spoon size varies. Most bar spoons are 12 in in length, but there are longer ones that are 15 inches or more. The popularity of longer handles on bar spoons is growing because they are tall enough to avoid bumping your hand on the mixing glass when stirring.
Standard bar spoon handles are lighter weight and fit in spaces more easily and are much more common, but there are a lot of different options on the market.
Bar spoons with longer handles have extra weight, which can feel more comfortable in your hand and make it easier to stir. They are easy to use in double-stirring and can be quite appealing to the eye.
Since there are so many bar spoons available, you’re sure to find a size and style that you like and that feels good in your hand. Whichever length you choose is up to your preference, both sizes work well; the best bar spoon is the one that works for you.