A Guide to the Essential Travel Cocktail Kit

Be prepared for any party with the quintessential travel cocktail kit!

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We all know the motto – Be Prepared. I am a huge cocktail nerd, so in my case, an emergency situation is a home without the proper bar tools. Invite me to a party, and you’ll be sure to find me toting along a few essential items and – if I really like you – maybe even some simple syrup or special liqueurs to use as mixers.

If you love mixing up cocktails for your friends as much as I do, this list is for you. The guide below has everything you need to pull together your own travel cocktail kit (or even just an update to your home bar).

The Essential Cocktail Kit

While my home bar includes some glass pieces, when I’m traveling stainless steel is queen. Easy to clean, easy to pack, and best of all, always durable no matter who might decide to take a turn with your bar tools.

Pack up these items for your own travel cocktail kit, or pull a few together and make the perfect gift for the budding mixologist in your life. With these tools on hand, you can’t go wrong:

  • Stainless Steel Boston Shaker: I prefer the style of this two-piece set over the three-piece cobbler shaker due to its versatility, capacity for making multiple drinks at once, and ease of cleaning. Either half of the boston shaker can also double nicely as a mixing “glass” for stirred cocktails.
  • Weighted Barspoon: The ideal tool for perfectly your stirring technique.
  • Japanese Jigger: Any two sided jigger will do, but I’ve grown fond of this style, which has the various ounce measurements etched into the inside for easy portioning.
  • Hawthorne Strainer: First patented in the late 19th century, the Hawthorne Strainer is a specific type of sieve used to filter ice out of a mixed drink as its poured into a serving glass. Unlike the Julep Strainer, which is more like a bowl and typically used with a mixing glass, the Hawthorne Strainer has a metal spring that helps it fit snugly into the tin of the Boston Shaker.
  • Produce Knife: I love this knife! Unlike a traditional paring knife, the produce knife does not have a sharp tip – instead the tip is flat, leaving just a straight blade that is perfect for cutting up simple garnishes. I like that it packs up easily and I don’t have to worry about damaging the tip or it slicing through my bag.
  • Tiny Cutting Board: A small cutting board always comes in handy, and can double as a bar mat if you don’t want to leave stains on the counter. You can go with plastic non-slip or bamboo, to your preference.
  • Carrying Case: You can always get yourself an expensive kit or travel bag, but personally? I go with four-bottle re-usable wine bag. It’s light weight, has plenty of space for all my tools, and easily replaced if necessary. .

A Few Fun Extras

Have a little extra room in your bag? These additional pieces will make you look like a cocktail pro:

What are your party essentials? Anything you might add to your cocktail kit? Let us know in the comments!

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