7 Best Cocktail Sets and Drink Mixing Kits of 2024

If your local bartender knows you by name, you’re either a very loyal customer or you need an intervention. Either way, owning one of the best cocktail sets will let you take a break from running up a wild tab so you can drink all the martinis, Manhattans, and Mai Tais from the comfort of your own at-home bar. While you could go à la carte and pick up all the bar tools you think you need for your bar setup, the easiest thing to do is to buy a dedicated cocktail set that will include all the good stuff, from strainers to stirrers, for shaking up pretty much every kind of cocktail you’ll need. Beginners will especially be well equipped with one of these cocktail sets if they don’t necessarily know what they should be looking for (but we’ve also asked drinks experts for their suggestions on what tools every good happy hour situation should involve, too).

The Best Cocktail Sets, According to GQ

Oh, and make sure you buy something durable, because your first couple tries using a cocktail shaker might yield, ahem, mixed results (if you’ve ever accidentally launched one behind you mid-shake like a projectile, you know what we mean). Here, the best cocktail sets, all so you can mix up your own overpriced drinks without elbowing your way to the front of the bar.

The Best Cocktail Set, Overall: Cocktail Kingdom

Professional bartenders don’t need bloated, 12-piece cocktail sets to get the job done—just the basics that can handle serving up a range of drinks for their thirsty customers. San Sabino creative director Bryan Schneider and Nick Hwang, the beverage director at Class on 38th, recommended Cocktail Kingdom’s essential set. Hwang vouches for the “exceptional quality” of the brand’s gear, which makes it a no-brainer for professional and at-home use. Per the name, it comes with just the essentials you need for an at-home bar setup, though we do wish there were a simpler shaker for amateur bartenders. And if you really want to go full send with this setup, Schneider recommends you add a citrus juicer—like this one from Ra Chand—to forego the bottled juice concentrate.

The Best Budget Cocktail Set: Mixology and Craft

For the cost of two drinks (or just one overpriced house special), this bartender kit has everything that our experts recommend in a bartending tool set and way, way more. Aside from the usual suspects—a shaker, jigger, spoon, and strainer—there are ice tongs, a muddler, corkscrew, plus two bottle spouts. Plus, it’s organized neatly in a handsome bamboo holder.

The Best Minimalist Cocktail Set: Williams Sonoma

Ditch the fully chrome look for something like this blacked-out cocktail set from Williams Sonoma. As our experts suggested, you should be opting for stainless steel bartending tools, and under that Darth Vader exterior does lie some durable stainless steel. Everything included is also dishwasher-safe so you can spend more time drinking your cocktails rather than cleaning the equipment, and that handy hanging bar tool stand is a slick and sleek way to keep everything tidy.

The Best Cocktail Set for Beginners: Crate and Barrel Easton

Crate and Barrel’s Easton set is a lot like our Cocktail Kingdom pick, but it swaps out the Boston shaker for a three-piece shaker instead. We find that this set might be best for someone who’s not used to using a Boston shaker, in which you jam two containers into each other to create an airtight seal for shaking, since it does take a fair amount of practice to use them without causing a boozy mess. It doesn’t include a mixing glass, but there’s no reason you can’t use one of the tumblers to stir up a martini or Manhattan.

Plus, 3 More Cocktail Sets We Like

Our experts say that barware tools should be made of stainless steel, but the folks over at renowned cocktail bar Death & Co. have a slightly different take. They collaborated with kitchen brand Material on this pared-down Stirred Set, which only includes a mixing tumbler, jigger, and muddling-slash-mixing spoon if your vibe is more a Manhattan or negroni. The jigger and tumbler might be made of glass, but it’s borosilicate, which is both durable and lightweight. And above all else with this set, it just looks damn good.

West Elm’s Streamline barware can be bought in full—a jigger, strainer, peeler, bar spoon, muddler, three-piece shaker, an ice bin, and a scooper—or piecemeal. It’s available in both a shiny chrome finish or matte black, similar to the Williams Sonoma set. The tools even nest in an included storage block.

Viski’s seven-piece set bares a lot of resemblance to both to our Cocktail Kingdom and Crate and Barrel recs, and offer a great beginning kit to anyone trying to boost their bartending game. The brand is known for its wide selection of bar tools, so feel free to add more gear to your kit once you’ve mastered the basics.

What are the absolute essentials you need in a cocktail set?

Whenever you shop for a cocktail set, you’re going to be met with a hodgepodge of gear you may or may not need that’s included. We asked Schneider and Hwang to help us break down the various tools you’ll need to make a variety of cocktails.

Jigger: These tiny dual-sided measuring cups are used to portion out everything from liquors to juices. The cups on either side will be of different measurements, usually with interior line markings to show off smaller units. Schneider says to look for a jigger with measurements between a quarter ounce and two ounces to be the most versatile.

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