The Solid Gold Speakeasy: $1,000+
If money is no object, splurge for bar tools that look as good on the bar as the drinks you use them to make. Host a lot of parties at home? These tools are snazzy and will take some of the pressure off crafting a professional-grade drink.
Home base: In 2014, Jim Meehan of New York’s famed Please Don’t Tell cocktail bar introduced The Sidecar (price upon request; mooreandgiles.com), which he designed with the help of Moore & Giles. Not only does it come complete with a shelf for glasses, a built-in trash can and bottle holsters on each side, it also includes a cabinet perfect for storing back-up bottles and a sealed top to prevent stains from unexpected spills.
Hardware: Again, start with the basics — a jigger, strainer, shaker and bar spoon — but go for those embellished in gleaming gold or copper ($18 to $79; cocktailkingdom.com). Then, move on to specialty items.
Into tiki? A super-durable Lewis bag and mallet ($145; bullinchinapdx.com) will help you expertly crush ice at home, and julep straws ($2; surlatable.com) dig deep into the glass to make sure you get to every last delicious drop of cocktail in the glass. Keep some extra ice on hand during parties in this copper ice bucket ($69; potterybarn.com) or go for chic crystal storage ($160; tiffany.com).
Reference: Keeping with the specialty vibe, pick up acclaimed tiki bartender Martin Cate’s Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki ($30; amazon.com) for plenty of recipes and know-how on the Polynesian potions.