What Is a Bar Spoon?

What Is A Bar Spoon?

We may often see a strange version of a spoon that is not a teaspoon or a regular spoon, but bartenders often use it to prepare different cocktails. This mystery of a spoon is a bar spoon.

For Bond movie enthusiasts, the term “shaken, not stirred” may be familiar, but it is actually advised to stir a martini rather than shake it. This is the part where a bar spoon comes in handy.

A bar spoon is crucial equipment in any bar and is a necessary companion for bartenders to mix, layer, swirl, and garnish your drink.

So, what exactly is a bar spoon?

A bar spoon is a long spoon with a spiraling stem, usually 12 inches long, but some spoons exceed that. It has a measuring capacity of around 1/30 oz. to 1/6 oz. that of your day-to-day teaspoon. The other end may vary from the red cap or disk to a teardrop.

Here, we will discuss stem categories of bar spoons, various uses of a bar spoon, and what parameters to consider when opting for a bar spoon.

Different Types of Bar Spoons

Varieties and styles are abundant in bar spoons, each adding more to its beauty and enhancing the function according to the regional/personal requirement.

But there are three main styles you need to know.

1. American


It is perhaps the most common and cheapest type of bar spoon. It generally costs around $5 or even less. It is a conventional and reliable spoon, made to do its job perfectly without twists or tricks.

An American bar spoon is easily identifiable owing to its rubber red cap end, the twisting handle, and the measuring capacity of your regular teaspoon. The rubber end helps protect the hands of the bartender while using it.

2. Japanese


The Japanese bar spoon comes with the same spiraling stem but a measuring capacity of half a teaspoon, and they are slimmer, longer (usually 15-16 inches), and look more elegant. That is not all; the main difference comes from the other end.

This bar spoon comes with a teardrop or sometimes with a fork style, used to pick adornments to avoid touch. Also, its length adds more weight and stability to the teardrop design providing better control when stirring. These spoons generally cost two times the price of an American bar spoon.

3. European


This all-rounder bar spoon is famous for its various functions, but they usually come with a great price tag, ranging from $10 to $25, which is five times the price of a regular American bar spoon.

Like the other two, the European bar spoon has the same spiraling stem, with a similar measuring capacity as the Japanese spoon (half a teaspoon), but the disk end is the main distinguishing feature. This end increases its function as a makeshift muddler.

Good To Know

The twisting or spiraling stem of the spoon may seem useless or just there for aesthetics, but it ensures the smooth mixing of the drink. It makes the cocktail dilute quickly and avoids drink splattering.

Uses of a Bar Spoon

Uses Of A Bar Spoon

There are many uses of a bar spoon, and some of them are as follows:

  • Stirring: Most common and convenient function of a bar spoon is stirring. Use your wrist to perform the stirring motion about thirty to forty times, alternating between the counter and clockwise after reaching the half numbers.
  • Measuring: As you may have guessed, a generic American bar spoon has the same measuring scale as a teaspoon, so it is a means to measure various ingredients for bartenders.
  • Cracking Ice: American spoons are no good here, but you can use Japanese or European bar spoons using either the teardrop or the disk edge to break the ice.
  • Layering: Another great function of the bar spoon is layering. As the name suggests, it means floating one layer over another. The European bar spoon disk is ideal for this, but you can also use the backside of the measuring side.

Muddling and garnishing are some other uses of the spoons, which are more specialized to the spoon category. Check out how to create layered drinks/shots here.

Parameters To Consider When Buying a Bar Spoon

Parameters To Consider When Buying A Bar Spoon

There are three main things to remember when buying your bar spoon aside from choosing from the main types.

  1. Length: Bar spoons are sufficiently long, but this variable ensures that your hands would not touch the outer edge of your glass and also how comfortable it feels in your hand.
  2. Measuring Size: As different types provide different measuring, be mindful of whether your bar spoon provides exactly a teaspoon or less, then go for what you need.
  3. More Functionality: This parameter means whether you want your bar spoon to do much more than layering and stirring.


A bar spoon is a necessary utensil for any bar and is cheap. Also, these stainless steel products are easily washable, making them more desirable than any disposable (plastic spoons, straws, or chopsticks) object.

Lastly, using these long spiraled bar spoons makes stirring a lot easier and is a must-have companion for any bartender. Also, their multifunctional capabilities make them a vital part of your bar products.