As a companion piece to my recent post 7 Essential Bartending Tools, I thought it would be fun to compare and price several bar spoons. There are really 3 things that make a good bar spoon: the shape and size of the bowl, the shape of the handle, and additional utility. I’ve found that:
- Smaller spoon bowls make stirring easier, but you can’t measure with them.
- The more round a handle is, the better it stirs.
- Additional tools are nice, but not necessary.
First we look at the “Red Knob” Bar Spoon. I got this one at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $2.99, and you can get it lots of other places, including Amazon, for about that much. It doesn’t stir well because it has a big bowl and a flat, twisted handle. I can promise you that the red knob will fall off, too, either in the dishwasher or at another time.
BarProducts.com generously sent me 6 spoons for this writeup, ranging from only $1 to $3 in price, plus shipping of course. From top to bottom:
- Classic Bar Spoon. Like the Red Knob, but without a red knob to lose. It’s an ok spoon if it’s all you’ve got. (Note: link actually goes to the red knob version. Apparently I lost my knob in shipping. Told you they fall off!).
- Ball Tip Spoon. An improvement from the red knob (the ball tip doesn’t come off), though it’s still a flattened handle with a large bowl, so it’s still not the best option for stirring.
- Spoon With Steel Knob. One of my favorites in this batch. The handle is perfectly round and the spoon bowl is small, so it stirs drinks very well. The weighted knob on the reverse side is handy for crushing individual pieces of ice in your hand, too.
- Bar Spoon with Disc. A helpful spoon if you don’t have a muddler to crush your mint or citrus with. The flat handle and large bowl make it not as great for stirring, though.
- Bar Spoon with Fork Tip. This spoon still suffers from size and shape issues, but it adds a reverse-side fork for your garnishes. While the fork is handy, it’s a little too small, and I found the bar spoon end was better to scoop olives out of their jars.
- Long Handle Oval. This spoon is another one of my favorites from Bar Products. Long, elegant, and round-handled. The small bowl makes this a really good stirring spoon, so I don’t really miss the lack of additional tools.
World Market Bar Spoon. For $3 at World Market, this has served as my favorite bar spoon for quite a while. It’s got some impressive weight and the handle is twisted but well-rounded, and the spoon is good for measuring. The lack of additional tools and the large bowl have made this one a target of some of the other spoons in this list though.
RSVP Endurance Spoon. I bought this spoon for $7 from Amazon, and I’ll just admit that I’m crazy about it. Not specifically marketed as a bar spoon, the RSVP Endurance is the slimmest of the bunch, and I can stir drinks long and fast with almost no ice noise or spillage. You get no measuring or additional tools with this spoon, but the RSVP Endurance the best stirring spoon I’ve used yet.
Trident Barspoon. From Cocktail Kingdom, this is the top-of-the-line spoon on our list at $19. This spoon is elegant and shaped well for stirring. The spoon bowl is not tiny, but is a good shape for both measuring and stirring, and I found the trident to be more useful than the fork tip model above for garnish-fishing.