The most basic tool for stirring a drink today is the bar spoon which has generally not changed for over 100 years. The bar spoon in simply a long handled spoon used for mixing, retrieval, and measurement. Yet, as is the case with most things, there are many variations on this basic concept. There are three parts to a bar spoon: the spoon bowl, the handle shaft, and the handle end; the variations on each part have resulted in many different spoons.
Silver plated bar spoon can be around 100USD but what is important is a good stainless steel spoon that has the three basic parts. The basic spoon should have a spoon bowl, which should be deep enough to scoop up any cherry or olive you might need. Generally, the standard size is sufficient and can be used to measure the common portion of “a bar spoon” found in many old cocktail manuals and books. This generally means that the spoon bowl should be about ¼ oz. The handle shaft can be twisted or solid, depending on your technique. Spoons can be a simple, plastic end, but what is really is a nice heavy rounded end cap.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to stirring; spoon side and end side. The twisted shaft spoons are meant to be plunged spoon side first into a drink and then stirred by rubbing your thumb and fore finger over the twisted part of the shaft. This method works but is not the best; it’s useful when stirring two drinks at once because it allows the cocktail bartender to use one hand at a time but the end side method is much more effective. To perform this method, grasp the bottom of the mixing glass with the left hand. Holding the spoon in the right hand, plunge the end into the drink. Stir the drink clockwise. This method allows the most movement of the ice in the shortest possible time while adding the right amount of water without introducing any excess air.
RED ENDED BAR SPOON
The red ended spoon gets high marks because it is available almost everywhere and can be used in both the spoon side or end side method. It looses points due to the fact that the red plastic thing likes to fall off in a drink, and once missing, the spoon is far less effective in the end side stirring method.
The disc ended spoon is very useful in the spoon side method, the twisted shaft is nice, but the disc might not appear as user friendly. You can’t just plunge the disc in to a drink without sending the ice and half the drink across the bar. The disc end is, however, very useful in layering a pousse café, yet it seems somewhat unneeded when the back of the spoon bowl for layering is applied.
STRAIT SHAFTED SPOON
Lastly is the strait shafted spoon. The large heavy end is great for the end side method. The other end to layer of retrieve olives and cherries can be used. The perfect spoon would be the strait shafted spoon with a twist. Don’t be fooled when advertisements claim that drinks can be stirred and muddled with these spoons.