One good (or maybe not, depending on how you look at it) thing that has come out of quarantine is that I’ve really upped my cocktail game. Before COVID-19, I was all about quick and easy when it came to cocktails – think: vodka + soda or a glass of wine. When we were really in the depths of quarantine, we started making cocktail hour an activity every day. It gave us something to look forward to when 5:00 rolled around. (Funny enough: the start time got earlier and earlier as quarantine continued…) It also gave me an excuse to test out new cocktail recipes (try this one!) and use all of my favorite barware on a nightly basis.

Though we’re no longer technically under quarantine, we are still spending most evenings at home so cocktail hour has stuck around in a big way at our house. With that mind, I’m now taking stock of the barware I have and what I might need to add to the mix. Below, a hit list with some barware favorites for making happy hour happier than ever.

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– After fresh ingredients, the cocktail shaker is the next most important part to a good cocktail. We have a beautiful vintage one but I quickly learned after many leaking episodes that it was more suited to looking good on the bar then it was to shaking up cocktails. I did a tiny bit of research and ordered this one from Amazon. It’s a winner. It doesn’t leak and the top doesn’t get stuck.

– With a price tag of $45 for a set of four, these cocktail napkins are such a good buy.

– Snacks are an important part of any happy hour. We like to keep it super simple – think: salty potato chips, cheese, nuts. The major game changer has been this olive oil. We like to dip toasted sour dough in it and top it off with a little salt. It’s delicious! Pro tip: the packaging is beautiful, making it an excellent gift to send out to a friend right now.

I’m always on the lookout for vintage glassware to add to my bar. Etsy has been a great source here. I’ve also snagged a couple of really cool sets from One Kings Lane as well. (Check out this midcentury set!)

– I was just about to buy a new set of stemless wine glasses when I decided to try these out instead. I’m so glad I did because I’ve decided that I much prefer these. I love the super simple design and really like that they’re something different to the seemingly-everywhere stemless wine glasses. Bonus: they’re $10 for a set of eight!

– While I think there’s a time and a place for flutes, I generally prefer coupes. There’s just something so elegant about sipping champagne (and martinis!) from a coupe. I registered for these from William Yeoward and – seven years later – they are still one of my very favorite things I own. (I’m currently eyeing the matching tall cocktail jug.)

These glasses are on my wish list. They add such a colorful, playful touch to a bar. They’re perfect for summer cocktails.

– Also on my wish list: a set of these glasses. I love that they’re dual-sided: on one end, you have a the perfect 2 oz. measuring cup and on the other, an vessel for a large glass of wine.

– I adore the cocktail napkins from Elizabeth Lake. How fun are these?

Photo by Perez Photography

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