1. A Pint Glass - Simple, sturdy, durable... and easily procured by snatching one from your local pub. At least that's what a friend of mine says.
I get mine by asking for freebies at my local liquor store. They get tons of free merch from their suppliers - And are more than willing to give said merch away to good customers. Otherwise, that shit just gathers dust.
2. a. Tall Metal Shaker - The shaker should fit snuggly over your pint glass, so it looks like a happy mating of metal and glass when the two are joined. What we're looking to do here is shake a shitload of liquid over our shoulders without getting wet. Can't do that with a poor seal.
2. b. Small Metal Shaker (optional) - In the case of shots/cocktails, a small metal shaker is sometimes all you need. This should fit into the big shaker without falling so deep into it that you can't fish it out. Better are the small shakers with their own caps and strainers.
If I had to choose between the big and small shaker, I'm going big. Big shakers are more utilitarian, more working class. They tell the world you're serious about mixing drinks.
However, if you're looking to impress or going classy (mixing a nightcap for two, perhaps), the small shaker is definitely the way to go.
3. Strainer - Absolutely necessary to keep unwanted ice out of your finely mixed drink. If you really want to look like a moron, go without. And start talking about "bruising" alcohol while you're at it.
4. Mixing Spoon (optional) - Some bartenders absolutely swear by mixing spoons. Some truly anal morons claim shaking "bruises" the alcohol.
Guess what? Shaking doesn't bruise anything but babies. But my fist bruises the throats of idiot clowns who claim alcohol can be bruised.
However, the mixing spoon comes in handy for stirring if you don't have a large shaker (or you have the shaker, but no pint glass). The spoon is also good for "muddling". But so are dildos... and regular spoons. More on muddling when the time comes.
5. Speed Pours - The tiny black things in the picture above, speed pours make pouring alcohol easier and somewhat faster, as you're not worrying about unscrewing caps and what not.
Application is easy. Just fit into the bottle, and you're ready to go.
6. Jigger (optional) - The jigger is the metal measuring device that looks like two offsized triangular cups back to back. One measures a half ounce, the other one ounce.
Jiggers are optional because there's something known as the counting method. We'll discuss that later. But until you get the counting method down, you might want to use the jigger.
7. Tongs (unnecessary) - Wash your hands. Then use them to gather your ice/ingredients. Best tools in the bar/kitchen are the ones you were born with.
Besides. High proof alcohol will kill just about every germ out there.
The point? Saddle up, nancy. Tongs are for pussies.
8. Church Key - The church key is that little wine/beer opener above. It's got a corkscrew, a knife, and a bottle opener. Priests love them for obvious reasons.
And that's basically all you need to get started. A bartender's setup like the one above can be procured at amazon.com for about $30 bucks, though it's probably just cheaper to head down to a restaurant supply and pick up your own pieces.
Next blog, a simple, necessary mixed drink - The Tanqueray and Tonic. From there, all will be revealed.