For this first post I'd like to talk about the tools and glassware you'll need for making great drinks. I will break it into two sections, one for the bare minimum to have for your home bar and the other for those that are a bit more serious about their cocktails. In which case there are a few more gadgets that will make this possible.
- Boston Shaker
- Hawthorn Strainer
- Bar Spoon
- Hand Juicer
|28oz/15oz Boston Shaker|
|Two different Hawthorn Strainers (left is by Oxo)|
|Standard Two Measurement Jiggers|
|Multiple Measurement Jiggers|
The hand juicer will make your life so much easier when preparing cocktails. Fresh juice is always best (more about juice in a later post, for now trust me on this) and having a hand juice will allow you to get the most out of your citrus fruit without much work.
|Hand Citrus Juicer|
- Fine Strainer
- Potato Peeler
- Channel Knife
- Olive Oil Mister
If I were to add one more tool to my "Essential" list it would be the fine strainer. The fine strainer or tea strainer as you may know it as eliminates virtually all ice chips, fruit pulp, etc. from your cocktail to make for a smoother textured drink. Simply hold the fine strainer over top of your glass while pouring your cocktail through the mesh to catch all unwanted solids for entering your drink.
The potato peeler is used for creating a fat zest with minimal pith from your citrus fruit. A citrus zest can be creating with a knife but the potato peeler makes it easier and safer.
The channel knife is used to create long ribbon type zests for cocktails, which is nearly impossible to create with out this tool.
A muddler is the cocktail equivalent to a pestle (Mortar and Pestle). It is used to crush fruit that need a bit extra elbow grease that cannot be achieved with the back of your bar spoon. Some may be wondering why the muddler is not on my essentials list, simply because other items around the kitchen can be substituted. I for example used an ice cream scoop for making caipirinhas for months before purchasing a muddler and it worked fine. More on the muddler when we talk mojitos in a up coming post.
Olive Oil Mister
The olive oil mister may seem like a strange one for cocktails but some drinks that call for a "rinse" of say, absinthe (I'll talk about rinsing a cocktail glass in a later blog post) the olive oil mister make it faster with less waste of the spirit you are using to rinse your glass with.
When it comes to what glassware you should have at home, there is no need to have a vast variety of glasses. A cocktail / martini, old-fashioned / rocks, collins / highball and a champagne flute is all you need to serve just about any drink.
So there you have it, the tools and glasses to getting to started with making drinks, except for you don't have any booze yet...Well that will be solved in my next blog post. I've go over the essentials you'll need to stock your home bar with as well as liquor to stay away from. Thanks for reading and comments are always appreciated.