Some of the items below cost far more than what you might find at the local Bed, Bath and Beyond, but we all know what those look like, so the following might raise an eyebrow and send your imagination soaring before you drop by your local restaurant supply and outfit your bar on a budget, which more than okay. There’s no reason to spend a lot of money on strainers, jiggers and bar spoons unless you want to.
The Blender: A must have for frozen drinks. Margaritas? Yes I like mine frozen, so very uncool, I know. I do visit one restaurant that mixes the tequila, lime juice and simple syrup (maybe Cointreau) in stainless steel with ice chips until they are very, very cold, strains them and adds three wonderful queen olives. Margaritas and olives – strange, but whatever they do, I love it. If you like frozen drinks, go here for a huge number of frozen cocktail recipes.
The Strainer: The OXO SteeL Cocktail Strainer gets 5 Stars on Amazon, and for several reasons, according to the reviewer:
I think what makes a 5-star strainer is one that’s designed intelligently. Some strainers don’t have tabs to keep it on top of the shaker, some have not enough holes, some have long handles (for some reason), some are flimsy, some have springs that stretch, some have cavities in the handle for water to sit… This strainer is the one to own and use. Ergonomic, thick metal, raised lip, smart design, dishwasher safe. Source: Amazon
Mint Julep Strainer:
A strainer is important for separating unwanted (sometimes yo want it) fruit pulp and/or herbs from the drink, and keeping ice in the shaker that doesn’t belong in the serving glass.
Charlotte Voisey, mixologist for William Grant and Sons, says: “The two pieces — a stainless-steel tin and a tempered glass — fit together to form a vessel for mixing ingredients while cooled and diluted with ice. Be sure to start with the least expensive ingredient first and work your way up to reduce the risk of tossing two ounces of your favorite cognac down the drain by mistake. And always — always — shake with the tin forward and the glass back. That way any spills go over your shoulder, and not onto your guests!” (Alessi Boston shaker set, $100) – Source: Esquire
Yarai Mixing Glass:
“So, what’s so great about those Yarai mixing glasses? Leo Robitschek, the head bartender at Eleven Madison Park, says the Yarai glasses don’t break; they’re sturdy enough to let him mix two drinks at once without them tipping over; they’re gorgeous; and they stay colder longer. “We’ve had them for six months now and not one has broken,” he says. “Before, we would chip two pint glasses a week.”…” Source: Cocktail Kingdom
Your standard double jiggers come in two sizes, one ounce and ½ ounce, or 1 ½ ounce and ¾ ounce. These are durable, useful, and can be easily rested between your fingers for steady pours. These are recommended but suffer one major flaw. What if you want to measure out 1 ¼ ounce or ¼ ounce? You’re back to guessing.
OXO has some very innovative culinary tools, and it’s no surprise that it extends its line for bartenders, home or professional. The OXO double jigger resembles the standard
double jigger but has two distinct features. First, it has a rubber grip in the middle that makes it more comfortable to hold, and, secondly, it has increments marked within the jigger such as 1/3 ounce or ¼ ounce. The only drawback I can see is that it’s twice the price…
Lastly, Cocktail Kingdom has some beautiful double jiggers from Japan that are elegant and functional. I use a combination of these and the OXO double jiggers behind my bar. Source: The Atlantic, Derek Brown
Bar Spoons: Imagine these beautiful spoons with the Yarai Mixing Glass seen above. You’ll have the classiest bar in the neighborhood. (click the photos for more information)
A muddler is thick stick, made of either wood, stainless steel, or plastic, that is used to mash ingredients in the bottom of a glass. Often used to mix sugars, bitters, and to extract juices and oils from fruit and mint. Muddling is an essential step in making Old-fashioneds, Mojitos and Caipirinhas.
When buying a muddler choose a thicker one that has a diameter of about 1 1/2-2 inches at the widest point. These will give you more crushing and mixing power than the thinner muddlers. Source: Cocktails.About
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