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finally have the bar cart of your dreams, and you’ve happily stocked it with
your favorite spirits. Naturally, you’ll want to get started making drinks
you do, you’ll need a few of the bartending essentials below.
1. Stainless Steel Boston Shaker
Whether you’re making a daiquiri or a cosmo, you’re going to need a cocktail shaker for your home bar. While all shakers technically do the same thing — mix and aerate your drink — there’s any number of models on the market today. However, most are steel and come in a variety of finishes, from copper to silver. Just be sure to choose one with a tight seal. You don’t want to douse your cocktail attire in sticky liquid.
FISH Japanese Jigger
Some cocktail shakers come
with a built-in jigger to measure spirits and mix-ins. However, if you choose
one without, you’ll have to purchase a jigger separately. Most accommodate one-
and two-ounce measurements for single or double recipes.
Crystal Cocktail Mixing Glass
While many cocktails demand
a good shaking, others, like Negronis and Manhattans, require mixing. Thus, a
mixing glass is absolutely essential. In your college days, these likely meant
a red solo cup. Bartending, however, calls for something classier, like a
Once you pour all your cocktail ingredients into the glass, you obviously need something with which to mix the concoction. Instead of reaching for a spoon or — gods forbid — a straw, get yourself a barspoon. This thin, teardrop-shaped tool will help you mix up cocktails without sloshing them all over the bar counter.
5. Houdini Deluxe Mojito Muddler
Some cocktails also require a bit of muddling. Mojito recipes, for instance, will ask that you muddle the lime and sugar to bring out the flavor and dissolve the sugar. Of course, you don’t want to attempt this with a fork or other kitchen utensils. Rather, you’ll need a muddler for your bar car.
Koriko 2-Prong Hawthorne Strainer
If a strainer isn’t built
into your shaker lid, you’ll have to purchase a separate accessory. If you
don’t want ice getting into the finished cocktail, opt for a Hawthorne strainer
and stock up on some extra coils while you’re at it. Otherwise, you’ll do just
fine with a julep strainer, which fits mixing glasses much better.
Tuscany Classics Pierced Pitcher
Whether you’re making sangria or a giant batch of your favorite cocktail, you’ll want to have a pitcher to keep it in. Plus, storing the liquid in a pitcher makes serving guests much easier. Clearly, this pitcher is one of the must-have bartending essentials.
Vertical Canelle Channel Knife
Dress up your cocktails and add a little extra flavor with fun garnishes, the most common of which are citrus peels. While some recipes call for wider peels to drop into drinks, others require a twist or long spiral of a peel. To do so, you’ll need a channel knife or a multi-purpose zester.
For bloody marys and
martinis, a simple peel may not cut it. Instead, you’ll need picks to help
garnish the drinks. While plastic or wooden ones may work just fine, metal
skewers make any cocktail hour a bit classier. Plus, they’re reusable!
Lenox Tuscany Classics Decanter
When it comes to fine wine,
your guests will also expect you to use a decanter in most cases. Decanters,
which come in various shapes and designs, separate sediment from the wine and
help open up aromas and flavors. Typically, they’re made of crystal or glass.
Tovolo King Cube Silicon Ice Tray
Of course, you need ice to
chill your drinks and fill your pitchers. While small ice cubes may get the job
done, you’ll want larger ones for spirit-forward drinks like Manhattans. This
way, the ice won’t melt as quickly and dilute the drink.
Villeroy & Bach New Moon Glassware
Once again, leave those red solo cups in the past and invest in some quality glassware. You and your guests will appreciate sipping their wine, cocktails and other beverages out of glass or crystal much more than plastic. Be sure to get highball, rocks, wine, martini and coupe glasses to match the wide variety of drinks you’ll be serving with these bartending essentials.
With the Essentials
When it comes to home
bartending, it’s best to gather the essentials first. Once you have glassware
and the basic tools for mixing, shaking and stirring up delicious cocktails,
you can begin to add to your bar cart. From wine stoppers to citrus juicers,
there’s a nearly endless number of tools and equipment you might buy, but keep
it simple at the start.