Top 5 tools every home bar should haveSeptember 18, 2014 -- Published by Tara Shinn
Whether your experimenting with new cocktail trends or just love a good Martini, having the right tools (and knowing how to use them!) in your home bar makes crafting a great cocktail about a zillion times easier. Worried about breaking the bank? Fret not- you should be able to pick up everything on this list for less than $25, so no excuses!
1. Cocktail tin & mixing glass
Forget those awkward 3 piece shakers- they don’t hold more than one drink at a time, and if you accidentally (?) get too much of a chill on the contents, the tin and middle piece will actually expand- making it nearly impossible to pull them apart until they warm up. When shaking with a tin and mixing glass simply cap the tin with the glass, making sure that the tin and glass are at straight as can be on one side. Shake (always glass on top!) until your tin is nice and frosty, then hold the tin with both hands and push the straight side of the glass with both thumbs to unlock them. Never tap or bang the glass on anything to unlock them- the chance of the glass breaking is pretty high, and we don’t take kindly to pouring liquor down the drain at my house!
2. Hawthorne strainer
The Hawthorne is commonly referred to as a standard strainer because it’s very versatile and cheap. When you cap the tin with it, there is a small semi-circle of metal the sticks up- you can push on it to bring the strainer closer to the lip of the tin so smaller pieces of ice, fruit or herbs down’t sneak into the drink.
Also meant to be used with the mixing glass and tin, a muddler is used to press the essential oils out of herbs, or to crush fruit. You always want to muddle in the tin rather than the mixing glass because there is more traction, and I highly suggest picking one with teeth so you have the option to crush harder fruits like pears or cucumbers more easily than a flat ended muddler. If you do prefer a flat ended muddler- make sure you don’t pick one of those super cheap wooden ones with lacquer or varnish on it- it will flake off into your drink!
4. Bar Spoon
Even if you don’t see yourself layering any fancy shooters in the near future, a good cocktail spoon is essential for stirring drinks with out bruising (filling with tiny air bubbles) and sure does make getting just one olive out of the jar far less complicated!
5. Citrus Press
If you pick up a good one, a citrus press can last for years- again be wary of ones that are painted, the acid will break down the paint eventually. It also pays to look for one with a good amount of holes in it, but if you opt for a stainless steel one, you can always add a few more with a drill.
What are you mixing up at your home bar? Tag your Instagram pics with #CliqueShots and let us see!