Expanding your bar cart but unsure where to start? Here are the tools of the trade we suggest every home bartender has.
1. A Jigger
Ounces, mls, centilitres - use what you like, as long as you're using one! We always recommend measuring your ingredients to ensure you are creating a consistent and perfectly balanced cocktail, as intended.
We like to use a graduated jigger that measures up to 75ml. It's great for measuring each of the ingredients in your drink in turn without having to change your jigger.
2. A Muddler
We've used everything from the back of a spoon to a wooden fishing caster to muddle. Essentially, as long as it's clean you can decided what works for you. Muddlers are readily available in timber and food-safe nylon.
3. A Bar Spoon / Swizzle Spoon
Bonzer from the UK makes a great bar spoon with a turned and twister stem for swizzling. It has a disc on one end for crushing sugar cubes or layering, and the perfect-size bar spoon on the other end for recipes that specify a bar spoon measurement.
4. A Shaker
We really like 'tin on tin' shakers. The classic three-piece cobbler is not really our thing and Boston shakers (mixing glass and shaker tin) can get a little risky.
Note, it's important to rinse your shakers in hot water between drinks. For drinks with egg products, or savoury drinks with chilli sauce, be sure to wash your shakers with soap before reusing.
5. A Peeler
The Swiss or potato peeler, as they are most commonly known, is what we use. A Y-shaped peeler is the best tool for long fruit twists. Be mindful not to press down on the fruit too hard to avoid gathering too much pith, as this bit of the fruit holds all the bitterness.
We'll say it once and we'll say it again, be careful. We've seen too many fingertips lost to peelers. Focus, go slowly and use your thumb as a guide. Press it against the fruit as you peel so your hand doesn't fly off.