While bars and restaurants remain closed in parts of the country amid the ongoing pandemic, you can’t help but miss the glory-filled days (and nights) when you could unwind after work with your favourite cocktail. And while it might be some time until we can enjoy those simpler times, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on sipping your favourite cocktails in the meantime. But trust us, we understand that whipping up a restaurant-worthy beverage on your own might seem a bit daunting, especially when the typical home bar cart consists of an assortment of random bottles and bitters that are likely collecting dust. That being said, we invite you to become the ultimate mixologist at home by stocking up on these 10 tools. Cheers!
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Shakers come in a variety of sizes and finishes, but regardless of the style you chose, they all serve one great purpose: shaking up great drinks. Opting for a larger shaker, like the ones that Toronto-based Cocktail Emporium carries, is a safe choice as it allows you to make a larger batch for pouring out several drinks of the same serving size that all taste the same.
For drinks that aren’t being shaken, like a Negroni or a Manhattan, you’ll need a durable mixing glass, as it gives you a designated place to stir and combine ingredients for cocktails.
When stirring the perfect drink, no ordinary spoon will do. You need a long bar spoon as it will allow you to reach the bottom of a mixing glass to ensure the cocktail is thoroughly mixed, while also letting you quickly mix a drink without splashing any liquid.
If you’re planning on making a good drink that’s not too strong, it needs to be measured correctly. It’s best to grab a jigger, more commonly known as a shot glass, that measures up to two ounces in half-ounce measurements.
While a pairing knife usually does the trick for preparing fruit garnishes, an at home mixologist will require a rabbit bar knife that features a garnish spear at the tip to use for spearing olives, cherries, and other cocktail garnishes.
A muddler will allow you to easily grind up garnishes like herbs, fruits or other solids that release more flavours that you might like to add to your cocktails, like mint for a mojito.
Once you’ve chilled your drink by stirring or shaking it over ice, you’re going to want to have a strainer on hand to hold back the ice as you pour your mixture into a glass. But don’t forget to add more ice to the glass if needed.
While a vegetable peeler would suffice, a pro at home mixologist needs a bar-grade peeler that will allow you to prepare garnishes like citrus fruits in a variety of ways for your drinks. Different drinks call for different garnishes so a sturdy peeler will allow you to prepare your garnishes accordingly. We love this zester and knife combo as it allows you to finish cocktails with a twist, spiral or a dusting of citrus zest.
Bottle Opener and Corkscrew
As an at home mixologist, you’ll obviously need to open some type of bottle at some point, and having a bottle opener on hand will allow you to open bottles quickly and effortlessly. This one from goop is a win-win and will surely be a crowd-pleaser as it features a bottle opener, channel knife, corkscrew, jigger, knife, muddler, reamer, stirrer, strainer, and zester, meaning you’ve got everything you need to make next-level cocktails, all in one tool.
Most importantly, to be a pro mixologist at home, you’re going to need some glassware for your concoctions. While it’s easy to want to stock up on different glasses for every type of drink you make, when you’re first starting out, you can serve most cocktails in an all-purpose cocktail glass like a rocks or collins glass.