Cocktail tools 101
No matter whether you are a professional bartender, a bartender is training or someone who love making drinks at home that stun your friends and family, you can never go wrong with a good set of cocktail tools to get your started!
From left to right - here we go!
Bar knife - No matter what you do, get yourself a good knife but always be careful! A bar knife is meant to create beautiful garnishes, zesting a lemon, lime or peeling parts of an orange or simply prepping citrus fruits. Make sure it small, shart and easy for you to handle with care.
Tongs - Keep it clean, especially when you're handling ice. If you don't have an ice scoop at home but you do have a bucket, use a pair of tongs to get those cubes in your glass.
Shaker - A good cocktail shakers is a bartender's most essential tool. If a recipe asks for a good shake, you're going to need one of these. There are different styles of shakers:
A French shaker is lightweight, consists of two stainless steel parts. A Boston shaker consists of two parts as well, a stainless steel tin and a glass cup. A Cobbler shaker consists of three parts, of course two stainless steel tins but it has a built-in strainer, making it great for novice bartenders.
Barspoon - When a recipe calls for a drink to be stirred, the best thing you can use is a barspoon, a long slatted spoon with a flat end. The barspoon is also often used for measuring sugar. A barspoon makes stirring and churning drinks easy and use the flat end of the spoon to create layer shots.
Hawthorne Strainer - A Hawthorne strainer has three or four prongs and can be best used with a Boston shaker. It's designed to keeps back ice, fruit and stones or pits from ending up in your drink.
Muddler - A muddler is definitely an essential tool in your kit and is meant for mashing fresh fruits, herbs, seeds and botanicals when you create your drinks. Can you imagine making a mojito with a spoon?
Jigger - A stainless steel jigger is used to accurately measure liquids. There are, as you might have guessed, different styles. A single jigger consists of one "shot glass" style measuring cup. A double jigger has the shape of an hourglass. It has two different sides for measuring, being one bigger than the other. The Japanese Jigger has a more refined appearance and a deeper well that’s less likely to allow spilling your liquids. Check out my post on the new Trigger Jigger by Monkey Shoulder.
Fine strainer - For drinks served "Straight up" this is the tool for the job. A fine mesh strainer, or a "chinois", is used for straining cocktails when you want that sexy, velvety texture.
Citrus zester - Many sour cocktails require zest of lemons or limes and having a citrus zester nearby is a must. An alternative to the one above is what we call a "Mexican elbow", a heavy duty zester that easily squeezes lemons and limes when you're in a rush.