With craft cocktails popping up across the nation, it's easy to be intimidated by all the muddling mysticism behind the bar. But what if we told you things aren't so tough? That you (yes you!) can become an expert mixologist with a toolkit of your very own?
Read on below to discover everything you ever needed to know about making fancy craft cocktails and become everyone's favorite guest at that next party.
You've seen it before, bartenders flashing their arm muscles with a series of solid shakes before a smooth pour tumbles into your glass. The shaker is central to a good mixed drink and funnels out blended flavors with the perfect chill.
The yin to a shaker's yang, the strainer completes what the shaker set out to do - keep all the extra ice and goop inside while giving you that perfect pour.
This little shot glass is your key to a perfectly balanced cocktail. With an hourglass shape and multiple sizes (we'd suggest the half ounce or one ounce style), a jigger will ensure just the right amount of sweet or sour.
This magic wand will help you knock out everything from Mojitos to Old Fashioneds with style and grace. Use it to break apart fruit into an irresistible pulp, flavor your liquor with squeezed citrus peels, or release a little herbal zest with a solid crush in the bottom of your glass.
The Bar Spoon
Essential for mixology (since it's doing all the mixing in some cases), the bar spoon gives you easy access to even the most obscure glasses thanks to its long neck. Gently crush fruits with its rounded bottom or easily nab olives with the spoon's top before stirring that dirty martini.
The Bar Knife
Every mixologist needs a sharp knife. Whether you're cutting limes or slicing ginger, a good knife will certainly come in handy. You can also use the knife to open tightly wrapped bottles or to defend yourself if a bar fight breaks out.
Whether you're taking on a Mint Julip or a chilly cosmo, ice is your ticket to refreshing success.
Avoid the complications of battling granule sugar with Simple Syrup. Easy to measure and mix, this vital ingredient is an easy brew of half sugar and half water boiled into a smooth liquid and then cooled.
The Citrus Press
Save yourself the stress of juicing lemons and limes with this brilliant time saver. Whether it's a summery Gimlet or a Greyhound demanding fresh grapefruit juice - this one-handed miracle will ensure that none of that fruit's liquid will go to waste.
For anyone that's watched a bit of Mad Men (and then ordered every drink that they do), you know the importance of bitters. A few dashes of this aromatic mystery liquid will be a benefit to nearly any classic cocktail.
An ignored cherry really is the pits, and any good mixologist will ensure there's no surprises when someone bites down on their garnish.
Give your drink that elegant twist with the help of a Lemon Zester. A swirled peel of orange or lemon is the ideal (and flavorful) garnish for any cocktail that's looking for extra oomph.
Save cash on Soda Water and add a little effervescence just the same with this gem. Give your drink that extra sparkle and explore the possibilities of carbonated foams and extra bubbles.
The Eyedropper / Sprayers
When you're ready to really wow your guests, take things to the next level with eye droppers and sprays. Here's your chance to utilize those more complex recipes calling for citrus oils, absinth, tinctures, etc. to really add some texture to your drink. A few carefully placed drops of bitters on the head of your cocktail or a quick rinse of flavor on the glass can really elevate your drink to the next level.
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