With the rise in at-home drinking and companies looking to make a profit off the back of it, there is a good chance that it is fairly overwhelming going online to shop for equipment for your home bar. After all, all you wanted to make was a martini/whiskey sour and now you’re sat there with an ultrasonic diffuser spitting bubble gum essence into the air and a three-piece French shaker that you can’t open no matter how many times you dry your hands on the kitchen towel.
It is something we get asked a lot here at the distillery when people swing buy to purchase their booze. We thought we’d throw down a few notes on the essentials to get you through that dinner party you said you would love to host and is now actually two days away and you’re in trouble.
1. A Barspoon
Cheap, necessary and so handy. Please enjoy this video of the incorrigible Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo in New York finally giving this wee scrap of metal its due diligence in around 3 minutes flat. Watching this is guaranteed to up your gin and tonic game.
2. Two Piece Shaker (Tin on Tin)
Not always extremely aesthetically pleasing but a hardy piece of kit that will never let up.
Often people tend to shimmy toward the Boston glass kit but this way madness lies, dropping it after your eighth Espresso Martini of the evening will lead to glass shards littering your floor and infiltrating your socks for many weeks afterwards, it’s not worth it. Trust.
Extremely simple to use and capable of surviving whatever poor treatment it will no doubt endure during its lifetime the humble Tin on Tin is a must have for any blossoming home bar. The large tin also doubles as a mixing glass. To use you simply need to add ice, your ingredients and smash the tins together. Releasing the tins requires a quick slap to the side of the top tin. Which leads me to my next essential piece of kit for an ice-chip free drink.
3. Hawthorne Cocktail Strainer & Fine Strainer
Crystal clear drinks are exactly that: free of ice crystals. Using your Hawthorne strainer in your freshly shaken tin and the fine strainer above your glass will prevent unnecessary shards/muddled ingredients getting in the way of your final presentation and the funnel-like shape of the fine strainer allows for easier pouring into narrower glassware.
4. A Sharp Knife
For the love of God please treat yourself to a sharp knife and spare yourself nightmarish times trying to cut wedges/twists/etc with a blunt dinner knife. The trusty Victorinox serrated knives never go astray as a handy do all. You’ll be staggered by the precision you can achieve with a sharp knife.
5. Graduated Jigger
Cocktail recipes often come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, a graduated jigger with both oz and mls will take so much of the pain out of the process and also allow you to accurately build your drink in your tin/glass. It might look miserly in bars when the staff are using jiggers to pour your drink but they are the only thing that keeps things consistent and your favourite drink tasting the same every time.
With minimal cost and more importantly minimal effort you can collect this small kit to get you started making great drinks at home with delicious spirits you buy from coughLOCALcough spirits companies. As always if you have any further questions or want to swing by Stillgarden Distillery and get an in person run down on how to use all the above mentioned equipment we are happy to help.
Looking to up your cocktail game even further? Book a Cocktail Masterclass and learn how to craft some of our ground-breaking cocktails with one of our liquid experts. First you can enjoy an complimentary welcome drink, then you’ll get to create two signature drinks, learn the history of distillation and see a demonstration of the state of the art equipment used within the distillery. After the tour, feel free to relax on our covered terrace with the beautiful drinks you’ve created!
Here’s to the weekend,