Making your own cocktails can be inexpensive, easy to do, and incredibly fun. Below, I have assembled a list of six barware tools that every aspiring mixologist needs to keep at home. As a bonus, think of how impressed your guests will be when you can whip up a fancy cocktail in a matter of minutes!
S H A K E R
Using a shaker is the best method for thoroughly combining ingredients in a way that stirring can’t. They are also crucial in quickly chilling and diluting your beverages so that you won’t have to weigh them down with ice! There are a variety of shakers on the market – you can choose one with a built-in strainer, or go with a classic shaker that uses a glass mixing cup. It is all about preference!
S T R A I N E R
If you decide to buy a shaker without a filter, then a strainer is important to buy. I highly recommend getting a strainer if you plan on infusing your drinks with big pieces of herb, fruit, or ice. Straining the liquid into a glass will ensure that your end result is a mixture with the ideal consistency and flavor for the best possible drink.
J I G G E R
When making a quality cocktail, accuracy is key. That is why a measuring tool is going to come in handy! Owning a jigger provides the assurance that you don’t over or under pour. If you decide to get a double jigger, you will get two cups on each side that measure a different amount – perfect for when you are making more than one drink at a time.
M U D D L E R
A muddler is an important tool for any home bar — it’s primary use is to crush fruit and herbs so that their essential oils and/or juices are enhanced for drinks. You will know you have a quality muddler if it doesn’t completely crush and tear whatever you are using it against. Another important feature of this appliance is height – you want it to be able to reach the bottom of a tall mixing glass comfortably.
B I T T E R S
Bitters are used in countless cocktails because they add a bit of complexity and subtle flavor that can’t easily be achieved with a juice, soda, or herb. Plus, a little goes a long way – just a dash of bitters is more than enough to get the taste you want and can improve a lot of drinks. For those of you who aim to buy cheaper alcohol: bitters are known to smooth out the harshness of cheaper booze.
CITRUS J U I C E R
When it comes to juice, there is nothing that compares to the aroma and flavors of fresh-squeezed citrus. Many cocktails that require citrus will taste so much better if you decide to go the natural route. Plus, you will feel more satisfied with the results knowing that you took the time to create your own juice or pulp. When looking for a juicer, lean towards the ones that look like it will be easy on the hands and can extract the maximum amount of juice from each piece of produce.
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