Monday, January 17, 2011

Barware: Beyond The Basics


Shaker?  Check! 

Hawthorne Strainer?  Check! 

Muddler?  Check! 

But wait, there’s more!  If you think these are all the tools you'll ever need for your home bar, guess again!   This post will talk about a few other accessories you may want to add to take your bartending to the next level …

What kind of things might you want to add? Well, one of the best tips I ever got from a bartender (and about time, after all the tips I’d given him over the years … ) was to include an aerosol sprayer to my home bar’s arsenal. Confused? Allow me to explain …


A Martini Atomizer like the one pictured above is perfect if you like your cocktail a tad on the dry side. Often when preparing a martini, you might want to pour a bit of vermouth into your chilled glass, swirl it around to cover a maximum area of the glass, then dump out the rest. Seems like a bit of a waste, no? That’s where the atomizer comes into play. Instead of pouring your vermouth in the glass then dumping it out, you can just spray the right amount of vermouth into your glass with the atomizer. This way, you not only assure perfectly coating the inside of your glass, but also, you don’t have to worry about pouring too much in – there’s no dumping, so there’s no waste.   How cool is that?

Like many things in life, I tend to go a little overboard with these atomizer thingies – I own three: one for dry vermouth, one for sweet vermouth and one for absinthe (yeah, I know – don’t ask … it’s a long story … )


Want to impress your guests with the way you garnish your cocktails? Then a zester like the one pictured above is definitely in order! You can use one of these with any citrus fruit like a lemon, lime or orange to scrape off some of the fruit rind to float on top of your cocktail. Also, it comes with a blade to peel off some of the rind to twist and hang on the edge of the glass.

Is your home bar a little cramped for space? Then howzabout combining some of your more essential tools into one? Kinda like a Swiss Army Knife for mixologists. By now, you probably already have a barspoon, a muddler and fork to spear out olives or cherries from the jar. Why not make it an all-in-one with one of these barspoons with an interchangeable fork and muddler just like the one pictured below?


YEAH, BABY! One of these in your toolkit and folks will immediately know you’re serious about how you make your drinks (good for them, good for you – a win/win situation if I ever heard one before).

Well, I guess that’s about it for now.   In the meantime, please remember the immortal words of French philosopher Rene Descartes, “I drink, therefore, I am!”