Coming back to home bar essentials, I have experienced numerous times that though you may have a multiple of tools in your home bar cabinet, however, when it is time to mix a drink it suddenly appears that you are missing on some important tools in your cabinet. In such a situation you start innovating your tool from other options available in your kitchen or home bar. Well, that is not a bad idea but a few basic tool essentials in your bar will certainly help you in preparing your drink and entertaining your guests more efficiently.
Let me touch a few must-have tools:
Shaker: Cocktails are basically two types shaken or stirred. So, if you are looking forward to a shaken drink then a shaker is a great tool to be part of your bar. A shaker helps in mixing drinks such as syrup, liquor, liqueurs, egg yolk, milk, lime juice, fruit juice etc in combination with ice. Three types of shakers commonly used include Boston Shaker, Cobbler Shaker and French Shaker. The Boston Shaker and the Cobbler Shaker are very common. A Boston Shaker is two-piece equipment comes with a mixing glass and a steel jar. In the large size of Boston Shaker, a mixing glass which can hold around 450 ml is smaller in size in comparison to the steel jar which can hold around 800 ml. These can separately be used to stir a drink or used to muddle the ingredients. This type of shaker calls for a strainer to filter the drink from ice or any other residues in a shaker. Likewise, you can buy the medium or smaller sizes as well. A three-piece shaker, on the other hand, comes with a steel jar tapered at both ends, a lid with a built-in strainer and a cap. The choice is yours any of the two types will be a handy tool in your cabinet.
Mixing glass: A mixing glass is basically used to stir the drink and control the dilution before pouring it in a cocktail glass. This also allows for retaining the texture. You could prefer the durable Pint glass or the delicate Yarai mixing glass.
Bar Spoon: Though any spoon at home is good for stirring the drink, however, a standard long twisted handled cocktail bar spoon has some good features. Apart from being used for stirring the drink it also comes handy to pour the drink for layering. Further, the other end of the bar spoon has a steel flat metal used for crushing the sugar cube or chipping the ice and also could be used to muddle the ingredients.
Strainer: A handy tool in the home bar to strain the ice cubes, fruits etc before pouring the drink into a glass. The strainer is of two types the Hawthorne strainer which comes with a handle and two or more prongs. Whereas, the julep strainer comes with a bowl and a handle which is tightly fixed in a mixing glass or a shaker at a definite angle to allow the clear drink to pass through the holes and avoid the ice. It is a good idea to have a Haw Thorne strainer
Jigger: Any drink without knowing the measure will either be more strong or dilute. Though experts know the exact pour directly from the bottle, however, a good practice to start with is to use a jigger. So, having a jigger in your toolbox is very vital. A jigger is a shot with two-sided cocktail measuring cups. The sides may measure 30 ml and 45 ml or 30 ml and 60 ml and in other ratios.
Muddler: Another essential bar tool is a muddler which is used to smash and mix drink ingredients. The muddler is used to make some of the famous cocktails such as mojito, caipirinha. A nice wooden muddler is recommended.
Icebox: Ice probably is the most important ingredient for the preparation of cocktails. It is good to have an icebox at the bar table so that you need not go to and fro to fetch ice cubes from the refrigerator.
Juicer Blender: An electrical appliance such as a juicer-blender serves good to make fruit-based drinks. A quick blending of different ingredients helps in making wonderful cocktails. Thus, a juicer-blender is a must-have in the home bar.
Apart, from these, there are many other tool and equipment that could be added over time.