Becoming an at-home bartender seems like a pretty cool idea – you get to whip up tried-and-tested concoctions, eventually even your own and earn a lot of cred amongst your friends. But like most things that require skill, work and patience, bartending isn’t as easy as it looks. Here are some essential tools you’ll need if you want to get started. Trust us, it’ll make things a lot easier.
Shaker: One of the most imperative tools to have for an amateur as well as a professional bartender, a shaker can make a world of a difference. A metal shaker with an in-built strainer is ideal for creating all the cocktails that are shaken, not stirred.
Strainer: If you do not manage to find a shaker that has a strainer in it, buying one would be extremely beneficial. Herb-flavoured cocktails are the best, but it’s important to strain them out so you don’t have to keep spitting out muddled mint and even strain out ice you’ve just shaken the drink in.
Muddler: Which brings us to the third tool – the muddler. This is used to press down on herbs, lemons and other fruit so as to release their oils and flavours that’ll take your drink from 10 to 100 in seconds. A muddler is essential if you ever want to go beyond orange juice and vodka in a solo cup.
Jigger: You can tell a good bartender apart from a bad one just by their knowledge of measurements. We all might like strong drinks but a good cocktail has just the right amount of ingredients. Jiggers can help you measure out each ingredient till you memorise the combos. We suggest using them even after you do.
Bar Spoon: Very different from normal household kitchen spoons, bar spoons have a spiral handle for easy twisting of the long shaft (which helps reach the bottom of tall cocktail glasses) and to navigate through the ice. The tiny spoon bowl helps in floating liquors so you can create layered drinks. And how else are you going to fish for cherries and olives?
Tools for ice: Ice is involved in a majority of the drinks you’ll be making so keep ice buckets, scoops, crushers and tongs in handy. Pro tip: Have a separate freezer for your ice, because old ice tends to absorb the flavours of the food around them. No one wants ice that tastes like cold cuts, right?
Stirrers and straws: If you want your guests to actually enjoy the drinks you serve, you can’t forego stocking up on stirrers and straws. Stirrers help them keep the drinks mixed till the last dregs, so don’t overlook their importance.