Today, hosting guests for a social gathering requires more than a beer fridge and a bottle of wine. There’s been a revised appreciation for classic cocktails and more creative concoctions when it comes to one’s drink of choice and many of us are becoming armchair mixologists in the process.
So if you are looking to impress your guests or to make a good impression on a party of one, you’re going to need the tools to pour a drink fitting for a great night. Here are some of our recommended essentials.
Mixing glass and bar spoon
In spite of what James Bond will tell you, mixed drinks are commonly a better choice than drinks that are shaken. Watch most great mixologists and you see their tool of choice is primarily a mixing glass. If you are mixing multiple drinks at once, it can also allow you to serve multiple guests more quickly. Obviously, you can’t have a mixing glass without a proper bar spoon, which not only mixes the liquid but can also function for small amounts of muddling and measuring. Don’t skimp on these two items.
The Coupe glass is where you’re going to add a little bit of class to your serving and show that you know your booze. A Coupe glass is your best choice not only to serve champagne, but also for many classic drinks including a Rob Roy, Side Car and even a Margarita.
Double old fashioned tumbler
Why do you need a glass this size? It’s simple. If you’re going to make a great Manhattan like the one we suggest on this site, you’re going to need a large glass to fit in the oversized ice cube.
Curved rocks glass
A curved rocks glass always adds a sense of sophistication to any drink. Besides the great look for your brandy or cognac, the reason it has that curved shape is so it retains the aroma of the drink itself. There’s a reason Don Draper had them within arm’s reach in his office.
A quality jigger
Unless you’re struggling to get by in your first couple of years of college, it’s time to get rid of that Minnesota Vikings shot-glass. If you are spending the time to make a quality drink for a quality guest, do it with some class with a proper quality jigger. With one side measuring one ounce and another measuring two, it also allows you to make that quality drink more efficiently.
As ingredients for modern cocktails get more creative and diverse, you’ll often find yourself working with a number of items in your mixing glass or shaker. The point of the strainer, which gets its name from the bar where it was invented and works with pretty much any glass size. is to not only stop unwanted ingredients from getting into the serving glass, but to also prevent making a mess with a splash should anything slip through.
Typically, one doesn’t have a lot of simple syrup laying around, so muddling a sugar cube is a great alternative. It’s also used for summer drinks that require juices or oils from fruits, herbs and other ingredients to be extracted. Mojito anyone?
One essential you’re likely to see from a seasoned mixologist is a Boston shaker. They’re easy to clean and can be used for all sorts of cocktails. Just make sure it’s properly sealed before you start shaking.