Home bar essentials - tools you need to make great cocktails

The muddler isn't a Batman character

Sean Ludford is a regular contributor to TaylorEason.com and has a funny and informative website, BevX.com

Whatever the task, you need the right tool for the job. The same is true for making cocktails at home. Luckily, the right tools are easy to find, thanks to the magic of the Internet, and pretty economical as well. You can put together a basic starter kit of the five essential items we have listed below for under $40.

With these five tools, along with a few standard kitchen items, you can make every cocktail that we have ever presented at BevX.com.

Jigger. The jigger is vital as it allows you to make accurate measurements when building your cocktails. The common jigger is made of stainless steel and offers two ends, back-to-back, vessels of differing volumes. You wouldn’t cook without measuring cups and spoons, don’t bartend without a jigger. Around $8 on Amazon.com

Shaker. The shaker is an essential tool. Without a shaker you cannot make any variety of a sour (whisky sour and so on…), a daiquiri, or a proper margarita (no blenders please). BevX recommends a metal shaker (typically stainless steel) as this material conducts the cold, rapidly chilling your cocktail to its optimum temperature. If you don’t have a shaker and you love to make and drink cocktails, buy one today.

Strainer. A bar strainer is a handy tool as it allows you to quickly and efficiently strain away ice and hard fruit or herb pieces from your shaker or mixing glass. (Comes with many shaker sets).

Juicer. Chances are that you already have a juicer of some kind in your home. The style of juicer is not important. What is important is that you have one, and have one that you find easy to use, as making a cocktail with pre-packed juice is heresy! On this note, if you have been buying lime juice in a bottle rather juicing the limes yourself, you have never experienced the cocktail as it was intended. On Amazon.com for around $14

Muddler. A muddler is the most commonly forgotten bar tool. This is a mistake as the mojito and the caipirinha have never been more popular. Like all of the above bar tools, the muddler is rather inexpensive and easy to operate. If you have ever worked with a potato masher, muddling mint and lime is well within your skill set. About $13 for a high-rated one on Amazon.com

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