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For the home barkeep…essential bar tools for your home bar

on 02/03/11 at 8:54 am


A drinker’s disclaimer: Unlike fans of basketball or chainsaw juggling, cocktail lovers absolutely can try this at home. Make your own cocktails, that is, not juggle chainsaws. We talked to Joe Keeper of Silver Lake’s renowned bar supply store, the Bar Keeper, about the essential components any aspiring mixologist needs.

1. Shaker — Essential for any cocktail with a coagulant, like orange juice or egg white. Keeper recommends you ditch the three-part cobbler shaker you got in college and upgrade to a two-piece Boston shaker, which won’t contract and stick from the cold. No sticking means you won’t have to bang it on the bar to get it loose, which means it won’t lose its shape and squirt pricey liquor on your pricey shirt next time you’re entertaining.

2. Stirrer (not pictured) — Essential, like the shaker, for chilling the cocktail. Keeper says that temperature is one of three key elements of any cocktail, along with appearance and measurements. For this reason, he suggests you shake or stir twice as long as you think you should. Just because it feels cold on the outside doesn’t mean the drink has been fully chilled.

3. Strainer — Self-explanatory. After you’ve shaken or stirred to your heart’s content, use a Hawthorn strainer (the kind with the spring) to make sure you drink only the good stuff.

4. Jigger — Consistency is the key to creating a special cocktail, according to Keeper. A multipurpose jigger, like the one Oxo sells, will help you measure the right amounts each time, and as a bonus can be used for cooking.

5. Glassware — Every home bar needs three glasses:

Martini/cocktail glass

6. Bitters — An essential component for the home bar, Keeper says they’ve become extremely popular — he sold more than 600 bottles in December alone.


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