As all three of you know by now, I enjoy making a cocktail now and again. With that being the case, I've tried a lot of gear and developed some preferences.
Given the upcoming holiday season, I thought I'd share some of my favorites in case you were looking for some gift ideas.
- Corkscrews come in all shapes and sizes. I have a Rabbit, but mostly I'm partial to the "Waiter's Friend" style.
- For measuring ingredients, I've decided the old school two-sided jiggers are too much of a pain to use, clean and store. While hanging out at the bar at Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder, I decided to follow their lead and get a stack of these Oxo Mini angled measuring cups. I got a couple of these science lab-style beakers, too, but they don't quite have enough graduation markers to be perfectly effective.
- Of course, when I'm mixing drinks that are all spirits, I stir it like a gentleman. For that, I use a pint glass (I like to use some old Sailor Jerry glasses I have because they are awesome.), my favorite bar spoon, and a Julep strainer (which I prefer over a Hawthorne strainer). The pint glasses tend to dribble a bit, so someday I might get a nice mixing glass with a pour spout. In the mean time I just got a nice bar mat that hides perfectly under a cutting board in my kitchen.
- When the beverages have juice, sugar or eggs involved, it's time to put on a show and shake what my momma gave me. I'm partial to Cobbler shakers which have built in strainers. I thought this one from CB2 was my favorite, but the second one I just got seems a little leaky. That said, Cobbler shakers can suffer from stuck lids and are a bit troublesome to clean. I do have a fondness for the simplicity of the Boston shaker and might look into acquiring a nice one soon.
- I juice my limes and lemons with one of these press-like juicers.
- I get citrus twists with one of these vegetable peelers, which does a decent job, though my citrus garnishing game could use improvement.
- I have yet to fall in love with a muddler, so I just have a basic wooden number.
- I really like stabbing my olives and Luxardo cherries with these picks I just got from Williams-Sonoma, though they are a bit long for my favorite vintage cocktail glasses (featured in my Green Knight post).
- As for glasses, I love the vintage set we have but I'm on the lookout for a good set of coupes.
- Update: I forgot to mention the ice cube trays I like a lot. They are silicone and come in one inch and two inch sizes. I also have a couple different spherical molds, but those aren't really worth the trouble.
As you can tell, my mixology hobby definitely feeds into my predilection for collecting tools and gear. I just like to say it keeps me off the streets.