The beauty of cocktails is the simplicity. You don’t need to buy expensive accessories or read how-to manuals. What you DO need are some basic supplies. So, here’s your shopping list, ladies and gentlemen… get ready to shake it up!
First things first, here’s a list of the liquor you need to stock the bar for both mixing and sipping. Then you can start on accessories…
Bar spoon: A classic tool to stir tall non-carbonated drinks; long and skinny with a twisted handle and small spoon at one end
Citrus juicer: A glass, plastic, stainless steel, or wood reamer is perfect for the occasional drink, but an electric unit is ideal for frequent entertaining.
(Behind the bar tip: before juicing, roll and press the fruit on a flat surface or warm it under hot water to increase the juice yield… you’re welcome)
Cocktail shaker: Stainless steel is preferred by bartenders because it chills faster and the more stylish standard shaker contains a tumbler, built-in strainer, and fitted cap.
Ice bucket: The must-have glamour cocktail party accessory, complete with a set of metal tongs. Choices run from chic glass to stainless steel to colored plastic units. However, we recommend the ultimate luxury and glitter of Waterford crystal.
Mixing glass: For mixing martinis or more than two drinks at a time, look for a 16-oz. glass with a pinched, molded lip to hold back the ice when you pour. As an alternative use the glass of a Boston Shaker and a Hawthorne strainer.
Muddler: This rounded hardwood stick helps mash ingredients, crush herbs, or crack ice. Essential for mojitos and old-fashioneds.
Shot glass: Essential for measuring, shot glasses are also fun to collect.
Stirring rod: The classic stir stick for martinis and Champagne cocktails.
Zester: This tool is essential for beautiful garnishing.
For good measure… Here’s an easy guide to mixing:
- Dash = 1/8 oz.
- Bar spoon = 1/2 oz.
- 1 tsp = 1/6 oz.
- 1 tbsp = 1/2 oz. (3 teaspoons, above)
- Jigger = 3 tbsp (1 1/2 oz.)
- 1/4 cup = 2 oz.
- 1/3 cup = 3 oz.
- 1/2 cup = 4 oz.
- 1 cup = 8 oz.
- 1 pint = 16 oz.
- 1 quart = 32 oz.
- 1 medium lemon = 3 tbsp of juice
- 1 medium lime = 2 tbsp of juice
- 1 medium grapefruit = 2/3 cup of juice
- 1 medium orange = 1/3 cup of juice
With your new skillfully stocked bar, you’ll be the hostess with the mostest.