The first cocktails were most likely enjoyed by British navy sailors, and pirates during the 1500s and they consisted of a rough moonshine rum that was mixed with citrus fruit, sugar, tea and other spices to enhance (mostly dull the flavor) of the rum. Since the days of sailing the seven seas, mixology has become a skillful art. The level of precision and skill involved has increased dramatically and with that has come a variety of tools and equipment that make a mixologists job possible.
Here are the essential bar tools and equipment and their uses.
Shaker– many drinks need to be shaken, and with fear of stating the obvious, a shaker does just that. The classic design is a metallic glass that can be placed over a mixing glass to complete the shaker. Other varieties come with built-in strainers to separate any ice or other items.
Strainer– if your shaker doesn’t come with a strainer, get yourself one. This is key to serving up cold drinks that are ice-free.
Bar Spoon– the counterpart to a shaken drink is a stirred drink. The classic James Bond line, “… shaken, not stirred,” is all about preference. Get yourself a sturdy bar spoon, and the proper stirring technique will be easy.
Ice Kit– sure, your ice maker ice will work just fine, but if you’d like to impress your patrons, you better get an ice kit. You can make a variety of ice cube shapes, and some allow you to form crystal-clear ice.
Muddler– while a Mojito maybe the most common one, many drinks require muddled herbs or fruit to be complete. A good muddler will allow you to crush and mash everything from mint leaves to orange slices.
Juicer– citrus juices are a mainstay at any bar, and nothing beats freshly squeezed. A solid juicer will allow you to get every last drop of fresh juice from your lemons, limes or more.
Peeler– when your drink of choice calls for a peel garnish, a reliably sharp peeler is a must. Sure a knife will work, but when a bartender is flying around doing a million different tasks, a peeler will put everyone’s mind at ease.
Jigger– no true cocktail can be made properly without measuring. A jigger that comes into play because even the smallest imbalance can throw off the entire drink. Sure, seasoned bartenders can pour without measuring, but that takes a lot of practice and precision.
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