No holiday is complete without the right beverage by your side (and maybe a few people), so consider giving the gift that keeps on serving. Foster the mixologist in your gift recipient with the following five items:
Now, you could just purchase one of these to shake up your drinks – but really, who doesn’t have one of those. Show you take your drinks just a little more seriously (with a little more skill) and pick up a Boston shaker instead. True, it might be a bit pricier than the former option – but that’s just the cost of cool, and it’s well worth the money. This shaker can be used both to stir and shake whatever cocktail you’re mixing up.
After shaking or stirring your drink, you’ll often need to strain out the ice or other ingredients. To this end, you have two options: the hawthorne strainer or the julep strainer. If the gift target is just getting started, the hawthorne strainer will provide a bit more support since it has springs to fit tightly in the mixing glass.
As great as it would be to turn five bottles upside down simultaneously and miraculously pour the perfect measurements of liquid into a cocktail, most of us aren’t there yet. So until then, measuring the various liquids is a huge help. Enter, the jigger. There are tons out there, but I personally like this Japanese style jigger or this angled measuring cup. The latter offers the same functionality in a way that will separate you from the pack.
For those cocktails where you’re stirring vice shaking, a bar spoon should be your weapon of choice. The long handle and spiral will allow you to stir drinks with ease. The delicately curved spoon end will also help if you venture into layering drinks (more on that another time).
And lastly, the muddler. You’ve probably seen this at the bar when you order up some mojitos. A muddler is critical for any drink that involves fusing sugars, fruits, vegetables, herbs and/or bitters to generate the intended beverage. You’ll see these come in all sorts of materials from wood to stainless steal, but there’s nothing like crushing some of nature’s offerings with some natural wood. It’s a powerful tool and will give you an opportunity to work out your frustrations when people complain you’re taking too long to serve them. Or, you can just beat them with this thing. But I don’t officially condone that.