New Years Drinks

Article 9

Essential Bartending Equipment

By Russ Cobbe

Setting up your own home bar can be great fun when you have people over. It isn't overly expensive to get all the essentials. So what are the tools of the trade you'll need to show off to your guests?

Blender – If you don't already have one, get a good one that has good speed and power. Nothing is more annoying than waiting 5 minutes to crush up some ice or blend a drink.

Ice Bucket and Tongs – This is mainly used for easy access, don't get one too big that all the ice melts before you use it but don't get something so small that you have to keep refilling it either.

Combo Corkscrew/Bottle Opener – Obviously needed to open that fine wine or bottles of beer that don't have twist tops.

Paring Knife/Cutting Board – Used to cut up lemons and limes for garnishing along with other fruits in certain drinks.

Shaker – Used for mixing various drinks.

Measure – There is a special device that looks like two triangles on top of each other at the apexes but a lot of people use a shot glass these days.

Bar Strainer – Used in a lot of cocktail recipes to stain out ice that might have been used to cool ingredients in a recipe. It looks like a little paddle with lots of round rings on the end.

Lemon/Lime Squeezer – This has a flat collector base with a raised pointed section in the middle with ridges. Its used to squeeze out fresh lemon or lime juice.

There are over 20 different styles of glasses from brandy to wine. Did you know there is even a special type of glass for Egg Nog? The essential ones to have are Beer, Wine, Cocktail, old Fashioned, Jigger (also known as a shot glass), Tall Collins, Highball and Pousse Café. What is a Pousse Café you may ask? That is normally used for layered drinks, it has a stem and holds about 3 to 4 oz.

So now that you have the tools of the trade and know what they are used for, your half way there to entertaining bliss. We'll discuss in a future column what a reasonably stocked bar should have in terms of ingredients.

Always remember to drink responsibly including not drinking and driving. For more cocktail information you can visit

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