6 Cocktail-Making Tools You Definitely Need

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The rules of mixology may be complicated, but the tools involved in cocktail-making are few and far between. It is possible to make an incredible drink using nothing but your required ingredients and a glass.

However, if your recipe calls for a few additional utensils, then it is important you use them in the right way, to create the right blend. Here is a few of the most common cocktail tools, along with some advice for each one.

Shaker

If a cocktail recipe calls for you to shake the ingredients, the cocktail shaker is the only tool for the job! Most come with a metal cup and a toughened glass cup which fit tightly together so that you can shake the cocktail without fear of the ingredients spilling out the middle. Do not be tempted to replace the glass cup with a pint glass from your cupboard – it is unlikely to be as strong and could possibly break in your hand.

Jigger

This is probably the most important thing you can buy to improve your cocktail creations. A jigger is a measuring tool with differently sized measuring cups on each end. This allows you to pour the exact measure that your recipe asks for. They come in different shapes and sizes, but, in the UK, most will have a 25ml and a 50ml option. Some use 35ml.

Bar Spoon

When purchasing a bar spoon, it is best to choose one that is weighted, to get the best results. These are best combined with a mixing glass, allowing you to combine your ingredients with ease, before pouring into your cocktail glass.

Muddler

If your recipe calls for fresh fruit, it might suggest you muddle the fruit at the bottom of the glass before adding any other ingredients. This releases the fruit juices and oils so that they are able to properly flavour the final cocktail. To do this, you will need a muddler. This is a tool that you use to press down on the fruit so it breaks down into liquid with ease.

Citrus Juicer

Take the hard work out of juicing those lemons and limes with a juicer! A small tool that requires a lot less effort on your behalf, it allows you to extract the liquids from your citrus fruits without having fruit seeds fall into your concoction.

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Strainers

There are three types of cocktail strainers. Most shaker sets will come with a hawthorn strainer, which allows you to keep big chunks of ice or flavour enhancers out of your cocktail glass. This strainer allows you to control the flow of the liquid by slightly adjusting it on the shaker. Sometimes this will be used in conjunction with a fine-mesh strainer, which will just catch any smaller bits that slip through.

The julep strainer works in the same way as a hawthorn strainer but is used for mixing glasses, rather than shakers.

Other Tools You Might Already Have

While the above tools are the mainstays of cocktail making, there are plenty of other items you can use to help you perfect your art. A lot of these you may already have in your kitchen. A Y-peeler is great for creating beautiful garnishes, while a cutting board and knife are also essential. You might need a funnel for pouring homemade syrups into bottles and you should already have a bottle opener – they are pretty useful for most drinks.

Finally, you might consider purchasing a blender specifically for cocktail making, since they are the best way to make frozen daiquiris and pina coladas!

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Bartender's top tip

In mixology, details matter. A slight chill on a glass, a perfectly measured ingredient, or a fresh garnish can elevate your cocktail from good to exceptional. Always seek perfection.

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