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6 Essential Bar Tools to Collect & Give

Just like in the kitchen, having the right tools when you are practicing your craft cocktail skills at home can make all the difference in the world. The nice thing about bar tools, compared to kitchen tools, is they are relatively inexpensive.  

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Glassware

Schott Zwiesel stemless wine glasses | Something New For Dinner
Photo credit: Amazon
You can go nuts on unique bar glassware and have a lot of fun doing it, but if you want to start with one multi-purpose glass I recommend a stemless wine glass. Why? You can use them to serve wine, cocktails or water. There are some very nice, expensive stemless glasses, but you don't need to spend a fortune. Make sure you get dishwasher safe glasses like Schott Zwiesel and you will thank me when you are cleaning up.
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Oversized Ice Cubes

Oversized ice cube trays | Something New For Dinner
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For me these trays are a must. The over-sized ice cubes keep your drink cold without watering it down and I love to use the top surface of the ice cube to garnish my drinks. The queen bee gin cocktail | Something New For Dinner Before your entertaining event build up a stash of cubes by making a batch or two every day and storing them in the freezer.  

A Muddler

Muddler | Something New For Dinner
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A muddler will help you release the juices from citrus and other fruits as well as the oils from citrus peel, where a lot of the flavor resides. Muddlers are great for breaking down fresh herbs like mint, basil and rosemary to add herbal notes and layers of flavor to your cocktails.
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Buy a long-handled 9" muddler with a nylon tip. The longer handle is easier to work with when muddling in a cocktail shaker or a tall Collins glass and the nylon tip does a better job than a wooden muddler.  

A Cocktail Shaker

Cobbler cocktail shaker kit | Something New For Dinner
Cobbler cocktail shaker -- Image credit: Amazon
There are two types of cocktail shakers -- the traditional cobbler shaker and the Boston shaker. Boston cocktail shaker | Something New For Dinner
Boston Cocktail Shaker -- Image credit: Amazon
Professional bartenders often prefer a Boston shaker for their efficiency. Boston shakers are comprised of a bottom metal cup and a glass top cup. You fill the bottom cup with your drink ingredients then wedge the glass inside the metal cup to shake. You must take care to seal it properly and then tap the metal container to unseal the two. It takes a little getting used to, but if you need to make a lot of drinks fast, it is the way to go.
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For my smaller, older and somewhat arthritic hands, a cobbler shaker makes more sense as is easier for me to handle.  

Cocktail Strainer

Cocktail strainers | Something New For Dinner
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While traditional cocktail shakers incorporate a small strainer at the top, these built-in strainers are only practical if you are shaking just ice and liquids. If you have muddled anything in the shaker, the top strainer is just too small to efficiently drain the shaker as the muddled pieces tend to block the opening.
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A cocktail strainer allows you to quickly strain your cocktail into your serving glass so the cocktail can be served icy cold and undiluted.
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This cocktail straining kit provides three types of cocktail strainers -- Hawthorne, Julep and fine mesh. All three can be very handy as you explore the fun and fine art of craft cocktails.
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Whether you buy these tools for yourself or gift them to a friend or loved one, they will go a long way towards enhancing your cocktail making experience. Cheers!
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