Summertime is fast approaching which means cold drinks are a must-have, whether it's an everyday non-alcoholic sipper or a specialty cocktail. Everyday bar tools make mixology a snap so that a fancy drink for yourself or your guests is only ever a few shakes or stirs away.
Creative mocktail mixology
Cutting back or abstaining from alcohol doesn't mean you need to stop having fun with summertime beverages. In fact, mocktails are quickly finding their own place on restaurant menus and are great ways to utilize your barware as well as your creativity. Since alcohol won't be a cost factor for these drinks, make sure to source out extra high-quality ingredients so that their flavour really shines through in the finished product.
Small-batch sodas and juices can now be easily found in grocery stores in a nearly endless variety of flavour combinations and can easily be diluted with sparkling water or club soda without any deprivation of taste.
Make sure to take advantage of summer fruit both as a garnish and as an ingredient that can be muddled or blended into drinks. Traditional cocktail add-ins and extras all work beautifully and can take your drink from ordinary to super memorable; make your non-alcoholic version a total stand out by adding plenty of fresh herbs, citrus, and cucumber slices or even edible flowers such as nasturtiums and violets. Not only do these refreshing drinks belong on the patio they can be transported to picnics, the beach, poolside, and even the office so plan on making something special for yourself regardless of the occasion.
6 Must have bar tools
A quintessential tool for creating cocktails at home, cobbler shakers are generally made of stainless steel or glass with a rubber top. Stainless steel shakers ensure the coldest of beverages, but glass shakers have the advantage of coming apart quickly for cleanup.
Jigger or shot glass
A stainless steel jigger is a double-sided tool that typically holds a single shot as well as a half-ounce pour. A jigger allows the bartender to measure and pour ingredients quickly but can lend itself to spills if flipped over too fast. A simple shot glass or even a measuring cup works just as well, especially if you're making drinks for a crowd.
A long-handled metal bar spoon is a must for stirring cocktails that are too delicate to be shaken, the metal ensures that the drink will stay icy cold as it's being mixed.
Bar strainers are incredibly useful for creating cocktails that are extremely cold without the risk of being diluted by ice. Don't have a bar strainer? A thin mesh fine-sieve works well in a pinch and can make quick work of large-batch drinks.
A small sharp paring knife is an indispensable tool for the home bartender; use it to create strips of citrus zest, prepare fruit, and trim fresh herbs.
A heavy-ended muddler is useful for adding flavour to drinks without actually blending it with any liquid. Fresh herbs, fruit, citrus zest, and even freshly cracked pepper all benefit from a good muddle before being strained into a glass.
While not necessary for a great drink, nonessential accessories such as carbonators, citrus juicers and zesters, shrubs, bitters, and copper mugs for Moscow Mules are all handy to have around when further experimenting with drink making.
Creative cocktails to get started
Try these hot summer sippers to kick off cocktail season with a bang, feel free to improvise with your liquor of choice and remember to have fun playing bartender.