Essential Equipment for Making Cocktails

Blender – ideal for blending fruit and frozen cocktails, such as Daiquiris and Margaritas.

Soda siphon – uses containerised water coupled with a carbon dioxide gas canister to create fresh, sparkling water.

Cocktail shaker – also known as a cobbler shaker or a three piece shaker, it contains a metal tumbler, a strainer and a lid. Some you will find with the strainer attached to the lid. This type of shaker is useful as you have the strainer with it instead of having to buy one separately.

Boston shaker – contains a mixing glass and a larger, flat bottomed metal cone. The cone is then placed over the glass to shake the cocktail. The Boston has two purposes so is a good buy, it can be used as a shaker or the glass alone can be used for stirring drinks or muddling.

Mixing glass – funnily enough used for mixing cocktails, can also be used for muddling.

Strainer – when transferring the cocktail to the prepared glass, the strainer separates ice or unwanted fruit, etc, from the liquid.

Measures – these can be found in an array of sizes; 25ml (single measure), 50ml (double measure) and 175ml (small glass of wine), 250ml (large glass of wine). You can also find a measuring tool with a single measure one end and a double measure the other.

Ice bucket – it is important to keep ice clean and cold to avoid rapid melting. Most ice buckets are metal but you can find acrylic ones. It is useful to have a removable container that the ice sits in, as the excess water can be drained into the lower compartment easily.

Bottle coolers – these not only can be used for wine, others have found them useful for spirits that are needed to be kept cool.

Ice tongs and ice scoop – the ice tongs are used to serve and add ice cubes or cracked ice, whist the scoop is useful for crushed ice.

Corkscrew and bottle opener – very handy to keep on you at all times when preparing and serving drinks.

Sifter – used for sprinkling sugar and spice and all things nice!

Salt saucer – check that the saucer is larger than the top circumference of the glass that needs to be salted (normally a cocktail glass). The glass can then be turned upside down into the salt filled saucer.

Grater – this may be needed to grate nutmeg for example over the top of a cocktail. On a standard grater, the finest side can be used.

Cocktail sticks – used for decoration purposes for holding fruits, such as pineapple, lemon, lime, olives, cherries, etc.

Straws – can be used for a variety of reasons; as decoration, to stir a drink or purely to drink out of.

Swizzle sticks – used as a stirring instrument they can come in an array of unusual and attractive designs that look great in decorating your cocktails.

Cocktail parasols – these are typical of holiday cocktails in the sun, a pretty cocktail sized umbrella resting on your glass. You can also find cocktail animals; they are small plastic animals whereby their tails hang over your glass. Be careful though, although these decorations can be fun and add colour to your drinks too many can look tacky!

Tablespoon and teaspoons – ideal when measuring, when asked to add a dash of something you might want to add approximately a tablespoon.

Pourer – this can be placed onto the opening of a bottle, they help you pour your measures with ease, and they also help avoid spillages. Some pourers even stop when they have poured a standard 25ml measure, which can be useful and less messy.

Chopping board – needed for chopping fruits

Sharp knife – also needed when chopping fruits

Muddler – normally wooden or metal and used to mash ingredients at the bottom of the glass, for example you may be asked to muddle the mint in preparation to make a Mojito.

Cloths and towels – always remember to keep your work area tidy and clean, the last thing you want is sticky glasses and tools. Remember also to dry glasses with a clean towel, and before using wipe them again with a clean towel to remove any smears, etc.

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