If you fancy turning your hand to the fun and glamorous art of cocktail mixing, you will need to get together some essential tools of the trade. Once you know your way around your juicers, mixers, and strainers, there will be no limits on your creativity. Simply learn to mix your own favourite beverage, or experiment to your heart’s content!
The cocktail shaker is the main tool of the trade, and it is usually a tall metal cylinder shape with a cap. It’s used for mixing, diluting, and chilling cocktails. Stainless steel shakers are considered the best, because they don’t harbour strong aromas like plastic does, and they are better at maintaining temperatures, and easy to clean.
A bartender will usually add ice to the shaker before pouring in the liquid. They will then secure the cap, and place one hand firmly on each end of the shaker. The shaking needs to be done like you really mean it! The purpose is to thoroughly unify those flavours, get some air bubbles into the liquid for a lighter feel, and chill and dilute the drink properly.
Hold it horizontally over your shoulder, and shake for about 10 seconds. If it helps you get a groove on, put on some upbeat music and shake to the rhythm. Celebrate that drink!
The strainer is sometimes built into the top of the shaker. It allows you to filter out any unwanted solids in the cocktail, such as ice, pieces of fruit peel, or herbs.
This is sometimes also called a citrus press, and most professional bartenders will insist on using freshly pressed fruit in their cocktails for that perfect flavour. Even the best quality processed juices just don’t have the rich fruitiness of a freshly squeezed liquid, so don’t be tempted to skip this step.
This is a long handling spoon for stirring drinks in tall glasses. It also allows you to stir while adding one liquid to another, take measurements, taste your work, and separate ice; in fact, it has many uses and no respectable bartender should be without one!
You want to present your finished work in a beautiful stylish cocktail glass. The type of glass you need generally depends on whether the cocktail is served long, tall, or with ice.
For example, a Collins glass is a tall narrow tumbler used for serving the Tom Collins or a gin & tonic. Rock glasses are shorter tumblers for serving cocktails with ice cubes, or ‘rocks’.
The classic martini glass with its iconic funnel shape and long stem are designed to control the temperature of the cocktail, and it also enhances the aromas of the drink with its wide surface area.
This is usually a wooden handheld tool, which allows you to crush ingredients such as herbs to bring out the fulness of flavour by releasing the essential oils. They can be used to pulp pieces of fruit as well.
If you are interested in finding out more about mobile cocktail making classes, please get in touch today.