Tools of the Trade

Essential Equipment

There are certain pieces of kit that are absolute must haves for cocktail making. These are they! Well for the most part anyway! Most are essentials, some are if you want to be a bit more showy, and the rest are for downright masters looking to hone their skills and really show that they know their stuff!

Ice Ball Mould

Can be used either as a solid ball of ice for any spirit you want to drink on the rocks, or partly frozen to make injected cocktails.

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Syringe

For all you Molecular Mixologists out there, syringes can be used to inject fruit to be used as garnishes or as a deconstructed cocktail. They also come in handy with an Ice ball Mould where you can syringe the water out of the middle and inject it with a cocktail.

Squeezy Bottle

Super useful

  1. As a quick dispense system for any sort of juice
  2. The perfect size and control  for doing spherification (caviar pearls)

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Mexican Elbow

Taking all the fuss and muss out of juicing this is definitely one of my recommended buys! You simply cut a lemon or lime in half and place it “cut side down” facing the holes in the bottom half. Then you just squeeze the 2 ends together over a receptacle (measure or squeezy bottle if you’re squeezing a lot for quick use later in the day) and you have instant juice in seconds! They come in 3 main sizes – one green for Limes, one slightly bigger yellow one for Lemons and a large orange one for (you guessed it) Oranges.

Measures / Jiggers

25ml and 50ml are MUST HAVES! The ones we use have a rather handy 12.5ml measure built into the bottom so are doubly useful! Your personal taste and style will dictate which version of measures you prefer, whether it’s the classic bar style ones we have here, or the “2-in1” double ended hourglass version.

Mixing Glass

The fancy way to stir a drink! Not an essential piece of kit (you can just as easily use the glass part of the boston shaker) but if you find a nice one it’s an impressive piece of glassware to bust out and impress your Manhattan drinking friends!

Bar Spoon

Used for stirring drinks, a measurement and for layering drinks or shots.

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Julep Strainer

Used to pour stirred drinks from the glass part of a boston shaker or a mixing glass.

Hawthorn Strainer

An essential. The Hawthorne strainer is placed in the top of the steel (never the glass) part of the shaker and the shaken drink is poured through into the serving glass. The vast majority of the time I also use a fine strainer at the same time, just to avoid the tiny pieces of ice that the Hawthorn doesn’t always catch.

Fine Strainer

Used in conjunction with a Hawthorne or Julep Strainer, the Fine Strainer just makes sure that you don’t get any tiny shards of ice or pieces of fruit that the Hawthorn doesn’t catch in your drink.

Boston Shaker

My Personal preference. Probably because it was what I was trained with and I’ve never really strayed away from it! Made up of the Stainless steel tin and the thick-bottomed glass, you always build the cocktail in the glass part, fill with ice then cap with the steel end and shake. The glass is more reinforced than a normal drinking glass so don’t be shy about giving the steel top a healthy whack when you put them together. When correctly fitted there should be a flat edge on one side where the glass and steel ends meet and the other side will look more “wedged in”. This is fine and completely normal, but do make sure that it is sealed otherwise you will know all about it when you start to shake… Always shake with the glass pointing behind you and the steel end pointing “out”, then to separate the two simply hold the shaker glass up with the flat edge furthest away from you. With the heel of your hand give the steel a good whack at the point about a centimetre away from the flat edge – where the glass is closest to the steel without actually being flat to it. (Don’t worry I’ll post pictures! It’s not nearly as complicated as it looks!)

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Muddler

Who doesn’t love a bit of anger management? The Muddler is possibly the most satisfying tool in the kit! Watching fruit reduced to pulp in a matter of seconds with a few rewarding pushes never fails to make me happy! Muddlers come in a variety of shapes and sizes – Wood, Plastic, Stainless Steel etc