I use these tools every single day. They make the entire process of making drinks easy and quick. The products you see here all came from a Sur la Table which is right near my house, but you can find these pieces at stores like Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and restaurant supply stores. Fine Mesh Strainer This is one tool that I absolutely cannot live without and haven't yet found a way to improvise. Perhaps a cheese cloth would work if I was desperate. I depend on this tool to strain ingredients that I've muddled and love the little piece on the end that keeps it balanced on a shaker or measuring pitcher. This way I can focus on other parts of a drink or a meal while the wonderful juices are slowly dripping.
Plastic Liquid Containers Sundays we spend a large portion of the day cooking. It begins with a huge breakfast and ends with a giant Italian dinner. But in between, I'm prepping for a week of making cocktails by making fresh batches of simple syrups. I usually have four going on the stove at a time, and aim to have 8-10 simple syrups on hand for the week. Once they've been stained and cooled, I funnel them into these containers and label them using blue painter's tape. The bottles are easy to clean and conveniently fit in the door of my refrigerator.
Cherry Pitter We shared the giant cherry pitter with you last week; here's the smaller version. This little machine de-pits six cherries at a time which is really all you need for an individual cocktail. If you're making drinks for company, you'll find that this gadget is remarkably fast. Need ideas for drinks with cherries? Subscribe to our blog because we've got a multiple of amazing cherry based cocktails for you this summer!
Stainless Steel Muddler It's not the size or the shape of the muddler that matters -it's the teeth. Choose a muddler with well-defined "spikes," if you will, to properly puncture that mint, lemon rind, or lavender. There are mixologists that believe you should be gentle with your muddling so as not to "over-release" the ingredient. I don't buy into this theory and instead leave it up to you to decide how much elbow grease you want to use.
Citrus Zester The flavor of the rind is different from the juice of a citrus fruit. I love adding a small amount of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit peel to a cocktail recipe, or as part of the garnish in the final presentation. And as you know, there are dozens of citrus fruits out there, waiting to be used in your next creative libation. I have the most luck finding less common varieties of citrus at farmers markets and stores like Whole Foods. But this organic fruits won't keep longer than a week. Plan your cocktail recipe now.
Mini Spatulas Once you've cooked a batch of simple syrup or muddled yourself a new arm muscle, your ingredients become liquid gold. I depend on these little guys to get every last drop from the pan, shaker, or 1-ounce cup. I also like them for scraping egg whites out of shakers for flips. They are definitely worth the purchase - you'll find that you'll use them for many reasons in the kitchen this summer. That is, assuming you're making something other than cocktails!
This is sure to be a busy summer of entertaining with fabulous cocktail recipes and delicious food. As we find more great mixology tools for your home bar, you'll always be the first to know.