5 Home Bar Essentials
You don’t always need to go out to bars to enjoy a great cocktail; they can be easily made in the convenience of your own home. A home bar gives you the freedom to play around with different ingredients and enjoy delicious cocktails whenever you want. In your home bar, there are five essential bar tools that you simply must have.
5 Home Bar Essentials
There is a host of premium barware used in a typical bar, but for a home bar, there are five essential tools you need.
For a home bar and for any bar, the most important bar tool is a cocktail shaker. These shakers are used to combine spirits, mixers, and ice to blend flavors and chill the drink. Many different shakers are available on the markets, but the two options you are most likely to find are the Cobbler and Boston styles. For home use, the Cobbler style shaker is the recommended option because they’re easier to use. They consist of a lid with a strainer, a cap to cover the strainer, and a tumbler.
Still, the Boston style is another option. They are made up of a large cup and a small cup, which fit together. This style of shaker requires a little more finesse as well as a separate strainer.
Measuring the correct portions for ingredients is important in creating a balanced drink, which is why a jigger is a home bar essential. It is essentially a small measuring cup for portioning liquid ingredients. It ensures accuracy and consistency across drinks, and the measurement markings are clearly labeled. Most cocktail drinks require quantities in ounces, which makes a jigger more practical and precise.
While owning a shaker is important, not all cocktails need to be shaken. Those that are made entirely of alcohol or that contain light mixers need to be stirred in a mixing glass instead so they are not cloudy or foamy. The best mixing glass to use is going to be one that has a heavy base, a pour spout, and straight sides, and it needs to be large enough to hold the drink and ice.
For any home bar, a strainer is absolutely necessary. While some types of shakers have a strainer included within, this is not the case for all shakers. A home bar needs a strainer to keep herbs and ice out of drinks. There are two common types of strainers, the Hawthorne and the Julep strainers. Out of the two options, the Hawthorne strainer is the most recommended because it sits comfortably over a shaker or mixing glass. Julep strainers have a more elegant look to them, but they are wide spoons with short handles and require more precision to use. Unless you want just a classier tool, the Hawthorne strainer is the better choice.
For barware, a muddler is an incredibly useful tool. It is used to mash ingredients that go into drinks, such as fruit, herbs, and sugar cubes; these ingredients are commonly used in different cocktails to add taste. Muddlers are available in a variety of different materials, but the recommended muddler is a wood one that is free of paints, lacquer, and varnish, as these finishings could chip into a drink.
Though they are available in a variety of different lengths, the ideal size is 11 to 12 inches. Not only does the size ensure the muddler can reach the bottom of a glass, but it can also reach the bottom of a shaker.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but these are the main barware you need in a home bar. Other tools you can include within your home bar or bar spoons, citrus presses, and different sizes of glasses.