Take your home bar to the next level
With a few new tools and spirits, you’ll be well on your way to crafting sophisticated cocktails
Thu, Oct 6, 2011 (midnight)
Where did you last sip on a fabulous cocktail? Chances are it was at a swanky bar, not in your living room. But craft cocktails don’t have to be a lounge luxury. Taking your home bar to the next level is easy with the purchase of a few choice items.
If you enjoy cocktails, you probably already own a Boston shaker (a metal tin and mixing glass) and the standard liquors (vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, tequila). With these suggestions from Downtown Cocktail Room’s Jeremy Merritt, it’s time to elevate the cocktail culture within the confines of your own home.
1. Jigger The term “mixology” implies an element of science, and science is nothing if not specific. Using a jigger ensures you get the correct measurement with every pour. Double jigger, $3.99, surlatable.com.
2. Citrus squeezer Why use store-bought juice when you can pair your spirit-of-choice with freshly squeezed lemon or lime? Citrus fruit squeezers, $10.99-$11.99, worldmarket.com.
3. Muddler You’ve probably noticed these handy tools come out when you order a poolside mojito, but there’s more to muddle than mint and lime. Stainless steel muddler, $5.99, surlatable.com.
4. Snifter Brandy should be sipped from snifters, which require you to cup the glass in your palm, warming the spirit. Merritt says this opens the aromatics and allows the subtle nuances of the product to come out. Villeroy & Boch Allegorie, $15.75, amazon.com.
5. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur This 40-proof artisanal liqueur is made from elderflowers picked in the French Alps and mixes well in a number of libations. $31.99, Total Wine.
6. Hawthorne strainer Certain cocktails require certain strainers. Merritt also recommends purchasing a julep strainer to cover all cocktails, shaken or stirred. AG Hawthorne Strainer, $11.95, cocktailkingdom.com.
7. Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette A product of Austria, this liqueur is made from two types of violets found in the Alps. It also complements several spirits. $26.99, Lee’s Discount Liquor (not currently in stock, available by special order).