I can see how watching a mixologist in action might be intimidating. There are the swift pours from the spirits bottle. The cool manipulation of the shaker. The garnishes that appear out of nowhere and land in your glass. All of it looks so … easy.
The thing is, there’s a bartender in all of us. I’ve had a lot of schooling, sure. But the tools that I use are no different then the ones you can buy and, eventually, master.
Because I often get asked to recommend my favorite bar gear, the drink enthusiasts at Kimpton decided to make them available for purchase on KimptonStyle.com, our shopping website. There, we’ve amassed everything from an elegantly coiled mixing spoon to OXO’s ergonomically shaped steel strainer. You’ll find all of my favorites in one place.
By all means, tiptoe into things; you don’t have to spend a lot of money all at once. Collect equipment as you find uses for specific tools. To start, you need a mixing glass, bar spoon, shaker, and jigger. A hand juicer is also important, as all juices should always be squeezed fresh (trust me, it’s an extra step worth taking).
With a bar spoon and mixing glass alone, you can make many of the classics such as the martini, Negroni, and Manhattan. Add the shaker and juicer to muster up a margarita, daiquiri, and Aviation (a mix of gin, maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice).
I can’t help but add a tip about choosing martini glasses: Look for smaller sizes between 5 oz and 7 oz. Believe it or not, in the case of this drink, bigger is not always better. It’s wiser to treat thirsty guests to a second or third drink that stays cold and can be enjoyed properly rather than pouring a whopper into an oversized martini glass in which the ingredients warm and lose their luster.
I hope you enjoy the online shop. I’d love to hear what you think about these bar tools after you’ve tried them.
~ Jacques Bezuidenhout, Lead Bartender