As a kid my parents had awesome cocktail parties. The biggest one was on New Year’s Eve and my parent’s house was the place to be. They probably had 50-100 couples stop by during the course of the night and they bribed me to stay in my room with good food, a television, rented Nintendo games, and plates of 1950’s style cocktail hors d’oeuvres. I remember sneaking out into the dining room and sitting under the tablecloth, hidden out of site, listening to all the grown-ups talking about their fucked up kids, or the latest work gossip. I would also steal a few beers out of the cooler to save for a rainy day…I was 11, hahaha. Anyways, I promised myself I would do the same when I “grew up” and I hope you do as well.How do you know you are grown up? Well, I don’t have a keg in my crib, and I don’t charge people by the cup for beer. I have a bar set up with all the right liquors and mixers so people can concoct whatever they please. Now it’s my job to help you set up your own cocktail bar. In this installment we will discuss the tools of the trade.
First up we have the cocktail shaker. This is a great way to look like you know what the hell you are doing. ***If you are a dude and you are shaking drinks be aware of the fact that your dong may or may not be shaking as well.*** This is great with a possible female –awkward if you are mixing drinks for grandma. The shaker seems like a simple device because it is. Put 5-6 ice cubes per drink in the shaker (if making more than one drink at once use less ice). Don’t overfill the shaker, the point is to be able to really mix stuff up. Most drinks only need to be shaken for about 10 seconds but if you have cocktails with eggs or lots of ingredients keep going. One of the most annoying things about metal cocktail shakers is it is always hard to get the lid off after shaking them up. Sometimes you just need to bang it on the seal on the side of your bar, but to be honest this is one perk of having a plastic shaker even though they aren’t as authentic.
Next up is the bar spoon! Are you tired of dipping your fingers in your guests’ drinks? Well, maybe you don’t think we notice but we do — especially with your Cheeto fingers clouding up my martini. The bar spoon is long and skinny so it can reach the bottom of your glass and navigate through the possible maze of ice or suspended fruit. This spoon is extra-dope because it has a fork on the end. This way you can stab a cherry or olive in the jar and flick it into your drink like Donatello did with pizza in Ninja Turtles.
Everyone has seen one of these but few people know what the hell it is. This is the Hawthorne Strainer. This tool is great for drinks that are shaken with ice but then served neat (without ice or over new ice.) It’s made to be used with one hand and this guy will explain it better than me.