Hello folks! As the year quickly approaches its end, it is a time of reflection, a time of resolutions, and most importantly a time to have a great party. If you’re hosting, you can choose the kind of party you want to throw. I have always preferred something classy, and an easy way to bring some class to your party is to have a standard bar kit at your disposal.
There are many positives to having a professional bar kit. First, a bar kit in your house creates an immediate conversation piece, it’s a great distraction for party guests with whom you don’t converse with very often.
Secondly, it just looks really cool. No more using the end of a wooden spoon to mix drinks in a lemonade pitcher. You know who you are!
Finally and most importantly, it helps control the amount of alcohol you are putting into mixed drinks. This can save time, money, and depending on how bad a bartender you are, lives. People often go a little crazy this time of year and it’s good to have somebody mixing the drinks with proper ingredients and quantities. Remember it’s a night for celebration, but also responsibility. So if you are looking for something to buy with that gift card grandma got you, think about investing in a bar kit. You can usually find them for a good price and here is what should be included:
Standard Bar Kit:
Image: Katom Restaurant Supply Inc.
1 – 28 ounce shaker
This is often referred to as the large shaker. When you go to bars, this is the size that most drinks are mixed in. Pretty much every major mixed drink can be created in this shaker. Just be sure to clean it out between drink creation – you don’t want to mix liquors that shouldn’t go together.
1 – 16 ounce shaker
This is a smaller version of the main shaker. This is actually used most often as the top for the larger shaker. You can try using a pint glass, but I will tell you right now that you are just going to make a mess. Use this little guy as your top while mixing and you shouldn’t have a problem. It fits in very snuggly and releases easily. So go on and shake it up!
1 – bar spoon
This is not a typical spoon. It is elongated, usually with a spiral handle. Bar spoons typically come with a plastic or wooden end on the back to help with stirring drinks both in the shakers and in your serving glasses. Most importantly, it keeps your fingers and your silverware out of the drinks!
Image: Bed Bath and Beyond
1 – jigger
This is your measuring tool. It is two sided and will help you make your drinks faster. Many recipes have their liquids measured by ounces and the jigger comes usually with a 1.5 ounce side and a .5 ounce side. It will keep your portions correct, so the drink tastes good and doesn’t put you into a stupor.
1 – corkscrew
Not everyone at your party may be into mixed drinks. Some may want a glass of wine. When the clock strikes midnight, the champagne bottles pop, but in between you need something to open up those corked wines. Don’t get yourself into the pickle where you have to use a good male shoe to open up a bottle of wine. And no, I will not teach you that trick; you can look that up on your own.
1 – prong strainer
Obviously, after you are done mixing drinks you need to pour the contents of your shaker into a glass. Depending on what you are mixing this can become a messy endeavor Many drinks are made with a fruit juice base which has pulp; other drinks have spices or full pieces of fruit. Make your life easy. Get the strainer. This way you don’t have to worry about mixing components falling into your glass.
1 – speed opener
Have you ever noticed when you want a beer you can never find a darn opener? Have a good one by your bar, for the folks that don’t enjoy mix drinks or wine. I am not going to explain how this works, because well, I shouldn’t have to. If you are old enough to drink you know what to do.
1 – muddler
This is also sometimes called the crusher. This wooden or stone piece is used to basically crush spice leaves, sugar, or fruit over ice. It helps to release juices and flavors so that when your drink is mixed you get all that you can out of it. Don’t use your fingers, that is just gross.
Folks have a great New Years Eve and I will see you in 2013!