Summertime means it’s time for serious entertaining and nothing quenches your guests’ thirst better than a homemade summer cocktail. If you are planning to do a lot of backyard entertaining this summer, like maybe a fab retro garden party, you want to look like you know what you are doing. Pick up these must-have tools for the savvy backyard bartender:
- Garnish Gadgets: You don’t want to be serving up any old cocktails at your summertime gatherings. You want to be handing out drinks that will make people “ooh” and “ah.” That means you need some serious garnish. Don’t be garish with your garnish. Instead look for clever ways to provide garnishes that people will actually enjoy. Get creative considering your ingredients and flavour profile of your cocktails to come up with special touches that will not only taste good but look good too. In order to prep your fresh fruit and other accoutrements be prepared with a bar cutting board designed for chopping fruit. Don’t forget to keep a sharp garnish knife nearby as well.
- Cocktail Shaker: No self respecting host can be without a cocktail shaker. Shakers not only get all the flavours mixed up nicely, they also cool the drinks as well. And let’s not forget they will create a little bit of excitement and anticipation for thirsty guests. Look for a shaker that comes with a strainer as they are easier to use for drinks that are served sans the ice. It will be one less tool to have at the bar. They are also a must for martini lovers who, like Mr. Bond, like their martini shaken not stirred.
- Muddler: With the introduction of the mojito there is no way around having a summer ready bar without a muddler. Muddlers help you infuse the flavours of fresh ingredient such as mint leaves, but are also great for crushing fresh berries to make your drinks prettier and more refreshing. They are also excellent to coax the oils out of fresh citrus peels that you can then rub around the rim of the glass for extra essence.
- Pitcher: A pitcher will allow you to serve to a table of guests without worrying about collecting the glasses every time someone finishes their drink. When serving cool drinks from a pitcher you can make ice cubes with fresh raspberries that will look pretty in the pitcher. You can also consider buying ice cubes that can be reused. The good thing about these cubes is they come in colourful designs and also don’t water down the drinks as they melt. Make sure you buy a brand that is non-toxic.
- Stirrer: Swizzle sticks are fun, but you also need either a long handled bar spoon or stirrer. These are a must when mixing tall pitchers of drinks such as sangria.
- Two-Sided Jigger: A two-sided jigger is excellent as it offers you two sizes to get your ratios right when practicing your mixology skills.
- Martini Mixer: Martinis are still trendy and coming up with your own concoctions is part of the fun. A tall glass martini mixer is the perfect way to add a Madmen vibe to your parties.
- Ice Bucket and Tongs: Last but not least, keep things cool with an insulated ice bucket complete with tongs.
If you want to take the easy route, purchase a bar set that will provide you with everything you need to keep the drinks flowing. You will want a set that includes a strainer, muddler, bottle opener, and a two sided jigger for measuring.
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