Outfitting Your Home Bar

Outfitting Your Home Bar

Tools to help you mix drinks like a pro

By Kate Ramos

Paring Knife
Paring Knife
Champagne Stopper
Champagne Stopper
Wooden Muddler
Wooden Muddler
If you are starting from scratch with a home bar, here is a rundown of basic equipment that will allow you to concoct just about any drink, while avoiding the high-tech gadgets and high-priced bar sets that give you only a few of the things you actually need and a bunch of other stuff you don’t.

1. Cocktail Shaker. The all-in-one cocktail shaker with a built-in strainer is easy to use and results in less drippage.

2. Measuring Shot Glass. A clear shot glass with the measurements listed on the side will make your pours more accurate, plus in emergencies you can drink straight from it.

3. Paring Knife. Something cheap to cut limes and lemons.

4. Small Cutting Board. We suggest you have one cutting board that’s exclusively for bar use, but we won’t say anything if you pull out your kitchen cutting board for the task.

5. Citrus Squeezer. Liven up your cocktails with fresh-squeezed juice. You can get squeezers sized for lemons, limes, or oranges, but an orange one will work with any size fruit.

6. Wooden Muddler. A simple wood one will work fine when you are crankin’ out all those Brambles this summer.

7. Double-Hinged Corkscrew. It will last longer and work better than a cheap plastic version.

8. Champagne Stopper. Your bubbly needs to stay bubbly: A good, tight-sealing champagne stopper will save your bottles for at least a day or two.

9. Citrus Channel Knife. Not really a knife at all but a garnishing tool that has a deep groove to cut away at the skin of citrus fruit and give drinks such as a Lillet Cocktail a beautiful little twist of lemon or lime.

10. Bar Spoon. For drinks stirred, not shaken, you need a long, thin spoon. And you can use the back of it to make fancy-looking layered drinks.

CHOW’s The Ten column appears every Tuesday.

Kate Ramos is the associate food editor at CHOW.