When it comes to making drinks at home, I am a fierce advocate for the basics. There's no drink you can't shake, muddle, stir, or infuse better with a golden goblet than with a stainless steel cup. There are times to splurge — I'm a big fan of opting for the fancy coupes — and there are times to keep it simple, such as with shakers and rocks glasses. While barware is as personal as a martini, these are my favorites, the ones I have in my cabinet, waiting for happy hour at my house.
If you're someone who isn't worried about glassware, you can easily opt for pieces that can be used interchangeably, such as coupe glasses and martini glasses or Collins glasses and highball glasses. Anything can be a shaker, anything can be a cocktail glass, but these are the tools that will elevate your drink to a capital-C Cocktail.
With this cocktail set, you'll have just about everything you need to make most cocktails. Old-fashioned? Yes. A classic margarita? Absolutely. Although a bit on the steep side, this set ensures your bar staples will match, and they're just as gorgeous to look at as they are to use.
The beauty of a cobbler shaker is there's a strainer already built in. When you need to double strain, you don't need to juggle two different strainers along with your shaker; now, you only need to use your shaker plus a strainer. It's the dream for when you want to have minimal tools on hand but still want the full cocktail experience.
Whenever you need to double-strain a cocktail, a mesh cocktail strainer will help you catch all the little bits of herb you may have muddled, any small chunks of ice that will otherwise destroy your pristine martini — this fine mesh strainer will catch all of fine particles to deliver a picture perfect cocktail.
In a pinch, you can use a wooden spoon handle for muddling, but when you want the full experience, it helps to have one of these on your bar cart instead. From mint leaves to fresh fruits to spicy peppers, this stainless steel muddler can mash up anything.
While a mortar and pestle can be great, you don't want to crack the glass you're using to muddle, and wooden muddlers can be a bit tricky to get totally clean. The solution? Stainless steel, baby.
If a garnish calls for a cucumber ribbon, an orange peel, a lemon twist, you'll use a Y-Peeler to get the job done. If you want an even thinner ribbon shape, you can add a channel peeler to your collection, too.
Infusing spirits and storing infused spirits can involve a lot of juggling — literally. With a bottle with a screw off top (all the easier to drop in sprigs and other infusion ingredients), it also makes it easier to thoroughly wash out your infusion bottles between experiments. A clean bottle is a happy bottle. And a happy bottle makes for a delicious cocktail.
While it may be called a whiskey glass, I use these whenever I need a rocks glass, old-fashioned, or want to enjoy a martini-style cocktail without the martini glass risk. They're the perfect weight, and they hold up in the dishwasher — my only regret is not buying them sooner. I love them for my Negronis as much as I love them for my flazored fizzy club sodas.
Yes, I do have a thing for etched glassware, but let me explain! This style of glassware with the deep grooves tends to be a little thicker, a little sturdier, and if you skip the fruit or herb garnish, the beauty of the glass allows your beverage to be stylish all on its own. A Tom Collins, a mojito, a simple whiskey with ginger ale, these glasses suit every drink with ease.
Just as trends change with clothing, hair styles, and home decor, the cocktail world experiences things that go in and out of style, too. The martini glass is slowly falling into the shadow of the coupe, and these coupe glasses are the little black dress of the cocktail world. And yes, I have enjoyed nonalcoholic beverages out of these just because I wanted to fancy up my afternoon on the deck.
Different cocktails and mocktails need different types of ice cubes. Sure, your Negroni will be tasty with crushed ice, but you'll enjoy it so much more if you use a king cube instead. Your mojito will be just as tasty with regular ice, but you'll want to use cracked or crushed ice so you can keep it nice and cold. You don't need to worry about crushing ice yourself if you keep some tiny ice cubes on hand.
Avoid my mistake: actually keep up with making ice. There is no ice fairy.
You can use toothpicks or wooden cocktail picks for your cocktail garnish, no problem. But these metal picks are easy to wash, and you can stack plenty of colorful and fresh garnishes to take the look of your cocktail to the next level. Perfect for piercing your blue cheese olives and floating above your martini or garnishing your old-fashioned so you aren't fishing for that boozy cocktail cherry after the last sip.
I truly don't know how what I did before owning The Flavor Bible. I love the creativity it affords me when I'm playing around with other things I can add to my gin and tonic. See what type of new bourbon cocktail you can whip up or ways you can flip your margarita on its head. If you only ever buy one more book for cocktails or even cooking, make sure it's this one.