For many of us, pandemic-related quarantine and lockdowns across the country brought out the home bartender we never thought we’d become. In 2021, we’re further developing our mixologist-related resume by upgrading our home bar with professional-grade bar tools—the not-so-fancy workhorses that are built to last forever. Here’s what we’ve got our eyes on.
The easiest, best way we improved our Margaritas, Daiquiris, Gimlets and more was by squeezing fresh juice for them. The simpler the cocktail, the more mind-blowing it will be when you improve even one of the ingredients. But, turns out, squeezing a bunch of lemons and limes is a bit of a pain, which is why we turned to the Lemon Lime Citrus Press Juicer. The durable enameled aluminum construction makes it a breeze to extract the juice and essential oils from citrus, freshening up all our favorite cocktails.
Another quick cocktail upgrade that will have you feeling like you’re drinking at a top bar is adding a bit of citrus zest as garnish. Meet the Professional Citrus Zester. The curved stainless steel blade and riveted polished stained acacia wood handle make it painless to zest oranges, lemons, and limes in no time. It truly could not be easier.
We love a good garnish, and even more, we love that bartender trick of quickly twisting a strip of citrus peel and dancing it over the rim of a cocktail to add a bit of fresh citrus aroma (by way of the essential oils in the peel) to our cocktail-drinking experience. You’ll need a good Professional Citrus Peeler and this is our favorite — it’s crafted from reliable stainless steel and is a no-frills, never-fail kitchen and bar tool that will serve you well.
If you’re a fan of shaken or muddled drinks, you’ll need a trusty strainer to keep away unwanted ice, herbs, and fruit in your finished drink. Upgrade your Caipirinhas, juleps, Mojitos, and more with this Professional Fine Mesh Strainer. It accommodates a full drink in a single pour and ensures none of that unwanted bits of pulp interferes with your drinking experience.
It sounds cool to say “Shaken, not stirred” if you’re a James Bond fan, but we’d like it on the record that we love a stirred drink, and so do you if you’re a fan of Negronis, Martinis, Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs, and more. For these, you’ll need a Professional Weighted Bar Spoon for smooth, consistent stirring. The 15.75-inch stem, twirled center, and triangular base make it a cinch to use, and a must for your home bar.
The bartender’s secret about muddling is that most beginners do it far too aggressively. The point of muddling is to release aromatics and flavor without bringing out any bitterness — when you grind away at those herbs and citrus peels, you’re releasing bitterness, not freshness! That’s why we love the Professional Beechwood Muddler, a lightweight hardwood with a sanded curve for easier maneuvering, flat mashing base for consistency and knotted strap for hanging between uses. Time to make the best old fashioned of your life!