Bar utensils & equipment
For a cocktail bar you mainly need a good collection of spirits, liqueurs, syrups, glasses fresh fruits, decorations and a great barman. In the end to prepare drinks only few utensils and equipment are required.
The cocktail shaker is the most important utensil to prepare mixed drinks. All ingredients are mixed to a homogeneous liquid and at the same time cooled down with the containing ice cubes. The result is a liquid which is frothy and full of bubbles, that's how a fresh cocktails is distinguished.
There are different types of shakers, the three-part stainless steel shaker with integrated strainer, the two-part Boston shaker consisting of a mix-glass and a shaking cup, the two-part french shaker made of stainless steal and the speed-shaker which you put straight over the final serving glass.
Apart of functional factors, style is almost as important when selecting a cocktail shaker. Guests like watching bartenders when they prepare drinks.
Three-part stainless steel shaker
A three-part stainless steel shaker
The three-part stainless steal shaker is easy to use and therefore the best choice for your bar at home. It consists of two cup parts, one of them with a integrated strainer and a sealing cap which you can also use as a measuring cup.
The handling is easy and mixtures become more frothy then with other shakers because of the integrated strainer. Best choice for your bar at home.
A Boston shaker
The Boston shaker consists of a mix-glass and a stainless steal shaking cup. Compared to a three-part shaker, handling is a bit more difficult, but at the end when you get the hang of it, mixing is faster and the parts are easier to clean.
Put the metal-cup over the bar glass and close it with a gentle hit on top. Keep it in a straight position while shaking with the glass facing downside. Put the strainer on top of the mixing glass to pour the drink into the serving glass. Especially handling the strainer makes troubles at the beginning for unexperienced barmens. With some practise it turns out to be a good choice for professional bartenders.
Boston shakers are very famous in the USA, but all around the globe people do a good job with it.
The french shaker consists of two metal parts. High quality products are double-hulled, to keep you hands warm and the cocktail cold. French shakers are therefor a bit more friendly to use, but there are no functional differences to a Boston shaker.
Speed shakers you put straight over the serving glass. There is no possibility to strain off remaining ice cubes. You can use them to prepare cocktails without ice or fruit cocktails faster without straining off wasted ice cubes.
Measuring cup or pourer
Measuring cup and pourer
Accurate measuring of the ingredients is important for preparing cocktails. Therefor barkeepers use measuring cups or bottle pourers.
Measuring cups with a capacity of 4-6 cl are integrated into three-part shaker or available as a separate tool. A shot-glass is a good alternative if you don't have a measuring cup available.
Professional bars work with bottle pourers with an exact flow rate of 1 cl per second. Count in your head the seconds 21, 22, 23,.. to quantify the amount. Train with water and a measuring cup until it works like a charm.
Crushed ice has a bigger surface and less air gaps then ice cubes. These properties are preferred for may cocktails.
Hand held machines are best choice for your bar at home. They are cheap and the quality of the crushed ice is good, but turning the crank is labourious and time-consuming.
Devices with an electric motor are best choice for small bars. They are fast and the quality of the crushed ice is good. The noisy operation is the biggest disadvantage.
Professional bars do always have a stock of crushed ice ready to use. At best you can buy it ready-made or prepare it with an electric device in advance.
Crashing ice in a kitchen towel is complicated and the quality of the resulting ice is poor. The size of the ice chunks varies between rocks and snow. Do only make it that way when there are no alternatives.
A blender is used for frozen cocktails and smoothies.
The jar has a capacity of about 1.5 litre, so about 10 cocktails can be prepared at the same time. That's why blended cocktails are suitable for events with many people.
There are huge price differences. The design, used materials, endurance and a digital or analogue control are price-determining factors. For cocktails lot of times sour ingredients are mixed, over time acid can have an impact on the cutter assembly of cheap products.
Further kitchen utensils
A cutting knife, a chopping board, a spoon, a peeler, a mortar and a juice squeezer
Bar equipment includes further common kitchen utensils, like a cutting knife, a chopping board, a spoon, a peeler, a pestle and a juice squeezer