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Discover the 10 bartender tools tools we can’t live without in our new lives as lazy mixologists. They’re all easy to find and none are expensive.
We started 2020 with one bottle of liquor and barely any barware. We ended the year with a bar filled with more than 20 bottles of liquor and glasses in all shapes and sizes.
Now that it’s 2021, we go shopping for silver olive picks and different types of vermouth for fun. Who are we???
People don’t really change and that’s the case with us. We love things that taste good whether we’re dining at a 2-star Michelin restaurant or cooking in our kitchen. Now we apply this same concept to crafting cocktails.
Lazy mixologists at heart and in real life, we like to craft classic drinks that are easy to make with just a handful of ingredients and basic bar tools. While we have all sorts of mixers and blenders in storage back in Philadelphia, we’ve chosen to keep things simple in our current Lisbon apartment.
So, while we’ve purposely avoided purchasing any fancy tools or equipment, we’ve become addicted to buying basic tools to craft cocktails at home. This evolution has been a guilty pleasure during a year filled with lockdowns and trip cancellations.
Necessary Bartender Tools
Crafting classic cocktails at home is easy to do with basic bartender tools. You don’t need expensive gadgets and you probably already have many of the necessary bar tools in your kitchen.
We recommend buying the specific bartender tools that you need and supplementing as you go. This approach will allow you to spend your money on important things like top shelf liquor and pretty glasses instead.
While it’s not the sexiest aspect of crafting a drink, properly measuring liquor is an integral aspect of mixology. This two-sided stainless steel jigger is a great tool for any lazy mixologist looking to follow a cocktail recipe. Your drinks will taste better when and if you use a proper jigger.
This two-piece Boston shaker is ideal for both shaking and stirring drinks. Thanks to its durable construction, it doesn’t drip or make a mess.
3. Bar Spoon
A long bar spoon is a must for any lazy mixologist who wants to stir cocktails with panache. This ‘Japanese style’ bar spoon, with its twisty stem and blunt end for simple muddling, is just a little bit better than the average bar spoon.
Straining cocktails is often the last step in a recipe. In other words, it’s the step that separates you from your first sip.
Even though most shakers have built-in strainers, using a stand-alone strainer provides a cleaner pour. Since lazy mixologists don’t like cleaning messes, this is a good tool to have in the arsenal.
6. Hand Juicer
You don’t need a fancy juicer to make cocktails at home. In fact, we prefer using a simple hand juicer to squeeze lemon and lime juice when we craft a Bee’s Knees or Gimlet in our kitchen.
Disclosure: We might feel otherwise if we were crafting dozens of drinks each night. Until that happens, anything fancier would just mean spending money that could be better spent on cocktail ingredients.
A good peeler is invaluable for creating cocktail garnishes. You probably have one in your kitchen utility drawer. If not, get one now.
8. Paring Knife
A decent paring knife comes in handy for making precise peels and cuts. We use one all the time to make orange twists, lemon twists and lime twists. If you don’t have one, you need one. You can also use it to perform non-cocktail kitchen tasks.
A waiters corkscrew comes in handy when we’re so lazy that we’d rather open a bottle of wine than craft a cocktail. The same applies when a wine club delivery arrives or when we’re in the mood to drink wine with our pasta.
We recommend keeping a few corkscrews on hand in case you misplace one. It’s not just lazy, it’s smart.
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.