Mixing Cocktails at Home: All You Need for the Perfect Home Bar
Mixing Drinks at Home
Setting up a bar at home is surprisingly easy. Of course, you need some basic equipment, like a shaker and glasses, and some ingredients –but you are likely to have some of these already in your drinks cabinet or kitchen. All it takes beyond that is a little talent and some good recipes. We have quite a number of these in our cocktail database. Get shaking!
The Hardware – your Basic Home Bar Equipment
- Shaker: Available in different shapes and designs, a shaker is indispensable for preparing drinks where the ingredients need to be mixed well. This includes all mixtures with liqueurs and juices or cordials.
- Mixing glass: Liquids that can be mixed together easily are prepared in the mixing glass.
- Bar spoon: The long bar spoon is used for preparation in the mixing glass.
- Jigger: The measuring cup - also known as a bar measure - is used to measure the ingredients precisely.
- Muddler: the bar pestle is used to crush ingredients, for example the limes in a Caipirinha on the mint in a Mojito.
- Strainer: the bar strainer ensures that ice and other ingredients that should not get into the glass are held back.
- Citrus press: indispensable for freshly squeezed juices, there are many different designs.
- Bar knife: a sharp paring knife is needed for cutting fruit and garnishes.
- Peeler: Many drinks are prepared or decorated with zests.
- Ice cube mould: Ice is indispensable for many drinks. There are countless ice cube moulds but we like the silicone moulds that make ice spheres.
- Glasses: a properly mixed drink deserves to be presented in the right glass. Beginners can get started with a set of tumblers, long drink glasses or highball glasses. Martini glasses – or Champagne coupes as an alternative – are also considered essential for some drinks.
- Straws: recommended for many drinks - but please use reusable or recyclable alternatives to polluting plastic straws.
The Software – Spirits, Cordials, Fruit…
Ingredient quality is key. That goes for spirits as much as for fresh ingredients. Herbs and fruit should be organic if possible, and citrus fruit should be unwaxed when their peel is used for garnishes.
When it comes to buying spirits we recommend quality over quantity. Ten key spirits will equip you for most cocktail recipes. We recommend this standard selection:
- Scotch Whisk(e)y
- White Rum
- Brown Rum
- Cognac and/or Brandy
- Triple Sec, e.g. Cointreau or Grand Marnier
You will also need – depending on your personal taste – some of the following:
- Bitters, e.g. Angostura
- Bitter liqueur, e.g. Campari
- Fruit juices
- Fruits, especially citrus fruits and vegetables, e.g. cucumber as a garnish for gin & tonic
- Fresh herbs, e.g. mint for Mojito
- Spices like cinnamon or pepper. These can enhance the flavours of gin, for instance
- Gomme syrup (sugar syrup)
- Mixers like tonic water or ginger ale.
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