Bartender, fix me a drink

Cocktails. They’re gorgeous aren’t they? There’s nothing quite like a classic recipe, freshly made with all the right ingredients.

I’ve noticed lots of cocktail making equipment kits springing up in the department stores in time for the festive season, but they all seem kind of over the top. Too overpriced, too many gadgets you’ll probably never use. Well, save your money for interesting ingredients instead, because here’s all you really need to get going.

You can easily set yourself up with a perfectly good set of cocktail bar equipment
for less than £10.

·        Cocktail shaker: You can pick up a classic all-metal shaker (sometimes
called a Cobbler shaker) from a hardware store or a branch of IKEA for as
little as £1.

·        Liquid measures: Even the best bartenders measure what they put into a
drink, it’s important for getting the flavour balance right. You could buy
a metal jigger, if you don’t own some small measuring spoons already.

·        Stirrer: Some cocktails are stirred, rather than shaken, in the base of
a cocktail shaker or a jug, and most households have a long handled metal
spoon for this purpose. You can buy a fancy bar spoon if you like, but you
don’t really need one.

·        Ice: Nearly every cocktail calls for some kind of ice. Most freezers and
ice boxes come with their own ice trays, or you can buy them in pairs from
any pound shop.

·        Ice crushing equipment: If a recipe demands cracked or crushed ice, the
easiest and cheapest thing to do is wrap some ice cubes in a clean tea
towel and whack them with a rolling pin.

·        Small sharp knife and chopping board: Most kitchens have these anyway,
and they’re essential for cutting citrus fruits and preparing most

·        Citrus juicer: Many recipes contain lemon, lime or orange juice and
trust me, freshly-squeezed is the only way to go. A plain plastic, glass
or metal juicer is all you need.

·        Strainer: Professional bar staff might use a Hawthorn strainer while
pouring a perfect drink, but an ordinary tea strainer works just fine too.

·        Dean Martin CD: Makes your drinks taste even better, I promise.

Are you a cocktail fan? Do you have any good bartending bargains of your own? Please share.

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  1. I have to admit to treating myself to a proper Boston shaker, but I did get it in the sale. Saying that, I got my sister a plastic shaker with novelty ice-cubes from the poundshop last Christmas, and she still loves it!

    I like your addition of the Dean Martin CD, although I’m more of a Blue Eyes fan 😉

  2. Love a nice Boston shaker, good choice! Confess that I will probably be treating myself to a bar spoon and a muddling stick in the sales as well, just for a tiny treat. Would love to see a pic of that novelty shaker though.

    PS will also mix to any old bossanova if needed.

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