Deliver your next drink in style with this selection of essential gadgets for your home cocktail cart.
Is there such a thing as a perfect cocktail cart? Opinions are naturally going to vary about the items that you must have on your bar cart, as distinct from those nice-to-have-but-not-vital bits of kit, and of course the dreaded useless-unitasker type.
Still, there are some items that most drinkers would agree are essential if you’re looking to stack up a home cocktail cart. We’re not just talking booze – which is, let’s face it a highly personal topic depending on your tipple of choice.
Any decently-stocked home bar will include a variety of liquor that can be used as the base of another drink, whether you prefer a drink based on Vodka, Gin, Scotch, Vodka… or even an emergency quarantine cocktail.
Mixers to add to those drinks can amplify your drink and taste choices, as well as make it simpler to keep friends and family sufficiently and happily lubricated.
Getting the drinks right
If you're setting up a home cocktail cart, you don't want to simply be taking swigs from a bottle, and that means getting hold of the essential tools of the trade for mixing and preparing drinks.
Your first tool of the trade is a corkscrew, because you're not going to get too far without one. It doesn't have to cost all that much – this $16.68 Ipow Corkscrew would do the trick for countless bottles.
A cocktail shaker is a must, but you don't have to spend a fortune on a fancy one if you don't want to. A simple two-piece Boston style shaker set, like this $28.29 Uberbartools one can do the job nicely.
If your drink includes shaken parts you don't want to actually imbibe, you'll need a cocktail strainer, like this $16.70 Zeo Copper Cocktail Strainer.
Part of the fun of creating cocktails is in the names of the tools involved. Got ingredients you need to smash down into place? What you need is a muddler, like this simple $10.95 Avanti Wooden Muddler. There's just something so darned satisfying about the word Muddler when you're talking about alcoholic drinks.
Citrus is a key ingredient in oh so many tasty cocktails, and providing freshly squeezed citrus can give your drinks that extra kick of flavour. No, not out of a bottle that has "freshly squeezed" on the side! From using fresh ingredients and a citrus squeezer, like this $32.97 LuFu Stainless Steel Lemon Squeezer.
Ice, Ice Baby
Ice is key to any bar and for more than just one reason. It can be stacked up into an ice bucket to keep your wine cold, or shaken or stirred into a drink to subtly change not only the temperature but also the flavour of a drink.
To get that happening you'll need ice cube trays. While it's tempting to go with some kind of novelty tray – I am indeed guilty of owning a Space Invaders Ice Cube tray, for example -- what you really should opt for instead is a set that can cover simple square and ball shaped ice for most cocktail use, like this $17.90 Sunset Whiskey Co 2-piece Ice Cube set.
Pour me another one: Glasses
Your choice of glass will naturally depend on the drinks you're preparing. For a fancy cocktail you want a showier glass, like this $24.95 set of 6 Symphony Brim Cocktail Glasses.
For shaken cocktails, get yourself a set of coupe glasses, like this $35 4 piece Luigi Bormioli Sublime Coupe Glass Set.
Serving your drinks on the rocks? You'll need a heavier set of glasses, like this $45.73 Luxu 6 Pack of Premium Scotch glasses. Your other option there would be a set of highball glasses, such as this $40 Luigi Bormioli Bach Hi Ball 6-piece set.
If you're making drinks for a group, then a serving tray can add that last bit of bar style to your home cocktails. There's plenty of styles to choose from, such as this $61.59 Le'raze Mirrored Tray, this $46.14 Houseables Tray or this $17.03 Winco Fibreglass Tray.
Once you've had a few, it may be tempting to use one of these as a drinking vessel, but… yeah… and by yeah I mean… don’t.
Oh, and finally, we have to put on the dreaded hat of maturity here and point out that while 2020 is a rough year for all sorts of reasons, you should still drink responsibly. Moderate drinking might be OK for your health – but excessive drinking most definitely isn't.
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