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By using the appropriate barware, you don't have to be a professional bartender to be able to mix original drinks.

You may find some utensils listed below already in your home, and you can always improvise with everyday kitchen gadgets. However, if you go shopping to stock up on bar supplies, the important thing to remember is that the utensils should be easy to clean after use. Keep in mind that stainless-steel and glass items are the easiest to clean.

Cocktail Shaker

A cocktail shaker is an absolute must for your home bar. It is primarily used to mix drinks with ingredients that are difficult to combine smoothly, such as egg yolks, liqueurs, fruit juices, and cream. Any good bar-supply store will stock a variety of shakers and you are certain to find one to fit your budget and needs.

One standard version, is a three-part shaker, which consists of a beaker, a lid, and a built-in strainer, to hold back pieces of ice fruit pits and seeds when pouring the cocktail. Its disadvantage is that the strainer is very difficult to clean and the liquid pours out slowly.

The two part Boston shaker consists of a large stainless-steel beaker and a smaller one made of lead crystal, which fits inside and has the advantage that the glass beaker is also suitable for use as a mixing glass.


Bar Strainer

When you use a two-part shaker or a mixing glass, you will need a round, stainless-steel bar strainer. This features an edge like a coiled spring, and it should fit exactly into the top of the shaker or mixing glass, making it indispensable when straining cocktails so ice and piece of fruit or pits do not fall into the glass. If necessary, you can use a new tea strainer instead.

You will need a mixing glass, sometimes called a shaker glass, for every drink which is stirred, not shaken, such as clear drinks and those made from easily blended ingredients. When shopping for a mixing glass, look for one with capacity of about 1 quart (enough for 3 or 4 drinks).


Bar Spoon

A long-handed bar spoon is a versatile tool used by bartenders to stir the ingredients in the mixing glass, as a measuring spoon to add the correct amount of ingredients to many cocktails, and to crush flavoring ingredients. Most bar-spoon handles are 10 inches long and made of stainless steel or silver.

At the top of the handle there is usually a disc called a muddler used to "muddle", or crush, pieces of fruit, herbs, or sugar cubes. The spoon on the opposite end holds ?/6 ounce of liquid, or the same amount as a standard kitchen teaspoon. The rounded back of the spoon is also useful for slowly pouring layers of liqueurs into a glass when you do not want the layers to mix.


Bar Measure

This is truly an indispensable item for your bar, because exact quantities of ingredients are needed for every drink. This tools is usually made of stainless steel with a 1-ounce cup at one end, called a pony, and a 1½ to 2 ounce measure at the other end, called a jigger. Alternatively you can use a standard shot glass with markings on it. If you do not have either measure, use a standard set of kitchen measuring spoons — 3 teaspoons, or 1 tablespoon, equal ½ ounce, 4 teaspoons equal ¾ ounce, and 2 tablespoons equal 1 ounce.


Electric Blender

An electric blender is useful, especially for drinks like frozen daiquiris and those with ingredients that are not easily combined, but it is not essential.

To purée fruit, whip cream, or prepare frozen drinks, frappés, and milk shakes, you need a blender with continuous speed adjustments, or you can use an everyday food processor.

If drinks with crushed ice become a regular request consider investing in an electric ice shaver.


Ice Bucket

Use a standard ice bucket, widely available in various sizes and materials, to keep frozen ice cubes conveniently at hand for the duration of the party or cocktail session. Ice tongs or an ice shovel are ideal to remove ice from the bucket (do not use your fingers), but if you do not have either, use a large spoon.

Fresh fruit juices can be prepared using a lemon squeezer or juicer. Many long drinks contain soda water, which is best added to the glass using a siphon. To use one, you simply fill the siphon with water from the faucet or use still mineral water. A carbon dioxide cartridge will make sure the water is always carbonated when you want it.

Additional Supplies

The other pieces of equipment that help to make your job enjoyable are:

• Lemon Squeezer
• Chopping Board
• Nutmeg Grater
• Sharp Knife
• Citrus Zester
• Small Dishes
• Pouring Spouts
• Can Opener
• Bottle Opener
• Corkscrew
• Bottle Cooler
• Toothpicks
• Drinking Straws
• Drinks Stirrers
• Coasters
• Towels
• Glassware

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