My home bar is already outgrowing its home. The spirit shelf is almost full, and the bitters/liqueurs shelf is already packed. The main items of barwear I have are:
- Cobbler Shaker – the classic three-piece all metal shaker with integral strainer
- Boston Shaker – the two-piece glass and tin shaker
- Hawthorne Strainer – spring coiled strainer
- Julep Strainer – the shell-shaped former tea-strainer named for its most common application
- Classic Strainer – a large sieve-like strainer for double straining fruit drinks
- Yarai Mixing Glass – Large flat-bottomed mixing glass with pouring spout.
- Barspoon – a long, twisted stirring spoon, also used to measure more viscous ingredients
- Muddler – A short stick used to mash herbs, fruit and peel
- Absinthe Spoon – A slotted spoon used to dissolve sugar into your absinthe
- Measures – a variety of spirit measures
- Citrus Press – hinged lemon/lime juicer
- Smoking Gun – hand-held smoker
- Isi Soda Siphon – for soda, and foams.
- Martini glass – also known as a cocktail glass, used for drinks prepared straight up – without ice.
- Coupe – the classic Champagne saucer also a classy variant for drinks served up.
- Rocks glass – also known as an old fashioned glass or short tumbler, used for short drinks served with ice.
- Highball – also known as a tumbler or Collins, used for lengthened drinks served with ice.
- Flute – also known as a champagne glass, used for champagne cocktails (the shape prolongs the bubbles).
I live by the following cocktail books at present, and really the first is all you need:
- The Savoy Cocktail Book (2011), The classic, irreplaceable and inimitable cocktail guide, as relevant today as it was when Harry Craddock first put pen to paper in 1930.
- How to Mix Drinks or the Bon Vivant’s Companion (1862), Jerry Thomas was the first celebrity bartender and arguably the first cocktail recipe compiler. His book is still the go-to guide for the classic recipes.
- Imbibe (2007), David Wondrich – A must-read companion to Jerry Thomas’s guide.
- Drinks (2012), Tony Conigliaro – Tony has revolutionised modern British cocktails, and his book is an indispensable guide to the ‘mysteries of flavour and aroma in drink’.
- The PDT Cocktail Book (2011), Jim Meehan – PDT is one of New York’s most innovative bars and this book is a guide to all of their recipes. A great beginner’s book.
- Old Mr Boston’s De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide (1935), Leo Cotton (ed.) -I have the 1962 edition of this book, and it really is an exhaustive manual for the creation of some all-time classics made in the American style.
- The Curious Bartender (2013), Tristan Stephenson – Tristan was part of the team that set up three of my favourite London bars and his book is a fantastic exploration of contemporary (often scientific) twists to classic recipes.