It’s easy to look like an expert mixologist when you have the right tools. Here’s what to include in your starter bar cart—plus, how to use them to make our favorite cocktail recipes.
Having an at-home bar is a great way to upgrade your entertaining skills. But building a proper bar requires stocking it with accessories beyond glassware, whether you’re making a classic cocktail, pouring a shot or opening a bottle of wine. While home bar carts are popping up all over Pinterest, you don’t necessarily need an entire piece of furniture dedicated to making drinks, especially when many of us have limited space to work with and limited mixology skills.
Therefore, we spoke to Juan, Senior Product Manager and OXO’s in-house cocktail expert about the best home bar accessories for beginners and what drinks they could master with them. Read on for his recommendations.
The Accessories You’ll Need For a Cocktail Bar:
1. Cocktail Shaker: Our shaker is double walled to prevent condensation on the outside, and protect hands from getting chilly while shaking.
2. Steel Cocktail Strainer: Also referred to as a Hawthorne strainer, it’s used to strain ice for crystal-clear drinks. It also has a raised lip to prevent spills.
3. Steel Double Jigger: Two sides for measuring and pouring plus all the measurement markings you could ever need.
Place the gin or vodka and dry vermouth in your Shaker.
Add ice cube and stir for 30 seconds with Spinning Bar Spoon until the Martini is chilled.
Strain the drink into your chilled Martini glass.
Garnish the drink: Pare a lemon peel, and express (pinch) the back of the lemon peel over the martini. Rub the lemon peel around the rim of the glass and drop it in. Alternatively, garnish with speared olives.
adapted from Liquor.com:
2 oz rye whiskey
1 oz sweet vermouth
5 drops Angostura bitters
Optional: cherry for garnish
Put cocktail glass into freezer to chill.
Place all ingredients into Cocktail Shaker and fill with ice.
Stir well with Spinning Bar Spoon and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry if you like.
adapted from Ina Garten:
3/4 cup whiskey
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
2/3 cup simple syrup (see below)
Combine the whiskey, lemon juice, lime juice and syrup.
Fill a Cocktail Shaker halfway with ice and fill with two-thirds of the cocktail mixture.
Shake for 30 seconds, strain through Fine Mesh Strainer into glasses.
Add a maraschino cherry and serve ice cold.
Put 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Chill thoroughly before using.
adapted from Delish.com:
2 oz vodka
1 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
Lime wedge, for serving
Add vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and ice into Cocktail Shaker, shake.
Strain over Fine Mesh Strainer, garnish with lime wedge.
By Rebecca Ulanoff
Rebecca Ulanoff is part of OXO’s Brand Communications Team. She enjoys talking about her next meal while eating her current one. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and four-year-old daughter.