The Bar (e) Essentials for Summer Entertaining

Spring has sprung and the sunshine and good vibes are stirring up an urge to entertain my friends with food and refreshing cocktails. I’ve collected a bunch of recipes that sound delicious and are perfect for summer entertaining. I also have my cocktail glasses clean and ready to use! Now all I need is a few tools for my makeshift bar to properly prepare and i’m ready to go!

If you’re clueless as to what bar tools are needed in order to bartend, I’ve listed a few essentials below. Some of the tools have interesting names but they all serve a purpose: to make the perfectly tasting cocktail.

Lemon and Kiwi

Photo Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kitrone.jpg

The Bar(e) Essentials:
Beer and Wine Bottle Opener- Used for obvious reasons- to pop the top off of a beer bottle or to remove the cork from a bottle of wine.

The Boston Shaker- is a 2 part shaker that consists of a mixing glass and a metal tin. How to use: put the ice and ingredients in the mixing glass, cover the glass with the metal tin and shake. The two advantages of the Boston Shaker are: you can see in the mixing glass how much of each ingredient you have put in and the metal tin provides more space to shake the ingredients. When shaking, hold both ends firmly so that they do not separate.

The 2-Sided Jigger- Yes, “jigger”. It is a funny name for a measuring tool. Jigger’s come in various measures but the most common is the 1 0z /1.5 oz jigger. The jigger is used to measure the amount of alcohol, simple syrup or fresh lime juice when making a cocktail.

The Muddler- Looks like a miniature baseball bat that is usually made of wood. It is used to muddle (or mash) ingredients, usually fruits or herbs, at the bottom of the mixing glass to release the natural flavors of the ingredient.  For example, when making a mojito, you muddle mint leaves and lime juice to achieve the mint flavor in the cocktail.

The Bar Spoon- Is a long stemmed spoon used to mix drinks or to fetch the last few olives or cherries at the bottom of the jar.

The Citrus Press- Comes in various sizes to fit the citrus you want to press- lime, lemon or even grapefruit- to attain natural citrus juices to add to your cocktail.

The Strainer- Is used to cover the metal tin of the shaker in order to keep back the ice and other ingredients from falling into the cocktail glass.

Knife and cutting board-Having a designated knife and cutting board behind your bar is necessary to cut fruits for garnishing your delicious cocktails.

Ice Scoop- The convenient and sanitary way to remove ice from the ice bin and into your cocktails.