Once you stock your bar with the essential tools, you may want to think about having some of these handy tools on hand as well. They are not necessary for creating cocktails, just convenient and often improve the quality of your drinks in one way or another.
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Ice is so important in the bar that I like to share the little tricks for maximizing the temperature of your drinks. In this case, we are looking at whiskey stones.
The benefit of these small, stainless steel cubes is that they can be frozen and dropped into your whiskey or brandy glass to give you the ideal temperature for sipping with none of the dilution.
They work with any drink and, unlike those plastic reusable ice cubes, never lose their temperature holding ability.
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Ice balls are perfect for creating large chunks of ice that melt slower and more even than traditional ice cubes. There are professional ice ball carvers in Japan and bartenders worldwide have been learning the technique.
The majority of us, however, are not going to spend the time learning this art and that is why there are these convenient molds for creating ice balls. The plastic molds are very easy to use and can make either two or four balls per tray.
There are also more expensive,... professional ball molds that are more traditional and make crystal clear ice.
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The ice balls are great, but you have to keep your trays working to ensure a constant stock. An alternative is one of these large cube trays.
The ice is about the same size and these make six over-sized cubes at once, so you can easily have a supply of large cubes on hand for your nightly whiskey sipper.
The 'king cube' trays are made of silicon and the finished cubes pop right out. These are also roomy enough so you can freeze cut fruit inside your ice and add a little flair to your... drinks.
04 of 10
The last of our drink chilling non-essential bar tools is for those who like to share a round of frosty shots with friends.
Traditionally used for vodka shots, these sets come in many styles and are are a convenient way to serve the coldest shooters of any kind. It is a fun gift idea for those seemingly impossible people as well.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Infusion pitchers such as this one from Prodyne make infusing spirits even easier because it eliminates the need to strain the fruit from the finished infusion.
The liquor and fruit are in separate parts of the pitcher and it is easy to clean up afterwards. This one also include ice tubes for chilling and the entire set is ideal perfect for serving an infusion or fresh lemonade at a small party.
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If a great coffee cocktail is on your list of pleasures, then you will find that a French press will do wonders to improving its quality.
The coffee produced by a press is thicker, richer, and far more flavorful than that made in a drip machine. Most presses will make around 3 cups at once, which is perfect for sharing a round of Irish Coffee with a few friends.
I have used many French presses over the years and the one drawback is cleaning up the used grounds. That is why on my last press... purchase I sought out one with a grounds keeper and I will probably not go back.
The OXO French Press is what I use now and all you have to do to remove the coffee grounds is pull the keeper out by the handle and dump it in the compost or garbage.
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Drink dispensers are a great alternative to serving punch in a bowl. They are often made of glass, with a convenient nozzle for pouring drinks, and are available in a variety of styles.
The lids keep debris from falling into the punch and fruits and ice can be place inside. Guests can pour a drink for themselves, and the double dispensers offer options a punch bowl cannot.
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It never fails that you lose the cap to a bottle of liquor and I'm sure that we are all aware of the challenges of re-corking a bottle of wine. That is why it never hurts to have a spare bottle stopper (or five) around for emergencies.
The fun, elegant, and quirky designs available can fit any theme and anyone's style. They also make a great hostess gift if you are out of ideas.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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The garnish tray is a convenient item to have around if you do a lot of entertaining in your bar. Of course, you are not going to have prepared garnishes available for your everyday drink after work, the fruits simply will not stay fresh.
However, for a crowded party with many people ordering many drinks, the garnish tray is essential because all of the cut garnishes are organized and the lids keep bugs and fingers from tainting the fruits.
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