Basic Cocktail Tools
Shakers and Shaking
There are two types of shakers for bartending, 3 piece tin which consist of the main tin, a strainer lid and a cap. Add the ingredients to the main tin, replace the strainer lid and cap then give it a good shake, once cool enough remove only the cap and strain through the holes. This is a good option for home use as it combines two products in one. This style is called a Cobbler first introduced in the late 1800’s. Bonzer first Cobbler style shaker was introduced in the 1930’s. (insert photo)
The more commonly found shaker in bars today is the Boston shaker which comprise of a tin and a glass or two tins or tin on tin as they are commonly known which comprise of a 28oz and 18oz capacity tins. Tin on tin are more popular today, this is sometimes known as a French shaker. This combination will create two dinks at a time. Tin on tin should fit easily together without the need of too much pressure and due to the properties of metal will help with the cooling down process you are looking for.
Today you can find many different styles of spoon on the market but what we consider to be important is the length and what you want to achieve. A bar spoon should have a minimum length of 27cm. One of our most iconic designs is our Bonzer bar spoon which was developed over 80 years and has been an industry standard since its introduction. Featuring a 5ml bowl, twisted shaft and round disc end. A must have for any bar or home.
Japanese style of spoons such as a tear drop spoon is primarily designed for use in cocktail mixing glasses filled with ice and gently stirred to cool down the drink. Slim spiralled stem deigned for grip and comfort as you stir repeatably. Holding the spoon between thumb and first two fingers with the shaft running between the middle fingers. The spoon is tilted slightly to sit under the ice allowing you to move all the ice smoothly around inside the mixing vessel.
The spoon can measure 2.5ml or 1/12 fl oz of liquid, useful for small measures. 2.5ml is half a traditional Bonzer bar spoon.
There are a variety of strainers available on the market, the question is what are you straining from? If you are straining from a cocktail tin (2 piece) the Hawthorne Strainer is good and popular choice and argably. If you are straining directly from a mixing glass a Julep strainer or sprung Julep is a good option. Straining holds back the ice and fruit when pouring into the glass, to take the process one step further introduce a fine strainer. (insert link) This process is called double straining which further removes the fine ice fragments that can form during the shaking process.
The same is true in cocktail making as it is in cooking, carefully measured and balanced ingredients make all the difference. Accurate measures are an important part of mixing cocktails. To date there are few one size fits all measures which means for truly accurate measures you will need several different sizes. Depending on which country you are from the measures vary. In the UK a single measure is 25ml, 20ml is a standard measure in Europe and 1oz (30ml) in US and Canada. Bonzer offers a variety of size variations starting at 25ml all the way up to 250ml (large glass) wine measure as single sided measures. Single measures offer more accuracy due to their manufacturing technique and can therefore be CE approved. Jiggers (dual sided) measures are very popular for cocktail making due to their multifunctional use and the combination of measures featured in one product. In the UK it is a legal requirement to measure Gin, Vodka, Rum and Whiskey in an officially approved measure, approved by National Weights and Measures. Cocktails are different as soon as you mix more than two ingredients together this rule no longer applies.
Used to bruise and squash fruit and herbs in a shaker to release the flavour ahead of the shaking step. Mojito is a classic cocktail that uses this technic to release the flavour from the mint leaves. Quite simply a long round wooden, stainless steel or plastic rod either with a blunt end of with serrated teeth.
Citrus & Garnish Tools
Citrus fruit is used is so many cocktails whether it is one of the main ingredients as juice, garnish for decoration or additional flavour from the peel. Tools to quickly achieve what you need are essential in any bar or home bar. A simple potato peeler does the trick, but we prefer to use a speed peeler from either Kisag or Triangle due to the razor-sharp blade and comfortable handle. Channel knives are also very useful for cutting thing slivers or spirals of zest quickly and consistently.
Extracting the juice from lemons and limes quickly is must and one of the quickest ways is to use a Mexican Elbow citrus press. Cut the fruit in half and place in the press and give a good squeeze over the mixing tin or measure to measure out the exact amount needed.
The bar knife, an essential tool for preparing citrus fruit ahead of squeezing the juice or preparing garnish. There are so many different knives out there designed for many different tasks in the kitchen and many of them won’t be suitable for the task of cutting citrus fruit, we tend to find smaller knives are ideal for preparation work, nothing larger than 15cm, something like 4” Deglon Surclass paring knife.