Mixology has been a buzzword in the industry for quite some years now although the origins of the word are somewhat unknown. With many of us spending more time at home this year, we’ve seen some brilliant cocktail creations on social media and have watched our fans become their own Slingsby Mixologists.
Well, we’re here to help you step up your cocktail game and make sure you’re equip with the all the bartender must-haves so you’re ready to impress your next guests.
Now first things first, the cocktail shaker. Did you know there are different types of shakers? The most common are Boston Tins, easy to use and only made up of two parts. There’s also a 3-piece shaker or a Cobbler Shaker which is made of 2 sections and a cap that stops any spills with a handy little built in strainer.
The next must-have piece of equipment is a Hawthorne Strainer. This is something that you will have seen in plenty of cocktail bars. A metal strainer with two prongs and a spring on the bottom to help you separate the cocktail from the ice (and any larger fruit bits you may have added for extra flavour). These are essential in making sure you don’t get large shards of ice into your drink causing dilution.
There’s also the Julep Strainer. We often use this for drinks which have been stirred rather than shaken as there are fewer shards that need straining out. Juleps consist of a handle and typically, a curved metal plate of with small holes to help keep the ice out of your super chilled Martini!
We also have the Fine Strainer. A fine strainer is to make sure that when we shake our cocktails, we managed to keep any fruit seeds and small ice shards out of our drink when we serve it. Shaped like a tiny wire mesh sieve, it can also sometimes have a little “ear” to rest on the glass and tins to help prevent spillages.
Now time for the Jigger, the most important tool in creating any cocktail! The jigger allows us to accurately measure the amount of alcohol, sugar, citrus and juices that go into our cocktails and just like baking, we know it’s always best to follow the recipe. Most conical Jiggers come in 50ml:25ml sizes however 60ml:30ml Jiggers do also exist. If a cocktail recipe uses ounces then it’s an American recipe but you can quickly make it metric with 1oz equalling 30ml.
We’ve all seen layered Bellini’s or maybe a Jammy Dodger? Have you ever wondered how they do it? Well, Bar Spoons are the answer. Often made with a twisted metal handle and a flat base at one end, these fancy pieces of kit can do all sorts. The twisted metal helps us stir in a fancy way making sure we only twist our hands and nothing else and it also helps to layer cocktails as pouring liquid down the channel slows the movement of liquid and helps to layer the drink.
The flat end of the spoon can also be used as a muddler. We often will muddle berries into cocktails to add some of those fresh flavours and natural sugars.
And finally, speed pourers. Whilst not essential, they will make your home bar look super professional and help save on spillages by controlling your pours better… which might be needed after a tipple or two! Just make sure that once you’ve finished using them, you wash it in warm soapy water and re-cork your bottle or you can also get pourer covers to stop any alcohol from evaporating while not in use.
Now you’re ready to whip up your own concoctions like a professional Mixologist! Make sure you share your at home Slingsby creations on social media tagging @SlingsbySocial and using #SlingsbyGin.