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Honey, have you seen my….?

May 18, 2009

If you are like me and are an uber drink geek, you have some form of tote bag for all of your own mixing gear, homemade bitters and tinctures (and you are always screaming to your girlfriend, spouse, or mistress asking where you left the stuff you were making drink with last night).

 Okay, so you are part of the other 99.999% of the world.  That’s cool, I like standing out from the crowd.

 Here’s how it went down:

 “Hey Chris, would you make some margaritas??” an excited female voice called.

 “Sure!” called my voice.

 After sourcing all the ingredients from the hostess, I asked,”Okay, where is your cocktail shaker?’

 Looooooooong pause………

 Side story- Several months ago I had Internet banter with Colleen Graham about (dot com) the number of cocktail shakers we each own.  I have 22, and she has more.  Suffice to say, I assume that everyone owns a cocktail shaker.  It was news to me that not eveyone has one.

 So what do you do in a pinch without the cool gear you see, or have behind the bar?  Improvise!!!!


The Shaker

Any large sealable vessel will do here.  Any tall tight sealing container will do here.  My favorite is a Tupperware pasta canister.


The Strainer

First choice is a simple cooking strainer or extra small colander. The other option is a slotted spoon, which almost every kitchen has one.  What??  Your don’t?  Fine, how about a funnel??


The Bar Spoon

I am soo picky about not having a bar spoon.  Mine has a large attached knob (not the cheap red one that disappears after three days).  But, if push comes to shove, any long spoon with a small basin will do; like a long handled tea spoon.


The Muddler

Now we are getting tricky.  A mortar and pastel are the primo option; pain in the ass they may be.  Second choice would be the wooden mallet of a Kitchen Aid Meat grinder set (but if you have a Kitchen Aid, you probably have a muddler and all the other bar supplies we are talking about).  A third option is the large handle of any kitchen utensil.  As long as it has some diameter, and you can apply a little pressure.


Lewis Bag

A what??  A Lewis Bag is a canvas bag used r to hold ice that is about to be pummeled into crushed ice.  Personally I use a tea cloth or large napkin for this.  Simply pace ice in the center, wrap it up, and beat it to a bloody pulp with any heavy implement like a meat tenderizer or and frying pan.  A crochet mallet works well too, doesn’t it, Gary??



Iodized table salt is NOT how you want to treat your drinks ever Ever EVER!   Get the good stuff.  Sans this, use 2 plates: one for juice, the other for Kosher or sea salt



Seriously????  Okay.  Any home/amateur bartender should measure. Delve into the archives for more on this.  If you have a kitchen, you have measuring cups and spoons.  SO here is the rub for measuring.

 If your cup breaks down to the ½ ounce, good for you.  Other wise remember that 1 tablespoon equals ½ ounce. So 3 tablespoons equals 1 ½ ounces or a standard shot….. 

 There is a lot of great bar gear out there, and personally I encourage everyone to invest into the right stuff to make great drinks.  But, we are all sometime caught off guard, and need to improvise sometime.  And if you are in the market for some great bar gear, check out the ‘Bar Stuff” link at the top of this page.  You will find some great resources for bar equipment for the home and professional bar. 

 P.S.  I opted to go pictureless so not to influence your inamgination.  And please take alook at the Bar Stuff Page


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