Tips and Best Tools for Cocktail Parties

For parties, we recommend serving pre-prepared bulk cocktails, or serving punch in a large wine bowl so you can mingle with your guests instead of playing bartender all night. How much alcohol should you buy for a party? A wise piece of advice:It's always better to have too much alcohol than too little. You can save any unused bottles for a later party. Also, don't forget to buy plenty of ice.


In addition to stocking up on the bar tools we recommend in this guide, make sure you have a few other basic tools (that you probably already own) to keep the night running smoothly.


l  A cutting board for cutting fruit and preparing other garnishes

l  A bar mop to wipe up spills and to put under the cutting board to keep it from sliding around

l  A paring knife for cutting fruit to be juiced, removing citrus peels, or preparing fruit garnishes

l  A vegetable peeler to remove citrus peels

l  A wine key for opening wine, beer or soda bottles (we recommend having at least two, as one of them is bound to disappear once the party starts).


If you need a lot of citrus juice at your party, we recommend using an electric citrus juicer rather than a handheld juicer. You can make the juice ahead of time and store it in a plastic squeeze bottle in the fridge. If you've misplaced those little red caps on the bottles, use this restaurant and bar trick for storing juice. Cover the top of the bottle with a small piece of plastic wrap, then screw on the cap.

Most bars use a spout on the bottle to increase the speed and/or measure alcohol by volume (rather than by volume with a jigger). However, we do not recommend using spouts on bottles at home because they expose the alcohol to the air and attract fruit flies.


Basic bartending skills


How to use a Boston style bartender:


If you have never used a Boston style bartender before, it may take a few tries to master it. Here are the basic steps.


Pour your ingredients into the larger nonpareil, add ice, and place the smaller nonpareil on top, tilting it slightly. Tap it lightly to create suction, but don't push.

To shake, place one hand on either side of the jar with the top of the shaker facing you. Using a slight rocking motion, flip the attached jar from end to end. Start slowly and then gradually increase the shaking effort. Shake for about 10 to 15 seconds, depending on the size and quality of your ice cubes.

To unseal, hold the shaker upright and tap the side of the two tumblers that meet with the palm of your hand. Twist the tumbler at the top and it should come right out. Place a strainer on the shaker and place your index finger on the strainer. Pour the glass and strain the cocktail into the glass.


How to use a Hawthorne strainer:


The Hawthorne strainer filters out ice and herbs for "up" drinking cocktails. Here's how to use it.


Place the strainer on the rim of a mixing pitcher or mixing glass with the handle facing you and the coils facing down.

Use your index finger to push the strainer to the edge of the pitcher or glass.

Pour the cocktail into your glass.


How to use the Julep Strainer:


The Julep strainer is more difficult to use than the Hawthorne strainer, but once you master it, you'll feel elegant. There's no wrong way to hold it, so do whatever feels more comfortable. Here's how to use it.


Place the bowl of the Julienne strainer facing up or down, depending on your preference, and place it at a small angle on a mixing cup or Boston shaker. The handle should be facing you.


Hold the glass or beaker in place by picking it up with your index finger over the strainer (where the handle meets the strainer).

Tilt the glass or shaker and pour the cocktail into the glass.


How to use a mixing glass and bar spoon:


The mixing glass has a wide mouth and straight sides, so you can easily stir the cocktail with a bar spoon. Here's how to use it.


Chill the mixing glass.


Measure the ingredients and pour them into the glass. Fill the glass 3/4 of the way with ice.


Insert the bar spoon. As Jeffrey Morgenthaler says in "The Bar Book. The Elements of Cocktail Technique," Gently grasp the middle of the spoon with your thumb and forefinger. The concave bowl of the spoon should be facing the inside of the glass, while the convex back of the spoon should be nestled between the ice and the wall inside the glass. Using only your squeezed spoon as a fulcrum, begin to push and pull the spoon away from your body with your ring and middle fingers". Stir for 30 to 45 seconds.

Strain the cocktail into a glass.


Where to buy the best bar or cocktail tools?

It is necessary to choose a reliable merchant and manufacturer to buy your bar tools from. Generally speaking, manufacturers that produce on a larger scale or sell a more comprehensive range of products are more reliable, which means there are more opportunities for customers to choose from and you can buy all the supplies you need in the same store. Infull Cutlery is one such industrial and trade shopping site where you can buy all the bar settings you need to make a perfect cocktail of your own!

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