Essential Cocktail Techniques: Part 1 - Equipment and Glassware

Essential Cocktail Techniques: Part 1 - Equipment and Glassware

If you’re a cocktail lover and frequent bars a lot, you’ve probably seen that running a bar is no easy feat. As a customer, you can just order and pay for your drinks. You don’t need to worry about which tools or glassware to use simply because your drinks are already prepared for you. But wouldn’t it be nice to be on the other side of the bar for once?

Yes, bartending is a skill that has to be mastered over time. But there’s nothing wrong with learning the basics if, in case, you wind up playing host to friends and you want to impress them with your amazing bartending skills.

We can see just how excited you are to learn about essential cocktail making techniques but hold your horses because you need to know about the tools and glassware first before getting in to the nitty gritty of cocktail mixing. So, the question now is, what are the basic equipment you need to get your bartending game up?

The Fab Four

No, we are not talking about a world-famous band here, just the four important cocktail tools you should have with you - if you want to release your bartending mojo. Whether you’re a cocktail expert or a nervous newbie, you should always have these things with you when making cocktails: jigger, shaker, muddler, and a blender.

  •        Jigger – you will need this to measure liquids. A good bartender should always know just how much of each liquid to pour. Too much or too little can spell the difference between a great-tasting cocktail and one that’s “ummm…that doesn’t taste quite right at all.” Did you know that you can get a double-sided copper jigger?
  •        Shaker – Just as is it’s good to know the right amount of liquid ingredient or mix you should pour into a glass, it is also equally important to get a shaker that will do the job well. Most cocktail concoctions require a fair amount of shaking and getting a good shaker will always come in handy. Some shakers also come with built-in strainers and they can be a very good investment if you’re thinking of putting up your own minibar.

  • Muddler – If you’re really serious about getting your cocktail game on point, then you will need a muddler. Because chances are, you will be muddling or mashing a lot of fresh fruits, herbs and spices on the way to becoming a cocktail expert. Muddle ingredients to perfection with this elegant muddler with a grooved nylon head and stainless steel handle.
  • Blender – Admit it, at some point you’ve fantasized about making a really sexy glass of frozen margarita.  But while it’s nice to dream about it, it’s even better if you can actually do it. Aside from having the right ingredients, of course and a good quality blender, your fantasy may just actually come true.

Through the Good (looking) Glass

Several blogs ago, we’ve pointed out the importance of knowing which glass goes with specific cocktails and that there is more of a scientific explanation behind it rather than just for aesthetic reasons. But of all the different kinds of glassware out there, which are the ones you really need to be familiar with? Allow us to introduce you to some of the most common ones there is.

  • The Martini glass – Is perhaps the most well-known cocktail glass there is. Sexy, elegant, and oh so sophisticated, this cocktail glass is a Hollywood favorite. How many movies or television shows have you seen where characters are portrayed sipping cocktails from the glass’ iconic cone shape and slender stem. Need an excuse to feel sexy? Why not make yourself an invigorating glass of cosmopolitan? Check out the recipe, here.

  • The Highball glass – Is perfect for mixing cocktail ingredients on top of ice. Being tall and versatile, a highball glass is also convenient for fruit juices and sodas topped with a shot of liquor. What are some of the classic cocktail drinks that are commonly associated with a highball glass? There’s a Zombie and the equally dangerous Bloody Mary. If you’re feeling more upbeat, try it also with a bright and beautiful Tequila Sunrise, or the minty and refreshing mojito.
  • The Lowball Glass – If there’s a highball glass, there sure is a lowball one that’s perfect for drinks that are “on the rocks”. Hence, it’s also known as rocks glasses. Like the highball, these glasses are usually for drinks mixed or poured over ice. A popular cocktail that’s commonly served in rocks glasses is the Old-Fashioned, which is currently the best-selling cocktail in the world according to liquor analysts and consumer groups. Whiskey is also another famous drink that is best served on lowball glasses, whether neat or on the rocks.

  • The Champagne Glass – If you’re in a festive mood, bring on the champagne and let’s drink to that! Who doesn’t love a sweet, sparkly, bubbly drink to celebrate life’s most important occasions? But do you know that there are two most common types of champagne glasses? The flute and the coupe glass. The flute has a long stem and a tall and tapered slender bowl designed to prolong the bubbly fizz of champagne so you can enjoy the party more without having to worry about losing the carbonation of your drink. The coupe glass, on the other hand, has a shallow, saucer-shaped bowl and a shorter stem. Check out this timeless and mysterious cocktail recipe beautifully served in a coupe glass.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that making and preparing cocktails is not as complicated as you think. In fact, with the right equipment and glassware, mixing cocktails is actually enjoyable and fun! While all these tools can be quite overwhelming especially to newbies, trying them out is an experience that will not only enhance your bartending skill but will make you the envy of some of your friends. So, what are you waiting for? Grab these bartending tools and equipment and impress your guests with great-tasting cocktail concoctions uniquely made by you.

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