Some cocktail equipment

Some cocktail equipment

By
Benny Roff
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781743790106

Cocktail shakers

The two most common types of cocktail shaker we see today are the Boston shaker and the cobbler shaker. The Boston shaker is the type one sees in cocktail bars with a metal cup and a matching glass that is stuck in the top to seal it before shaking. This type of shaker requires a separate strainer to stop the big pieces of ice from going into the drink or a finer strainer to fine-strain a drink. The cobbler shaker is the type one sees in people’s homes: it has a metal cup, a metal lid with a built in strainer and a metal cap to cover during shaking. They often become impossible to open once used, so they aren’t favoured by most bartenders.

Mixing glass

This is any type of glass with a large enough volume to stir ice around in. The most common type in bars is a thick tapered glass with a 480 ml (1 US pint) volume that comes as part of a Boston shaker. It is commonly paired with a bar spoon, which is a long-handled spoon with a twisted metal handle to facilitate rotating it in the palm of your hands. It is okay to use any other type of spoon or even chopsticks to mix. If no spoon is available, you can get a pretty good result by gently moving the glass in circles so that the contents are moving around. Just be careful not to actually shake the drink and incorporate air into it; a stirred drink must be mixed very gently so as to remain crystal clear and not over dilute.

Strainers

The Boston shaker is often paired with a hawthorne strainer, which is a round affair with a handle and a spring around the outside to press into the rim of the shaker. It will stop large pieces of ice and fruit from leaving the shaker, but won’t strain out smaller pieces of ice etc. so it is often used in combination with a fine-strainer, which is any strainer with a very fine mesh. I use a double-meshed stainless steel strainer in my bar, but a tea strainer will do a pretty good job and will be very easy to find. For practicality, it is useful to use a small strainer that will fit into a cocktail glass without knocking it over. A julep strainer is sometimes used instead of a hawthorne – it is a large, round perforated spoon with a short handle that looks very cool, which to my mind is its greatest advantage.

Glassware

–Cocktail glass: Often called a Martini glass, a cocktail glass is used to serve drinks up or straight up – that is to say ‘without ice’. For the purposes of this book, feel free to use a champagne coupe wherever a cocktail glass is called for or vice versa.

–Highball: This tall, wide glass is used for serving fizzy mixed drinks such as highballs (duh!). It holds a similar volume of liquid to the collins glass, so feel free to switch them around for convenience.

–Old-fashioned: Sometimes called a rocks glass, the old-fashioned is a short glass that is used to serve cocktails on the rocks (or simply rocks). They come in various sizes with very large ones being designated a double old-fashioned.

–Champagne flute: A narrow-sided, tapered, stemmed glass that is excellent for preserving Champagne’s effervescence and bouquet.

–Wine goblet: A wine glass with a squat, round, tapered bowl. You can use a small wine glass instead.

–Collins glass: Taller and narrower than a highball, the collins glass has straight sides. It is the glass of choice for a Tom Collins, or several other refreshing concoctions, but a highball will often do in a pinch.

–Champagne coupe: The Champagne coupe is sometimes called a Marie Antoinette after the erroneous supposition that it was modelled on her breast, or indeed the breast of several other famous ladies of her era. The glass predates them all, and is a terrible thing from which to drink Champagne. It does, however, make a lovely cocktail glass and makes you feel rather glamorous, especially in evening wear.

–Julep cup: This is the traditional vessel in which to make and serve a mint julep or its variants. It is a tapered cup made of sterling silver that achieves the right frostiness when the drink is mixed properly. Juleps also taste lovely in glass!

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