Oh, the weather outside is frightful… and once again, it feels like everything else might be too (merry déjà vu). Nothing can stop the perfect at-home cocktail though! This week it’s time to start toasting to the glowing lights, familiar holiday tunes, and Christmas movie marathons. As many of us are not lucky enough to have a wet bar at home, a bar cart is a welcome substitute assuming you’ve kept it well stocked with spirits, glassware, and tools this winter. The bar cart is much more than a holding station, it becomes a decorative piece in the room, and with the right tools, glasses, and accouterments, it becomes the main attraction. The bar cart is the local watering hole and a chance for anyone to test their own mixology skills, so make sure you’ve got the right bartending pieces to make it worthwhile. A merry good pour to you and your loved ones and seasons’ greetings from the CYTIES crew from our bar cart right here in our team office. Cheers!
Seeing as the days of chugging straight out of the bottle are gone (THEY BEST BE), let’s make sure you’ve got some glassware… in sets of four because we hope you have more than one friend on any other given night. You need a set of lowballs to sip your poison neat, on the rocks, or mixed with a few cubes while maintaining your portion control. The Whiskey Peaks are a talking piece, rustic vessel, and hand-blown marvel but keep in mind you don’t need to summit these peaks. It gives your juice something to dance around and seduce the high-altitude air.
SCULPTED WINE GLASS
But don’t forget about the flavors of the grape for when a red is better suited for your spaghetti than a whiskey or IPA. The Modena Sculpted wine glass is stemless and presents a unique configuration that strays away from grandma’s crystal set. In theory, they shouldn’t fall over onto your replica bear rug while simultaneously giving a little nudge to your forethought of a couple of glasses by the fireside. They will suit the needs of the red, white, rosé, two buck chuck, and the finest the Santorini Volcanic Terroir hast offer. So basically, if you’re not drinking your wine out of a mason jar (because you’re that cool), these are a nice set to keep handy.
KOTAI BELL JIGGER
What next? Let’s go with a handheld that should be out in the open to catch everyone’s attention instead of tucked away in the coveted tool drawer. It seems to make sense that just pouring straight from the bottle would work, you used to do it, and generally, the first sip sent you gasping for air and any flavor other than what you just sampled. Funny to think a cocktail can taste amazing on the first sip, and that’s because the liquors were measured out and portioned correctly to gently play with each other and tantalize your tongue. You can do it, we believe in you, and all you need is a double-barrel jigger. You still have to know what you’re doing, but with the jigger, it shouldn’t be a 12:5:1 Harvey Wallbanger. A Kotai Bell Jigger will undoubtedly get the job done – and still looks well tailored on the bar top.
MEXICAN BEEHIVE JUICER
Next, let’s get you dialed with a juicer because tequila and freshly squeezed lime is so much better than any margarita mixer you’d pick up from the local grocer. The Mexican Beehive is a heavy-duty aluminum juicer that will slay any citrus thrown its way. And can’t say for certain what a Mexican beehive is, but it sounds terrifying and if it’s not a cocktail, let’s start crafting. Maybe tequila, agave, lime, and little habanero bitters for a that who’s your daddy kick, in a shorty with a cube or two.
PITCHER & BARSPOON
Glassware, jigger, juicer… check. Now, how about a mixing glass, strainer, and spoon. Once you get the feel for your jigger, you’re going to need a place to pour the well-measured liquors before they get to your glass. The Yarai Pitcher is the vessel of choice for all those looking to amplify mixing capabilities, and wonderfully enough, this 600ml pitcher comes with a partnered strainer. This way you’re not going to have to worry about searching the aisles of Bed, Bath, and Beyond for the perfectly suitable sieve. It’s a necessity because even a surgeon of the bar cart is bound to slip up with a stray citrus seed or mangle cube, and you need a final line of defense. Without question, you’re going to need a bunch of cubes in the pitcher to chill the forthcoming cocktail, but there is no chill without a stir. To activate the profiles of the mixture, you need something sturdy and purdy, and there is no better than a Japanese Style Stainless Steel version like this one from Barfly. At 43.5 cm long, this stirrer will twirl your drink and mend the chilled and previously lukewarm bond.
But before that door opens, there is one thing you got to check and arguably the most important of any bar setup. You need to be sitting heavy with ice, froth, burgs, and/or cubes. In addition to a well-stockpiled armory of standard cubes waiting patiently in the freezer for smoothies, filling a highball, or throwing into your Yarai pitcher, it’s nice to have a few silicone trays for a big hipster Kootek Cube to accompany your lowballed mixture. And after you make a few coins off Craigslist, pick up the Brumate Ice Sphere to really set yourself apart from the rest. All said and done, just about any cube will work but YOU HAVE TO HARVEST YOUR CUBES. Running out of ice is the worst and inexcusable.
Knock, knock at the door. The time has come to fight the storms of the day and clink a few with a familiar face. You’ve aligned your bar presentation with glassware, mixing pitchers and strainer, spoon, jigger, and a whole sled of ice, SO hopefully, you actually have something to fill the stemless ware. The fireplace is lit, presents are under the tree, and Uncle Tim has his vintage turtleneck on… all is right. Remember, one drink will ease the tension, two will have you ordering a Little Neros Pizza, and three, well, nighty night good friends.
Stay tuned for Bar Essentials Part Deux
If it’s a wine kind of night, screw the cork with stealthy Code38
Please be patient with your bartender. Even a toilet can only serve one asshole at a time.
Do you have an ingredient list for the Mexican Beehive yet?