The global pandemic saw a huge shift in attitudes toward leisure and entertainment. Many people began to invest in theatres and bars for their own homes. Did you know that in the UK alone, an estimated £2.2 billion was spent on bringing these to residential properties?
If you are thinking of creating one, then do you know what equipment you need? Read on as we discuss the essential alcohol accessories for any home bar.
1. Cocktail Shaker
The cocktail shaker is the most essential of the booze accessories, required by any aspiring mixologist. It is used to toss the ingredients in cocktails, creating a seamless blend of flavor. However, the shaker is only part of the story.
You must get a quality shaker. Cheaper ones won’t form the correct seal necessary between the bottom and top tins. You need one that can hold at least two drinks’ worth of mixture with ice.
Investing in a weighted version is also a good idea. This lets the maker get a better grip on the cocktail.
Smaller shakers are available, usually in three pieces that contain a strainer. If you go for a larger option you should invest in one of these regardless. It will prevent any unwanted guests from fruit and infusions from reaching your glass.
2. Wine Preserver
When wine is exposed to the air, it begins to oxidize. At first, this alcohol aeration increases the flavor but after a while will start to compromise it. When you open a bottle, you should ideally drink it as soon as possible so that you get the best taste.
Of course, this is not always possible, so a wine preserver is there to help. It removes any excess oxygen in an opened bottle of wine holding the taste for longer.
There are several types of wine preservers on the market. Some use pressurized devices that spray chemicals into the bottle. The mix of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon covers the wine and keeps any reactions from occurring.
Others include stoppers with vacuum pumps attached. A rubber cap attaches around the head of the bottle and the vacuum sucks out the air. The operator pushes the handle of a pump up and down repeatedly to make it work.
3. Spirit Rails and Optics
If you are building a bar at home you need somewhere to store your alcoholic beverages. Beer and wine can be refrigerated, but you need somewhere to show off your spirit collection. Luckily there are several options.
A simple spirit rail is one idea. This is a shelf with sides where you can drop your bottles in. You may have multiple ones if you have a wide range of spirits to hand.
If you are pouring them a lot then consider an optic. These are used in European bars and hang bottles upside down. When you push the glass underneath, the optic delivers a standardized-sized shot to your glass.
4. Bar Spoons
Some alcoholic beverages should be stirred and not shaken. This requires the use of a mixing glass and a bar spoon. There are three different varieties available.
The American variation will have a twisted handle for grip and control. It usually has a plastic cap at the end.
European bar spoons will have a flattened crusher, often known as the muddler. This is the cocktail bar equivalent of a pestle and mortar. It can be used to crush peels and herbs, as well as stir drinks.
Japanese models tend to be more weighty. They will have this concentrated on a teardrop shape, which usually resides on the other side of the bowl.
A jigger is a measuring vessel you pour the liquor into before it gets tipped into the glass or shaker. It is vital as increased or low levels of spirit can radically alter the taste of a drink. At their most basic level, they are simple, small metal cups that come in two large and small measures.
However, there are a wealth of other jiggers that will add to the character and appeal of your bar. If you are often creating cocktails in bulk, then you may wish to go for a large-scale one that better resembles a measuring jug.
Lots of people also prefer stepped jiggers. They allow you to see how much is being poured in from above, so you can get your measures perfect.
6. Wine Cooler
A wine cooler is a refrigerator used for chilling your wine to the desired temperatures. They can be small enough to fit under bars and countertops, or as large as a standard refrigerator. Inside they will be designed to hold multiple bottles, often having shelving that keeps bottles on their sides.
Around 50 to 59 degrees is the recommended temperature for preserving wine. The mechanics of the machine will also restrict vibrations that may come from the internal motor. Wine is not moved around as a result which can disturb its aging process.
7. Ice Crusher
Some cubes need crushed ice as opposed to cubes. In these instances, a crusher can do the job for you quickly and efficiently. They look like mincing machines, except instead of meat you are pouring ice into the top and grinding it until it falls into the tray at the bottom.
You can buy crushed ice but this can get pricey. If you invest in an ice maker some of the higher-end ones will also provide this for you.
Buying Alcohol Accessories
Like any purchase, you should shop around for your alcohol accessories. Check online reviews and try a few out to see which is best for you. Create a budget for stocking your bar, including alcohol, and soon you are sure to have a great space for drinking the night away.
This article is one of many to help you stay entertained. From DIY to appliances, we can help you make your home look great in the coming season.