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Embrace your inner beverage pro every time you get behind your home bar when you use cocktail mixers that put beautifully crafted drinks well within reach. Keep it simple and keep it stylish with shakers, mixing glasses and bar accessories that look great and work even better. The key to finding success behind your home bar is understanding all the options available so you can choose the tools that are right for your needs. Join us at Williams Sonoma to learn more about how to choose your ideal tools.
Cocktail Shaker 101You have two basic options when it comes to shakers: cobblers and Bostons. Cobbler shakers are popular among beginner bartenders who appreciate the all-in-one design of these three-piece cocktail mixers. A cobbler shaker features a mixing vessel and a lid with an integrated strainer. The cap keeps your ingredients inside until you’re ready to pour your drink into a glass. For mixologists who want to increase their skill level, the Boston shaker is often the tool of choice. This two-piece shaker typically includes a mixing glass and a slightly larger metal shaker. With cobblers, you don’t need any additional tools and they’re easy to use. However, they can take longer to use. The holes in the strainer are larger than what’s in a separate strainer, so you might have ingredients slip through. Boston shakers are faster to use, but they do require more skill to get the hang of. Plus, because they don’t come with built-in strainers, you’ll want to buy one. There is also a third choice: an up and comer known as the French shaker. This stylish shaker combines elements of both cobblers and Bostons. Like Boston shakers, the French shaker doesn’t have a strainer.
All About Mixing Glasses
While you need a shaker for many drinks, especially those with fruit juices, lots of cocktails are better when you serve them stirred instead of shaken. Drinks such as Manhattans and martinis that are made mainly with fortified wines, liqueurs and spirits are good candidates to mix in your glasses. The benefits of using a mixing glass instead of a regular glass include the sturdy, wide base that minimizes the chances of it tipping while you work. These handy bar tools have wide mouths and spouts for easy, precise pouring, and they’re sized right for holding a drink plus ice. Best of all, the straight walls let you quickly work your magic with a bar spoon.
Materials & Finishes
Now that you have a good feel for the uses of the different types of mixing tools, start thinking about the finish and style that can look and work well behind your home bar. Stainless-steel, copper and gold are some of the most popular finishes for shakers and bar accessories. You might consider sleek finishes for a classic look, hammered metal for a little edgy appeal or even cocktail mixers made with mixed materials for a unique touch. You can find options that add a little fun to your bar’s style, too. If you’re a racing fan, you might consider choosing a shaker styled like a race car. Are pineapples your thing? A glimmering gold pineapple-shaped shaker might be the ideal addition to your bar.
Tips for Mixing Cocktails
If you’re using a cobbler shaker, you simply need to fill the shaker with ice, add your ingredients, put the lid on and shake it for a slow 10 count. For Boston shakers, add your ice and ingredients to the mixing glass, place the metal tumbler on top and give it a tap to seal the two pieces together. Shake for a slow 10 count, and give the shaker another tap right where the tumbler and the glass meet to break the seal.
Get excited about your home bar with cocktail mixers and bar tools that let you unleash your inner mixologist. Just remember, if you’re making a cocktail with any bubbly or anything that has come out of your carbonator, the carbonated beverage should go right in your cocktail glass, not into the cocktail mixer. You’ll be dazzling guests in no time with your shaking and stirring skills!