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Bar Tools for the Advanced Home Bourbon Bartender
This is part 3 of our series on Tools For The Home Bourbon Bartender. Read on to learn about some bar tools for the advanced home bartender!
Mixology starts from the bottom-up, putting top-level home bartending in a creative space that adds an extra layer of the unexpected and exciting, to an already well-crafted drink. At this point, you’ve mastered the Sazerac or recreated the Boulevardier. You may be getting garnish-happy, sculpting works of art on a skewer and are definitely ready for bigger and badder toys. Below are a few home bar staples to complement your skills.
Advanced Bar Tools
There are several very cool ways to smoke a cocktail, such as torching wood chips under a glass or with one of those cute, little wooden hat thingies. Above all, I most prefer a smoking gun. The rubber tube allows the user to more easily control the direction of the smoke and it produces a lot of it very quickly. Just don’t forget to bring extra batteries if you plan to take it somewhere. Not like I’ve done that or anything; I just wouldn’t want you to miss out on showing off your rad skills, at some groovy party where you’ve been volunteered to provide the drinks.
If you have a fancy smoking gun then a cloche really is not optional. Filling a tall, glass vessel full of smoke, which gets whisked away to reveal a gorgeous drink, never gets old. Specifically for this purpose, there are several models that have a porthole specifically for attaching a smoking gun hose. Handy, yes. But necessary, no. The hose will fit just fine under the edge of a cloche without much of it escaping prematurely. Plus, a cloche can be used for other things, such as showcasing herbs for garnishes or storing dessert. It looks beautiful, so no need to let a smoking-specific porthole ruin the view. Just look for one that is food safe, has a base that goes with it and that you think looks really, really cool.
This doodad will quickly become your new best friend, not only for making use of a smoking gun, but also to flame a garnish, brûlée some citrus or other minor pyrotechnics you pick up that are also executed with utmost safety, emergency backup plans and your ironclad vow that I hold no liability for any of your bartending shenanigans. Now that we agree, I can confidently recommend a handy, dandy butane torch. Keep a stash of extra butane cans for refills and your mixology adventures will be always ready for takeoff.
An advanced accessory that doesn’t involve smoke or flames, although it totally can (you just didn’t hear it from me), are atomizers. Sense of smell is an underrated but wildly powerful part of enjoying a cocktail experience. Amplify your best recipes with a spritz of unexpected aromatics. Imagine a burst of mint before diving into a chocolate concoction, or a hint of sage preceding a pineapple-y dream drink, or a burst of black pepper over blueberry fruitiness. Once you achieve atomizer ownership and regular use, you have graduated to ultimate cocktail geekiness.
Blenders are loud, messy and bulky. They are also a sign of a seasoned mixologist. Frozen drinks are absolutely divine, if made correctly. Getting that frothy texture and frozen refreshment is not as simple as adding all of the ingredients of your favorite drink then a bunch of ice. It requires a keen understanding of dilution and balanced flavor ratios. But once you have that down then you’re ready for one of these bad boys. I have been using a NutriBullet for, like, ever, because it’s powerful and compact, and doesn’t require much storage space. Frozen drinks usually aren’t something to whip up every week, so saving some space is nice. However, if you plan to be hosting a few Kentucky luaus, then get a good-sized machine for the job.
You’ve done it!
Welp, if you’ve acquired the tools and mastered the skills from all three of these posts then go ahead and start planning for the top cocktail bars to be going out of business! We don’t need them anymore. We’ve brought power to the people…okay, I’m truly kidding. Just because we all know how to brush and floss doesn’t mean the local dentist will close their doors either. You simply have options now! Experience a glass of mixology genius at the swankiest cocktail place in town or make a tasty mess at home. The choice is yours. Cheers.
We hope you have found our article on advanced bar tools useful. Be sure to check out the other two parts: Bar Tools for The Beginning Bartender and Intermediate Home Bar Tools as well as our Home Bartending Guide!
Aften Locken is a bourbon nerd and a cocktail geek, mixing the two together in ways that will make partakers say “wow” and stay thirsty for more. She has worked in the beverage alcohol industry for six years as a bourbon educator, presenter, tour guide and experience designer. Her mixology endeavors include the design and execution of showcased cocktails for the 6th Floor Millionaire’s Row at the Kentucky Derby, premium bar management for VIP attendees of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, regular cocktail class series for bourbon enthusiast groups and promotional videos for premium brands. In the bourbon realm, she creates and executes premium bourbon experiences and education offered through Bourbonpro.com.
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