At Sociable Kitchen + Tavern, we believe that using the proper tools alongside great ingredients will empower us to craft the perfect cocktail. There are a number of basic tools which should be in every bartender’s back pocket.
We’ve created a simple graphic so that you can acquaint yourself with the basic, yet essential tools and ingredients that we use on the daily. Get to know how to use them and next time you stop by, pay careful attention as we use these tools to resurrect the lost art of the cocktail!
• Hourglass-shaped measuring device used to ensure that one pours accurate amounts of alcohol, juice and other mixes into every drink
• Always contains two different measuring amounts – one on either side of the hourglass
2. YARAI MIXING PITCHER:
• To be used for drinks which are designed to be stirred instead of shaken. This includes drinks wherein spirits make up the bulk of the cocktail
• Often paired with a mixing spoon
3. WOOD MUDDLER:
• To be used when you want to extract the most flavour from fresh ingredients and garnishes such as mint or fruit
• When muddling, one should not smash the ingredients into a messy pulp, but apply gentle pressure so as to release the essential oils (in the case of herbs) or slowly extract juice (when muddling a fruit)
• At Sociable Kitchen & Tavern, we use bitters from Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers in Lincoln, Ontario! Dillon’s Bitters are crafted from natural base ingredients, infused and finished with fine botanicals and wood.
• More generally, bitters are alcohol based extractions of plant matter which are added to cocktails to enhance pre-existing flavours and to add other complex flavours or aromatics.
5. HAND SQUEEZER:
• A manual press allowing you to use freshly squeezed juice when crafting the perfect cocktail!
• At Sociable Kitchen & Tavern, we have invested in industrial-style juice, but this is great for use at home! Quick Tip: If you are squeezing a lemon that has a knobby end, trim that off and discard it. These hand squeezers work more efficiently when the lemon is round, not lumpy.
6. HAWTHORNE STRAINER
• To be used when pouring directly from a cocktail shaker
• Allows liquid to pour freely with some small solids, which is a desired texture for some cocktails
• Make sure you are always straining your cocktail onto fresh ice!
7. BOSTON SHAKER
• Consists of a shaking tin and a mixing glass
• Cocktails should always be built in the mixing glass so you can see what you are building. Ice should be added directly to the shaker!
8. SUGAR CUBES:
• Raw cane sugar pressed into the perfect square to give the cocktail the perfect amount of sweetness in our Proper Old Fashioned
• Always make sure to add a few dashes of bitters directly to the sugar cube and hand stir so that it dissolves into syrup before adding the spirits!
9. FRIUT PEELER:
• Did you know that orange oil can only be found in the glands of an orange peel?
• This tool is often used to garnish a variety of cocktails and release further essential oils.
• Applying the correct amount of pressure will allow you to garnish your cocktails with an orange or grapefruit peel without the pith.
10. MIXING BARSPOON:
• Used for stirring, naturally! The long shaft allows us to reach to the bottom of the largest of mixing glasses, while the twisted form allows the spoon to spin freely in one’s stirring hand while it moves around the glass
11. MIXING WOOD SPOON:
• Used for serving a pitcher of our Signature Sangria
• Stirring the drink into the ice instead of shaking it prevents over dilution of the alcohol, whilst still allowing us to keep the drink chilled. Perfect for patio weather!