Key Cocktail Kit
The tools you’ll need as well as items that can be improvised
Walk into any decent cocktail joint and you’ll see a huge array of gadgets behind the bar designed to help the staff mix up their drinks in the best possible way. It can be somewhat mind-boggling for the average drinker seeing all the different mixing jars, muddlers, measures, shakers and whatnot all neatly lined up, constantly being washed and replaced ready to use again. And watching the bartenders at work can seem as smooth-yet-complex an operation as a Formula One pit stop.
There are some absolute essentials that you’ll need when it comes to mixing up great cocktails at home. But you don’t need the whole range of gear to get the ball rolling in making awesome mixed drinks, and there are plenty of shortcuts or alternative items you can use to achieve the same results.
This is the most vital piece of kit in your cocktail-making armoury, for measuring out each liquid that is going into the mix. Why? Because cocktails are all about balance, and it’s this balance that helps you walk the tightrope between a good drink and a great drink.
Most bars use a jigger measure, which looks like a metal egg timer, normally with one larger end that holds 50ml of liquid and the other smaller end holding 25ml. Most cocktail books give measures in millilitres (ml) or fluid ounces (fl oz), or both, but since we are all about ease here, we use ‘parts’, where 1 part = 25ml (lfl oz). This means that you don’t need a professional measure at all, just a smallish receptacle that allows you to measure liquid out consistently. An egg cup is ideal, or a shot glass, both of which hold roughly 50ml (2fl oz). So if a recipe asks for, say, 2 parts vodka and 1 part espresso coffee, then use one full egg cup or shot glass of vodka and half an egg cup or shot glass of coffee. Simple, eh!
大多数酒吧都使用量酒杯(jigger)，它看起来像一个金属煮蛋计时器，通常一端较大，可盛放 50 毫升的液体，另一端较小，可盛放 25 毫升的液体。大多数鸡尾酒书给出的量度单位是毫升（ml）或盎司（fl oz），或两者兼而有之，但由于我们在这里的目的是方便使用，所以我们使用 “份”，即 1 份 = 25 毫升（lfl oz）。这意味着你根本不需要专业的量具，只需要一个小巧的容器，就能让你始终如一地量出液体。最理想的是一个蛋杯，或者一个玻璃杯，这两种杯子都可以盛大约 50 毫升（2fl 盎司）的液体。因此，如果食谱上要求 2 份伏特加和 1 份特浓咖啡，那么就用一个蛋杯或玻璃杯装伏特加，再用半个蛋杯或玻璃杯装咖啡。很简单吧！
On the whole, a cocktail shaker is key to making a mixed drink – but not essential, as our first group of cocktail recipes shows. There are two main types of cocktail shaker:
This consists of two halves, one metal and one glass, one slightly bigger than the other so that they fit perfectly together. A separate strainer is required for this style of shaker (see below).
This looks a little like a New York fire hydrant and comes in three parts, often all metal: a large compartment for ingredients, a lid with a built-in strainer and a cap that frequently doubles as a 1-part measure (see page 6).
However, maybe you’re visiting a friend and want to mix up a cocktail but you’re stuck for a shaker, in which case you can use a number of alternatives. We have been known to shake up a mean Sour using a Kilner jar or even whip up an Espresso Martini in a sports water bottle! Whatever item you improvise with, it’s vital that it’s not too fragile and can be sealed closed so that it’s watertight.
Nearly all drinks made in either a cocktail shaker or a mixing glass (see page 8) will need to be strained, holding back the ice and any other bits and pieces that were added to impart flavour from your serving glass. The advantage of using a Cobbler shaker is that your strainer will be built in, but if using a Boston shaker or when straining drinks from a mixing glass, you’ll need a cocktail strainer, sometimes called a Hawthorne, to cover one half of the shaker or the mixing glass top as you pour out the mixture.
‘Fine straining’ is a term reserved for drinks that are double strained – passed through the standard cocktail strainer and also a tea strainer or small fine sieve. Using something other than a cocktail shaker? Just strain through a regular kitchen sieve or large tea strainer into the glass.
You may well already own some sort of citrus squeezer or juicer, but if you don’t, we really recommend you opt for a handled citrus squeezer, where you place a citrus fruit half in the nook by the hinge (often called the ‘Elbow’), close it, squeeze hard and hey presto – juice! However, people commonly make the same mistake using this citrus squeezer as they do with a wetsuit: they use it backwards. As the zip on a wetsuit goes at the back, so the fruit half goes into the dimple of the citrus squeezer upside down, like a dome. As the other half of the squeezer presses down on the fruit, it pushes it inside out and releases all the goodness within.
An electric juicer, should you have one, comes in handy for pre-juicing a large batch of citrus fruit when required or if you’re making several of the same cocktail. No shame in using a little technology here!
This allows you to stir a drink with ice, diluting it as you do so. But you don’t really need a special bit of kit here – in fact, two of the world’s best bars, Swift in London and Little Red Door in Paris, use small, flat-sided stainless-steel storage containers from a well-known Swedish store. If they can, so can you!
使用搅拌杯就可以用冰块搅拌饮料，边搅拌边稀释。其实，世界上最好的两家酒吧，伦敦的 Swift 和巴黎的 Little Red Door，使用的都是来自瑞典一家知名商店的小而扁的不锈钢容器。他们能做到，你也能做到！
A large wooden stick, reminiscent of a miniature Victorian rolling pin, the muddler’s job is to crush down ingredients such as fresh herbs and citrus fruit to release their flavours before mixing and/or shaking. You can use the end of a small rolling pin that fits inside your cocktail shaker or glass instead.
Pretty much what it says on the tin, this is a small spoon with a long shaft to allow you to stir your cocktails and reach all the way to the bottom of the glass, to where a lot of the heavier ingredients sink. This will help to give your drink a much better consistency. The spoon itself contains about 5ml (1 teaspoon), so is ideal for adding precise amounts of a flavoursome ingredient for perfect balance. Many bar spoons have a twisted shaft, around which you can curl a narrow ribbon of citrus peel for a more flamboyant garnish (see page 22).
调酒匙（直译叫长勺）顾名思义，是一把带有长柄的小勺子，可以拿来搅拌鸡尾酒，而且能伸到杯底，因为很多较重的配料都容易沉底。调酒匙有助于使饮料更加均匀。勺子本身的容量约为 5 毫升（1 茶匙），因此非常适合精确添加强力调味料，以达到完美的平衡。许多调酒匙都有一个扭曲的勺轴，你可以在勺轴上卷绕一条窄窄的柑橘皮，以做更华丽的装饰。
Many of our cocktails call for a thin piece of citrus peel as a garnish, for which you need a vegetable peeler to cut the outer peel of the fruit (see page 22).
KNIFE & CHOPPING BOARD
The thing about citrus fruit is that they come whole, so you’ll need a good-quality, sharp knife (careful, now!) along with a sturdy, non-slip chopping board to halve them for squeezing and to cut them up for garnishes (see page 22).
… AND FRIENDS
Finally, the best drinking accessory is your friends. Okay, not a cabinet essential (occasionally a bit of solace and a Whisky Sour is what we need in life), but drinking together is nearly always better than drinking alone.