Entertaining & Recipes

The 5 Cocktail Tools You Need, According to a Pro Bartender

The 5 Cocktail Tools You Need, According to a Pro Bartender
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Located at the base of a soaring atrium crowned by nine floors worth of Victorian railings, the Temple Court bar at New York’s Beekman Hotel has been the place to grab a drink since it opened last year. With a cocktail menu crafted as an homage to the property’s publishing-house past, libations take their names from writers and poets—Edgar Allen Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald—and are tempting enough to convert even the most seasoned of oenophiles.

To help you recreate the experience at home, we turned to Temple Court bartender Miguel Cuate for a few pro tips—starting with a list of tools every home bar needs. (Good news: It’s only five items long.) See Miguel’s recommendations below, then try your hand at one of Temple Court’s signature libations: the Pablo Neruda.

The Essentials

These five tools will take you from novice to know-it-all:

The Shaker
Key for everything from a martini to an Americano.

The Jigger
The device used for portion control, a two-ended jigger takes the guesswork out of “two fingers or three?”

The Bar Knife
For slicing and spearing garnishes with ease. Some multipurpose versions feature a bottle opener too.

The Hawthorne Strainer
A flat, round piece of metal surrounded by a spring, this is the tool that lets you pour your concoction from shaker to glass like a pro—neatly, that is.

The Cocktail Spoon
Longer and slimmer than what’s used to scoop soup. One in silver turns stirring a mojito into a work of art.

The Signature Drink

Once you have all the elements above, put them to good use and shake up a Pablo Neruda, a riff on a margarita inspired by the Chilean poet.

½ oz mescal
1 oz blanco tequila
1 oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz pomegranate juice
5 drops of jalapeño tincture (see below)
Black lava salt or kosher salt and chile pequin powder

For the jalapeño tincture: Slice 2 jalapeño peppers and mix into 8 oz of high-proof vodka. Let steep overnight.

Rim a rocks glass with black lava salt or a mixture of equal parts kosher salt and chile pequin powder (available at specialty-foods stores). Shake all other ingredients together, and strain into a glass over a large cube of ice.

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