Bartools is a topic that interest many including myself and one day i got the idea to check out what i really have and started to dig out my shakers, jiggers, spoons and muddlers. Like most cocktail geeks i have more than i need for myself – that`s clear but it doesn`t matter because there`s always occasions when you need to bring along your tools. Its of course better to have a set of tools that you like and therefore use than tons of things that just will take up space but on the other hand..its also fun and something very satisfying in collecting beautiful and useful bartools.
I`m especially fond of shakers, muddlers and spoons, but for some reason i have managed to abtain quite a bit of different jiggers and have found out which jiggers are my favorites and its actually 3 different jiggers. As for spoons i will always love my Inox barspoon from Italy with a little muddler top. Its wonderful in my hand and its slightly bent at the spoon-part which i like. But its good to have a few with different shapes.
A very nice barspoon is the japanese spoon that has a fork at the end. These also comes in gold and indeed they look elegant and cool. One such spoon was the prize for the best cocktail during the 1 year anniversary TDN, not a bad prize! and it went to Tony Harion (Mixingbar) Otherwise you can get them from Cocktail Kingdom.
“Stir with love” oh yes!
…and shake…and how i love the sound of the shaker! When it comes to shakers, i more or less always use the same old shaker – its a boston shaker with two tins that once lived in a bar and that has a partially rubber surface on the biggest of the tins giving it a good grip, its old and worn-out and i love it.
Another interesting topic is vintage shakers and i would like to start collecting a few of those, they are very interesting and really beautiful and some has some fun shapes. I wouldn`t mind having one or two vintage Hawkes sterling and crystal shakers…I saw some very interesting vintage barware and tools (among many other interesting things) at the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans and quite a few similar looking shakers in the shops windows.
If you`re interested in cocktail shakers, here is a good site: http://cocktailshakers.com/
Shakers in the shops windows in New Orleans.
Vintage shaker at the Museum of the American Cocktail
Another barware that i`m very fond of is the bitters or dasher bottles. Oh are they beautiful and useful! I collect them whenever i get a chance, all kinds of varietes, the ones we can buy here comes from Germany. The one i like the most is the rounded art-deco style bottles with “cracked” glass but there´s those beautiful japanese bottles too and by now you should know where to find them.
Soda siphons is something else that i find interesting and especially i find the meshed ones really beautiful and talking about soda, have you yet checked out the book “Fix the Pumps” by Darcy O`Neil? – if you haven`t i think you should, its a massive work containing a lot of interesting reading about everything from the history of the soda fountain to obscure tincture recipes.
The muddler is another collectors item and one of the most useful of the tools and if i`m not wrong Camper has quite a collection. I like robust muddlers of wood and to my luck i was graced with an excellent Pug-muddler of my good friend Kaiserpenguin. (PUG stands for “Pick Up Gallagher’s” ) and are made by Chris Gallagher in Cornwall, New York. They come in a variety of woods and can be ordered by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a link to a picture of the Pug muddlers which really looks like work of art.
The Pug muddler is said to be the best muddler and it is good, very good even though for me it took a little while for me to get used to the pointed top. I do have other muddlers too of course, and sometimes another muddler may fit better, its all depending on what`s going to be muddled and the shape of the glass, for example a thinner muddler fits better in a tall narrow glass, like the one from Leblon.
Here is a great post about Pug and other muddlers.
So which are your favorite tools and why? do you collect something special?