Cocktail shaker, jigger and berries beside glass with iced beverage on white countertop

Anyone who aspires to have a home bar worth talking about needs to make sure they have a cocktail kit that's up to the task. Without the proper tools, you would essentially be the always woefully unprepared uncle trying in vain to pull together something as simple as a highball for holiday guests. And without the right ingredients, like our Sparkling CBD Soda, whatever you do serve up to your unsuspecting guests is going to fall flat in the flavor department. With that said, we're here today to take a look at the basics that make up the perfect cocktail kit.

A Shaker

In this case, we are not referring to a member of an obscure religious sect notable for the austere but high-quality furniture they produce. Instead, we're talking about that iconic piece of stainless steel barroom kit that is emblematic of the cocktail experience. There are several different kinds of shakers including the cobbler shaker with its Art Deco profile and the more minimalist Boston shaker. Which one people choose is largely a matter of taste, but you will need to have one.

A Jigger

Before you can get your cocktail shakin', rattlin' and rollin' in the shaker you need to make sure you've used the right portions. The jigger is how you do that. This small, hourglass on a stick device enables precise portion control which helps you develop consistency in the creation of your cocktails. In most cases, one side measures out 1 ½ ounces, while the other half of the "hourglass" measures out ¾ of an ounce. Be careful when buying one, however, because there are some out there that offer non-standard measurements.

A Strainer

There are a number of different strainers available but only 3 that are in widespread use. They are the julep, fine mesh and Hawthorne strainers. The julep strainer is the least popular of the 3 and is commonly used as a backup if there is no Hawthorne strainer available. The fine mesh strainer is a specialty strainer employed when you want your cocktail to have a velvety texture that is free of pulp and other bits that might get through a Hawthorne strainer. Sometimes bartenders will use a fine mesh strainer to strain a drink a second time after first using the Hawthorne. Finally, the Hawthorne strainer is widely used on all kinds of cocktails to clean them up a bit before serving.

A Bar Spoon

Not every cocktail will call for a shaker. That's especially true if you're mixing carbonated CBD beverages in your drink. So how do you mix things up without shaking them? With a bar spoon of course. The bar spoon is long and slender enough to allow you to reach right to the bottom of even the tallest, thinnest cocktail glass and stir it effectively. Most also have a flat or “footed” end opposite the spoon that allows you to stand them up on the bar when you're not using them.

A Muddler

It may sound like someone who plays rugby or Irish football but a muddler is what you use to extract a bit more flavor from certain cocktail ingredients. Essentially it's the same idea as the mortar and pestle, just more refined, and it's vital to the creation of any number of popular cocktails. A cocktail like the mojito for instance calls for muddled mint to be added to rum, sugar, and quality club soda like our Sparkling CBD Soda. Without properly muddling the mint the whole cocktail will fall flat.

A Channel Knife

A channel knife is like a potato peeler for citrus fruit. You use it to peel the rinds of lemons, limes and other cocktail fruits. The channel knife creates spiral strips that you'll often see garnishing high-end cocktails like the vodka martini. They're also used to put the finishing touch on any number of tropical cocktails.

A Citrus Squeezer

While you can get an electric citrus squeezer if you wish a manual squeezer should be sufficient for any home bar. The citrus squeezer is used to produce a modest quantity of fresh lemon or lime juice. This is an oft-overlooked piece of cocktail kit that will come in handy more often than you can imagine if you have an active home bar.

Cocktail Glasses

Sure, you can serve everything in those big ugly red plastic cups if you want. But if you want your home bar to have some integrity you'll invest in proper cocktail glasses. These include:

  • Martini glasses - Use for martinis, cosmopolitans and more.
  • Lowball glasses - Also called “Old Fashioned” glasses after the cocktail of that name.
  • Rocks glasses - Low and wide for serving drinks on the rocks.
  • Coupe glasses - Used for a variety of more obscure cocktails.
  • Collins glasses - Like a highball glass but taller and thinner.
  • Copper mugs - The Moscow Mule and its numerous offspring cry out for copper mugs.

The Right Sparkling CBD Drinks

You can have all the world-class cocktail kit money can buy but if the mixers you use are substandard your cocktails will still come up short. Our line of CBD beverages provide your cocktails with life and character. They help produce that “wow” reaction all home bar owners want to hear from their holiday party or dinner guests. So don't waste your money on the discount soda aisle at the supermarket. Instead, invest in Sparking CBD Soda from Sparkling CBD.

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