You can’t make drinks without a few tools, but again, it’s not that long a list. Here are Ordonez’s home bar essentials:
Shaker: Get the 3-piece kind with the built in strainer in a medium or large size.
Mixing glass: A cut crystal oversized glass just for mixing martinis and manhattans.
Mixing spoon: A long handled spoon, perhaps with a twisted stem, for mixing cocktails or fishing olives out of the jar.
Jigger: This is what you use to measure so your drinks taste the same every time. The best ones have a little cup on either side. Ordonez likes the 1.5 to .5 ounce and the 1 to 2 ounce.
Ice bucket & Tongs: A steady supply of fresh ice is crucial when you’re mixing drinks. The tongs let you add one piece of ice to drink without using your fingers.
Muddler: A wooden or metal tool for releasing the oils from herbs or mashing soft fruit, this is becoming a basic bar tool, with the popularity of mojitos.
Finally, you’ll need something to serve those drinks in. It’s time to get rid of those mismatched hand-me-downs and invest in some matching barware. Besides glasses for wine and beer, here’s what Ordonez suggests you stock for eight:
Rocks Glass = Short and wide. Used for Vodka rocks, gin & tonic.
Highball or Tom Collins = Tall and skinny. Used for Mojito or Tom Collins.
Cocktail Glass = Flared with a foot. Used for a Martini or Old Cuban.
Now that you’ve got a real bar, you need to make time for practicing your art. “Part of having the bar is dedicating some time to having fun with it,” says Ordonez. “It builds your palate and prepares you to be a better host.”