The New Rules of Ice
Serious about your cocktails? Then you need a proper chill.
An expert's guide to the essentials every man needs on hand.
Bar tools are the equipment that let you interact with the liquids you use to make cocktails. I think how you use them and the ones you choose to use are personal choices. It has always been one of those "learn the rules so you can break them" kind of things. Some places like you to use certain jiggers because that's how they have always done it. In this day and age of bartending, it would be foolish to show up to work and use anything you aren't comfortable with. I doubt jockeys show up to the race and get blindsided with a saddle they have never used before. I am going to walk you through my tools and why I use them and where you can get them.
For glasses, I go straight to Etsy or local antique shops. I now have the best set of rocks glasses I've ever owned thanks to vintage glass shopping. Watch out for lead crystal decanters and avoid storing liquid in them for any real amount of time like port, whiskey or brandy. Pretty lead crystal champagne flutes however should not have bubbles in them long enough to cause more damage than the wine itself. I did snag some highball glasses from Umami and I love them for long drinks. Use these rad metal straws with a Tom Collins to really show that you know what you are doing. Coupes or dessert glasses are everywhere. Even old sherbert cups can play well for drinks. You just have to dip into those antique stores. I could not recommend it more for finding high quality glassware at a bargain.
Luke Andrews is a writer, bartender and the beverage director at The Whistler in Chicago, IL.