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Preparing for A Party: Getting Your Bar Ready

Posted by Bryan on 7/26/2013 to Hosting a Wine Tasting
If you are setting up a wet bar in your home, or just enjoy entertaining company over cocktails, then one of the things you should consider is which bar tools and accessories you need to own. The first step in this process is to determine the range of drinks you expect to be serving. If wine is the primary beverage of choice, then there are a few "must have" items that should be at the top of your list:

* A Wine chiller or Wine cooler - Drinking chilled wine is a must, and wine chillers and coolers are excellent ways to lower the temperature of your favorite bottle, and keep it cool while you're entertaining.
* A Wine aerator or decanter - If you really want to bring out the full flavor of your wine, then exposing it to air has to be part of the process. Wine aerators come in two distinct styles, aerators that attach to the bottle, and pour through aerators, which fit on top of the wine glass itself. Decanters allow you to pour the wine into the decanter prior to serving, and the wide base allows an increased contact with the air.

For those who enjoy cocktails, the list obviously gets much more extensive, due to the sheer number of different types of cocktails out there. Some cocktail bar tools are suitable for many different types and styles of mixed drinks, while others have very specific purposes that are tailored to a specific cocktail. A few basic cocktail bar tools to consider:

* Ice tongs - For any cocktail you serve on the rocks, ice tongs are a necessity, as no one wants to see you grab ice cubes with your hands and toss them in the glass they're about to drink from.
* A Cocktail shaker - Used to both mix cocktail ingredients and, by adding ice, allows you to quickly chill your cocktail. The three basic types of cocktail shakers are the Boston Shaker, French Shaker and Cobbler shaker.
* A strainer - Either a Hawthorne strainer or a Julep strainer (for those yummy mint juleps) allow you to mix and chill your cocktail, and then serve it neat.
* A double jigger - Used to measure liquid elements of your cocktail, double jiggers have two measuring devices and come in two standard sizes, 1 ounce and 1/2 ounce, and 1-1/2 ounce and 3/4 ounce.

As you build up your bar tools collection, you can add items like muddlers and bar knives as they become necessary. A good set of bar tools is a necessity for the home bartender, and allow you to better enjoy your favorite drinks, as well as expand the different types of cocktails you can prepare.
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