Cocktails have been a popular drink choice for centuries, with countless variations and recipes created over the years. At their essence, cocktails are a combination of different ingredients, such as spirits, juices, syrups, and bitters, that are mixed together to create a balanced and flavourful drink. What makes cocktails so appealing is their versatility and creativity, with endless possibilities for experimentation and customisation. From a classic martini, a fruity margarita, or a bold whiskey sour, there's a cocktail out there for everyone.
Whether you’re looking to make cocktails for a party you're hosting, a quiet night in, or to impress your friends with your mixology skills, having the right equipment is key.
Read on below to discover our 15 essential things you need for cocktail making at home.
The cocktail shaker is the cornerstone of any cocktail-making kit. It allows you to mix and chill your ingredients to perfection, creating a delicious and refreshing drink. There are two types of cocktail shakers: the Boston shaker and the Cobbler shaker. The Boston shaker consists of two parts, a metal tin, and a mixing glass, while the Cobbler shaker has three parts, a metal tin, a strainer, and a cap. Choose the one that suits your needs and budget.
Ice Cube Tray
Ice is essential to any cocktail. You can't make a refreshing drink without it. An ice cube tray is a must-have in any home bar. It's easy to use and comes in various sizes and shapes. You can choose from traditional cubes, spheres, and even creative designs like stars, hearts, or diamonds. Whatever the shape, make sure you have plenty of ice on hand.
The type of glass you use can make or break your cocktail experience. Choose the right glassware for the type of cocktail you're making. For example, a martini should be served in a chilled martini glass, while a whisky sour is best served in a rocks glass. A basic set of glassware should include a variety of glasses like martini glasses, highball glasses, and rocks glasses.
Fruit juices are a key ingredient in many cocktails, providing both flavour and balance to the drink. At Frobishers, we are fruit juice aficionados and have a delicious range of nine Jubilant Juices to choose from. From classics like Orange, Apple, and Cranberry, to the more unusual Pink Grapefruit, Tomato and Cherry, they are the perfect base for all your cocktail favourites, including the Cosmopolitan and Pina Colada. When it comes to stocking up on fruit juices for cocktail making, it's important to have a variety of options available. Shop our range of soft drinks online now and build a custom box of all your favourite flavours.
A jigger is a small measuring tool used to measure the precise amount of alcohol you need for your cocktail. It's essential for maintaining consistency and ensuring that your drinks are balanced. A basic jigger usually has two sides, one for measuring a small amount, usually one ounce, and the other for measuring a larger amount, usually two ounces.
A mixing spoon is essential for stirring cocktails. It's long enough to reach the bottom of the glass, and the twisted handle helps to mix the ingredients effectively. A good mixing spoon should be made of stainless steel and have a comfortable grip.
A muddler is used to crush ingredients like fruit, herbs, or sugar, to release their flavours and aromas. It's a great tool to use for making drinks like mojitos or old fashionds. This releases their flavours and oils, making them more intense in the finished drink.
Freshly squeezed citrus juice adds a bright, tangy flavour to cocktails. A handheld citrus juicer is an inexpensive and efficient way to extract juice from lemons, limes, and oranges.
When you're ready to serve your cocktail, you'll want to strain out any solid ingredients or ice. A Hawthorne strainer, which fits over the top of a shaker or mixing glass, is the most common type.
A cutting board is essential for chopping and slicing garnishes such as citrus fruit or herbs. Look for a board that is large enough to accommodate your ingredients, but small enough to fit in your kitchen.
A sharp knife is crucial for cutting your garnishes quickly and safely. Choose a knife with a comfortable grip and a blade that is sturdy enough to handle tough ingredients.
Sugar and Salt Rimmers
Rimming a glass with sugar or salt adds a decorative touch to cocktails and can enhance their flavours. A set of sugar and salt rimmers, which attach to the rim of a glass, makes the process easy and mess-free. You can also use a shallow bowl or plate.
Simple syrup, which is made from equal parts sugar and water, is a common ingredient in many cocktails. It's easy to make at home - you can find our simple syrup recipe here.
Bitters are concentrated flavourings made from herbs, spices, and fruits. A few drops of bitters can add depth and complexity to cocktails. Angostura bitters, which have a warm, spicy flavour, are a classic choice.
Your Favourite Spirits
Finally, you'll need a selection of spirits to create your cocktails. A basic home bar should include a bottle of gin, vodka, rum, tequila, and whiskey. These five spirits form the basis of most classic cocktails and offer a wide range of flavours and profiles. If you have a preference for a specific type of cocktail, such as martinis or margaritas, you may want to invest in a higher-quality version of that spirit. However, for most home bartenders, a basic selection of these five spirits will provide a great starting point for cocktail-making at home.
With these 15 essential items, you'll be well on your way to becoming a master home mixologist. So, invest in these essentials, gather your favourite spirits, and get ready to shake, stir, and sip your way to cocktail perfection.
Ready to get mixing and looking for cocktail and mocktail inspiration? Check out our selection of recipes here on our blog. You can also follow us on Instagram and TikTok (@frobishersjuices) to see our latest cocktail reels. Don’t forget to tag us in any of your creations!