“Welcome to what is potentially the most explosive topic in the world of cocktails: the Martini. Folks are very particular about their Martini preferences. Vodka or gin? Dirty or “clean”? Wet or dry?
There are some universal tenants to a great Martini, and the #1 ingredient is COLD. Make sure your glassware is in the freezer for 10+ minutes beforehand, and make sure you have a lot of clean ice. Because the drink is so polarizing, I’m going to give you my favorite 2 recipes.”
While there are dozens of bar tools available from liquor stores to housewares, there are really only 7 tools that you need to get your home bar started (other than liquor and ice). Here’s what I recommend.
Measuring cup. Measuring your liquids for cocktails is essential for making balanced drinks. While I have jiggers and other fancy measuring tools, I use these 4 oz measuring glasses all the time. They’re dishwasher safe and I’ve had them for years.
Mixing glass. Some cocktails should be shaken and some should be stirred. For stirred drinks, a standard pint glass will be fine, though something with a wider base is better in the long run. A Yarai Mixing Glass is elegant and professional, but they’re also $40. I bought a six-pack of 600ml beakers for $14 that I use to stir my cocktails.
Strainer. You really can’t stir drinks (see #2 above) without a strainer to pour the finished product through. The best strainers I’ve found are usually the cheapest. I bought this one for about $4.
Shaker. While most professional bartenders use a Boston Shaker, I’ve found a 3-piece shaker (also called a cobbler) like this one has worked best for me at home. These will run you $10-20.
Knife. You’ll be cutting lots of citrus to pour into your cocktails, so make sure you have a knife to do it with. I have 5 or 6 Kuhn Rikon paring knives, and I love them.
Squeezer. I realize that you can just use your hand to squeeze the citrus for your cocktails, but you’ll get way more juice if you use a squeezer like this one.
Glassware. Using the proper glassware for your cocktail is essential. Save plastic, paper, or other vessels for the frat house. Now that you’re making great cocktails, use the proper glasses.