Due to corona the bars have been closed for far too long now. So if you don’t happen to live with a bartender, you probably have not been able to enjoy a freshly mixed drink for a while. Very few households have their own home mixing equipment. Together with the bartender Florian Saxinger, we would like to introduce you to our home bar alternatives. With these alternatives you will be able to mix delicious drinks without having to buy expensive bar equipment. With a few simple tricks you will be able to fill the time until your favourite bar opens up again with good home made cocktails.
Home Bar DIY
The choice of bar equipment is virtually limitless. Shaker, jigger, bar spoon, etc. in a wide variety of designs and materials…and prices. If you want to set up your own home bar, you will easily have to spend a three-digit sum – and that is before buying the spirits. And of course every bartender has his or her own personal preference when it comes to the equipment behind the bar. And so the Austrian mixologist Flo Saxinger owns bar spoons worth an average German monthly salary. In return, however, the cocktail virtuoso, who is now at home in the Munich bar scene, mixes a multitude of high quality complex drinks. Normally in a bar when there is no pandemic. To make the current ‘bar-free’ time at home a little more ennjoyable, you don’t neet to have a copper shaker to prepare one or two drinks in an evening. Together with Flo, we therefore would like to introduce you to a total of six bar tools that you can easily replace with ordinary kitchen utensils to mix three classic drinks.
Replaced Bar Tools:
- Bar sieve
A classic sour consists of three elements, usually in the ratio of 5:3:2 – spirit, sourness, sweetness. Optionally you can add egg white and garnish the drink at the end. In our case, we chose a gin sour with THE DUKE Rough Gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white and a lemon zest as a garnish.
The bar tools you will need:
- a jigger to measure out the amounts
- a shaker to mix and cool the ingredients
- a strainer to keep the ice in the shaker when pouring the drink
- a bar sieve to sieve out the fine parts, e.g. the pulp of the lemon juice
- a zester to seperate the zest from the rest of the lemon for the garnish
The Jigger, also known as a bar measure, is usually made of metal and normally has measurements engraved in cl (centilitres) to measure liquids quickly and accurately. If you are not pressed for time, because a custmer is waiting for a drink at the bar, you can simply use a shot glass instead of a professional jigger. These often have a mark printed on them and generally hold 2-4cl. An egg cup can also replace a classic bar measure when measuring out the correct proportions.
The Shaker is similar to the jigger: when it comes to maximum percision, efficiency and ergonimic handling, a professional shaker is essential. If you don’t have to pass hundreds of drinks over the bar every evening, you can improvise here as well. A large screw-top glass also works perfectly for more complex drinks than a gin sour. As long as it’s not too small, reasonably stable and above all, leak-proof it works. Many preserves, such as sauerkraut jars, jam and marmalade jars or ‘Weck’ jars are suitable here. Simply add the ingredients, ice, cover with a lid and shake.
A professional Strainer with its flexible spiral sieve at the bottom edge, fits perfectly onto the opening of a two-part shaker and prevents coarse parts, such as ice cubes or muddled fruit from being carried along when pouring. A three-part shaker already has the strainer integrated. As a DIY variant of the “jam jar shaker”, the lid of an opened tin can, also works perfectly. Simply pierce a few holes into the lid with a sharp object and you’re done. The metal tab, which is used to pull the lid upwards when opening it, allows you to stabalise the homemade strainer perfectly by placing a finger on the rim of the jar.
A Bar Sieve is very similar to a classic kitchen sieve. This makes it an easy option to replace a professional bar sieve in your home bar. A professional bar strainer tapers towards the bottom to prevent the drink from spilling out the side of the glass. This allows you to strain drinks quickly and precisely from the shaker into the glass after shaking. If you’re not in a hurry and you’re allowed to spill a little, a classic kitchen strainer will do just as well.
By the way, pouring from the shaker with a strainer and straining through a sieve is called “double straining”.
Last but not least we’ll add the garnish to the gin sour. A Zester helps cut even pieces from the peel. A classic peeler can be used just as well. With a bit of dexterity a sharp kitchen knife can also be used to create a beautiful garnish. Just give it some time.
Replaced Bar Tools:
- Mixing glass
In it’s original form, a Negroni consists of equal parts gin, red vermouth and Campari. To keep it traditional, we used our classic THE DUKE Munich Dry Gin. As a new bar tool, we need a mixing glass for the Negroni because the cocktail is not shaken, but stirred. In the mixing glass, the ingredients are mixed, cooled and melted ice cubes make the drink milder and at the same time give it more volume (liquid). Flo has a very clever substitute here which he also likes to use behind the bar: a simple enamel teapot. It even has a few advantages over a classic stiring glass, because the latter is usually made of glass and can therefore break more easily. Also, when pouring, the ice remains in the pot so you don’t need a strainer.
Once you have stirred all the ingredients with ice, pour the Negroni into a glass with ice cubes. Whether it’s a single large ice cube – as is now customary in some bars – or smaller ice cubes doesn’t make much of a difference. Finally, cut an orange zest, wipe the rim of the glass with it once and stick it on the glass as a garnish. And just like that the Negroni with DIY Bar Tools is ready.
Gin & Tonic
Replaced Bar Tools:
- Bar spoom
The drink that most people probably make themselves at home is a gin & tonic. If you don’t take it too seriously, you can almost do it without any bar equipment. If you wan to do it more ambitiously we recomend using a jigger to find the right ratio of gin and tonic water. In addition we suggest using a spoon for stirring. We have already mentioned jigger alternatives above. Instead of a bar spoon you can also use a glass straw or a long, normal spoon, such as a latte macchiato spoon.
So: measure out the gin (approx. 4-6cl) and put it in a glass with ice cubes. Add tonic water, stir and you’re done. Of course you can also garnish with the zest of a citrus fruit.
As you can see from the pictures, it doesn’t always have to be an expensive glass in which you serve a drink. With a nice zest as a garnish, a cocktail also looks good in an ordinary standard glass. Of course, we all want our drinks to look nice but we all know that homemade things taste at least twice as good anyway.
Last but not least we would like to thank Flo Saxinger for his active support. We would also like to recommend a visit (or many visits) to his bar as soon as it is allowed to reopen. The likable bar professional is not only an excellent improviser in the kitchen, but also a thoroughbred mixologist who will delight your palate with his recipes at the highest of levels.
And now have fun at your home bar and hopefully see you soon at your favourite bar! Cheers!