Whether you are a beginner or seasoned professional, these are the tools you will need behind the bar... and others are simply used to enchant your customers.
1/ The Muddler
Specifically designed for cocktails, this wooden, plastic or metal utensil is used to crush herbs like mint, fruits, or to grind sugar. Often used in preparing Mojitos, Caipirinhas or Caipiroskas. Large muddlers are used to grind the ingredients right in the glass that is being used to create the drink. Proper technique: press and twist the muddler into the ingredients (never hitting) to release the flavors prior to adding most of the liquids.
2/ The Shaker
There are three kinds of cocktail shakers. The "Continental" or "Manhattan" shaker which appeared in Europe in the early 20th century, it has the most stylish design. Also, there is the very popular three-piece metal shaker dating to the late 19th century. Its only drawback is that it takes more time to handle and therefore lets the ice melt into the drink before it is poured. Finally, there is the "Boston" shaker consisting of a metal bottom and a glass or plastic mixing glass to shake it in. It is considered the most effective because it is larger, it can make several drinks at the same time, and it produces a perfect emulsion while chilling drinks of various densities and ingredients. Proper technique: First add the ice to around 2/3 full, and then add the liquid ingredients. Hold the shaker firmly with one hand on the base and the other at the top to avoid any leakage, shake vigorously and strain into desired glass.
3/ The Mixing glass
This large glass with wide rim is designed in glass, metal or plastic, with or without spout, is a glass with high-capacity for mixing cocktails with a spoon that haven’t be shaken. The graduation allows to measure precisely all the ingredients and ensures the equilibrium of liquids and tastes. Proper technique: put ice cubes first, but do not keep them in the final drink: they are less dry and melt faster.
4/ The Mixing Spoon
This large twisted spoon is used to reach the bottom of a mixing glass to mix ingredients from top to bottom and thus obtain an even mixture. It can also be used to measure out quantities of spirits and flavorings. When turned over, it can be used to pour liquids indirectly into the glass to make layered cocktails. Proper technique: rapidly plunge the spoon from top to bottom, but do not let it turn inside the glass.
5/ The Strainer
With its spiral spring, the strainer holds back ice-cubes or leftover debris in the shaker. The strainer is often used in addition to a tight-mesh sieve that strains the finest elements, usually fruit residue. They are used with all but the three-piece shakers which already have one fitted into the top. Proper technique: Make sure it is totally clean before each use. Fix it properly onto the top of the glass and pour.
6/ The Glass
The type of glass you use depends on the type of cocktail to be made. Often, practical considerations dictate their design, but aesthetic qualities also have their say!
> The Highball A tumbler for tall drinks, its slender shape allows you to stack ice-cubes to cool the whole cocktail. They are used to serve a variety of mixed drinks in addition to the Highball from where it gets its name.
> The Whisky glass (or lowball) The Old Fashioned glass, lowball glass, or rocks glass is a short tumbler used for serving alcoholic beverages such as whisky, with ice cubes (“on the rocks”).
> The Champagne Flute Used for simple and elegant cocktails, generally containing champagne.
> The Cocktail glass (or Martini glass) The cocktail glass is a stemmed glass which has a cone-shaped bowl and a flat base. It is mainly used to serve aromatic cocktails. The stem allows the drinker to hold the glass without affecting the temperature of the drink, and the wide bowl places the surface of the drink directly under the drinker's nose, ensuring that the aromatic element has the desired effect.
> The Chimney Tall and straight, very practical for layered or graduated cocktails
> The Brandy glass Its wide and round shape keeps all the spirit's aromas intact.
> The Mug or Schooner Meant for warm cocktails as the glass is thicker and the handle prevents burning.
> The Champagne glass Ideal for cocktails with fruit decoration thanks to its wide rim. It’s very often used also for champagne cocktails.
7/ Les vergers Boiron fruit purees in Squeeze Bottles
For all your fruit based cocktails, Les vergers Boiron has designed a squeeze bottle to satisfy your professional needs. Easily stored behind the bar, these ready-to-use products are used like fresh fruit out of the blender and they never block your customers' straws! Our purees are 100% natural, no artificial coloring or thickening and always preservative-free. Flavors are available in Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, White Peach, Pomegranate, Passion Fruit, Mango, Lemon, Lime and Blood Orange. All are contained in soft plastic bottles with pouring tops for precise measuring. 480 g content in cases of 12. Proper technique: defrost between +2°C (36°F) and +4°C (39°F) for 24 hours for optimal use, shake and use like fresh fruit.
The Bell Jar for a unique and unexpected olfactory experience
Preferably made of glass, this very sophisticated utensil allows you to immerse the cocktail in a smoke of flavors before serving. It has an enchanting effect on the customer as the smoke dissipates. In his Paris bar, the Mojito Lab, exclusively dedicated to Mojito, Laurent Greco uses this technique for his Smokey Mojito, a mojito smoked with dried peppermint.
High pressure injection for cocktails you can eat!
Also used at the Mojito Lab in Paris, this high or low pressure appliance is used to inject liquid into a solid food, like fruit for example. A Laurent Greco classic: the injected Mojito Watermelon, a cocktail of watermelon syrup, angostura bitter, mint leaves and lime injected at -8 bars into the fruit.
The famous machine imagined by Boris Vian in Écume des jours ("Foam of the Days" 1946) was actually created a few years ago by Voel Martin. It is a piano capable of making delicious beverages while the instrument is played. You choose your spirit or melody and order it from the pianist. With this strange invention, it is now possible to drink your own music, but always in moderation! "A well-pitched trill will mix rum with sugarcane syrup, and a shot of tequila will be poured by an F sharp". At the end of the evening, a gutter collects "out-of-tune notes, lost doses of vodka and spurts of ginger juice" in a cocktail called the "coffin".
The Morskoiboy, transforming words into cocktails
Invented by a Russian artist, this machine consisting of a 26 letter keyboard activates liquid pumps to compose cocktails from typed words. Each letter corresponds to a flavor, a color or the name of an alcohol. The liquids are then pumped into the machine and then into a glass. More than 300 million cocktails are possible for a 6-letter word. However the inventor does not guarantee the taste of all the combinations...