By now I think we’ve established the fact that we take mixology very seriously at The Thirsty Barber, this is why we enjoy providing our loyal clientele a background about what it takes to be a true mixologist. So, what other bar tools are important for the reputable mixologist? Let’s continue delving deeper into the cocktail expert’s toolkit…
Bar Towels – if you’ve ever stepped foot into a bar, you know it’s bound to get messy at some point. If you don’t have a bar towel on hand, you’ll be cursing your dirty hands, the sticky bar top and your filthy tips at the end of the night. Make sure you always have bar towels on the ready to keep your station, behind the bar and the bar top clean always. Having another dry bar towel on hand to polish clean glasses is also a good idea.
Bar Mat – every mixologist should know that a good bar mat is essential for making drinks, catching spillage and for draining measuring glasses in between uses. The bigger the mat, the better.
Corkscrew/Wine Opener – when it comes to wine openers, the 2-stage wine opener is mandatory, while the rest are really a matter of preference. A 2-stage corkscrew allows you to take the cork halfway up, then ‘reload’ with the second stage to pull the cork all the way out.
Bottle Opener – one of the most extensively used bar tools in a mixologist’s toolbox. The bottle opener should be designed to open beer bottles the old-fashioned way or to ‘pop’ them open by pushing down rather than lifting up, using the other end.
Jigger – it’s important to keep in mind that often these alcohol measuring devices have differing measurements on either side. Typically 1oz / 1.5oz or 1.5oz / 2oz.
Pour Check – this is an all-in-one tool and time-saver. It measures in both US ounces and millilitres.
Lemon Peeler / Lime Zester – it doesn’t matter what you choose to call this little tool, what matters is how much you’ll enjoy the ease in making lemon or lime zests. These little citrus threads are added to drinks such as martinis, serving a punchy flavour to the drink.
Bar Spoon (with Fork) – the bar spoon is a desirable accessory for any mixologist who serves more than just beer. A long spoon for mixing and tasting and a useful little fork on the other end.
Muddler – this tool is used to muddle – or mash– ingredients to release their oils and flavours. Probably the most commonly-known muddled drink would be the Mojito.
Bar Ice Scoop – such a simple item yet lacking in so many bars. Some bars use glasses, others use plastic containers. If you use a glass, it will eventually break into the ice bin. On the other hand, it you use containers, they can collect bacteria There’s really no substitute for the trusty metal ice scoop.
Cutting Board – this is probably as important as having a sharp knife around the bar. The cutting board should be clean and dry and stored somewhere close by. A true mixologist uses fruit to garnish drinks, which means you need to cut that fruit. Never cut on anything other than a clean, dry cutting board, remember to wash it with salt every so often to really get in the grooves and kill the bacteria.
Flexible Cutting Board – unlike the standard plastic cutting boards, a flexible cutting board, is not as porous, therefore it doesn’t capture as much odour and bacteria.
Condiment / Fruit Tray – every bar serves some type of garnish on their cocktails. From standard lemon slices and lime wedges to orange wheels and tropical fruit chunks, these trays are great for anything from fruits, olives and pickles to tea and hot chocolate.
Cocktail Napkins – while technically not a tool, cocktail napkins are simply classy. In addition to adding to the final presentation of the drink, they’re useful to wipe the bar top after a customer has finished – a function coasters just can’t accomplish.
They say a bad workman always blames his tools. And while this adage might not be true in its entirety, it’s pretty safe to say that having the right collection of equipment enhances the mixologist’s already refined skills. We’re proud to say that apart from being some of the most expert and knowledgeable mixologists on the island, our mixologists also come with excellent paraphernalia. We invite you to come sample some our mixologists’ works of art at Malta’s one and only Prohibition-Style bar, The Thirsty Barber.