Raising the Bar

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Once you have your basic bottles (and perhaps a few additional ones) you may find yourself wanting (or needing) to purchase a few additional bar hardware items; as well as additional bitters & shrubs to take your home-bar to the next level.  Over the holidays we threw a cocktail party with one cobbler shaker and one mixing glass. That was when I realized I needed to “raise the bar”…
Recently, we’ve had the pleasure to partner with our friends at Muddle & Stir. Their online store is filled with quality items that will take your home-bar to the next level; and today, we’re going to highlight a few of their items that have helped us do just that.

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(From Left to Right to Center)
Handblown Diamond Cut Mixing Glass – One of my absolute favorite additions to my home-bar! Now, I still love my original 24oz, non-lead crystal mixing glass; however, I have found a new go-to mixing glass in this beautiful “yarai”-styled beauty. Consistent performance meets style & sophistication in this perfectly crafted & sized mixing glass. At 20oz of capacity, this glass is big enough to make two cocktails easily, without  being too large & cumbersome (as some can be). It not only fits my hand like a glove, but also  partners well with a standard julep strainer (an area my 24oz falls short). It also has a non-lead crystal design with a thick bottom (so you don’t have to worry about it moving while you’re stirring up your next cocktail.) When I originally ordered this piece I was skeptical if I’m honest, but I couldn’t be happier with it! 
Modern Twisted Barspoon – Comfort, class and durability, all wrapped up into one of the most-utilized tools in my home-bar. You can use a cheap bar spoon and it will get you by for a while; however, your hands will thank you for picking up this beauty. It’ll have you seamlessly stirring like a pro in no time.
Cana Mixing Glass – I picked this up as a shaker glass; however, it’s also useful as a mixing glass when needed. It’s high-quality tempered glass and works perfectly with the 30oz weighted shaker tin shown beside it. I love the 1oz-9oz measuring increments up the side of this mixing glass; very helpful when pouring without measuring (say, at a cocktail party) Feel free to muddle away, then top with the 30oz tin and shake-shake-shake it up!
15oz & 30oz Weighted Shaker Tins – Originally I had an OXO cobbler shaker and it did the job; however, I love using these steel-on-steel Boston shakers. I loved my first set so much I had to order a second set! They are so user-friendly, consistently dependable, and not-to-mention thrifty! Sometimes a cobbler shaker will leak from one of the 2 seams (esp. when shaking up an egg-white cocktail or beer flip); causing you to need to “burp” the shaker. I have also run into my cobbler leaking after I pour the cocktail out (as it comes back to room temp.) These weighted shakers have eliminated that worry for me; I actually have found they are more user-friendly and are easier to clean than a cobbler shaker. Sometimes a cobbler shaker’s strainer will clog or freeze up (e.g., when muddling fruit or shaking a tiki cocktail); a Boston shaker eliminates these worries as well. Just make sure if you purchase a pint glass to use with the 30oz shaker tin that it is made with tempered glass (most have a “T” marked on the bottom of the glass.) The Cana Mixing Glass highlighted above is an ideal mate to the 30oz shaker tin if you prefer a glass to steel-on-steel shaker set.
Viski Japanese 1oz/2oz Double Jigger – I loved this jigger so much I had to order a second one! Don’t get me wrong, I love my original OXO (1oz/1.5oz) double jigger; however, this Viski model is easier to handle, allows for a max. 2oz pour as opposed to a max. 1.5oz, has smaller increments marked inside (as the OXO does) and is less likely to spill (for me at least, I’m not graceful behind the bar.)

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(From Left to Rear to Right)
El Guapo Bitters – I’m crazy about these! Small batch bitters made in New Orleans (ingredients sourced locally). From “Fuego” through to the “Barrel-Aged Spiced Cocoa Tea” these bitters are on point! Keep an eye out for more glamour shots of these bitters here and on our Instagram account.

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  • Fuego – Brings the Tex-Mex heat! Cocktail Pairings: Tequila, Bourbon & Rye Cocktails
  • Cucumber Lavender – Cocktail Pairings: Gin & Tonics, Pims Cups & even Mezcal Cocktails
  • Polynesian Kiss – aka: Tiki’s best friend! Tiki cocktails don’t always employ a plethora of bitters…until now! Add a bass-thump of tropical fruit bitters to your next tiki cocktail with a dash (or two) of Polynesian Kiss!
  • Chickory-Pecan – Nutty goodness; so versatile! I love these in an Old Fashioned but they have few limitations. Whisk(e)y, Mezcal, Tequila & Rum Cocktails they definitely play well with others!
  • Barrel-aged Spiced Cocoa Tea – Oaked/Spicy-Chocolatey notes. One of my over-all most-utilized bitters! These go well in so many cocktails from Whisk(e)y to Tequila; from Brandy to Gin.
Pok Pok Som Drinking Vinegars (Shrubs) Take a trip into the past with Pok Pok Som Shrubs. Shrubs are an old-fashioned method used to preserve fruits before refrigeration existed; mixing fruit with sugar and vinegar. These are high-quality shrubs and a great way to play with fruit flavors in cocktails. I’m in the middle of R&D with these; but in the meantime, check out the recipes section of Muddle & Stir’s website for delicious applications; and if you’re on Instagram, check out @sashadallasgirl’s feed for several great recipes using shrubs; she’s the shrub queen!
Noble Maple Syrups – Noble produces barrel-aged maple syrups that will take your french toast and your cocktails to the next level! Seriously though; this company knows what they’re doing! So Good!
Bokers Bitters – Dr. Adam Elmegirab resurrected the historic “Boker’s Bitters” recipe from a few hand-written notes and the last couple of bottles in existence; making it possible to taste a bit of history. This is a simple & great way to raise your bitters-bar.

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Black Cloud Bitters – I am so excited to start playing with these recent additions to the home-bar! These are produced in Canada and come in French & English! Drink and learn a new language! 😉 I picked up a sample pack from Muddle & Stir and they are top-notch; check out the details below:
  • Garden Party – Think Celery Bitters. Perfect in a Caesar or Bloody Mary!
  • Black & Blue – Berry Notes, Vanilla & Cacao. Yum!
  • Charred Cedar – These love Whiskey!
  • Saffron Mango – Just what the label reads. Herbal tropical fruits, think tiki!
  • Prairie Rose – Rose petal essence; think rose flower water. Don’t let the that fool you; these are anything but delicate!
This is just a sampling of what Muddle & Stir has to offer your home-bar. I’m proud to say they carry only the finest of products and your satisfaction is guaranteed. When you visit, feel free to use our code MS10TFS for 10% off your order and free shipping!

 

Here’s to raising your bar; cheers friends!

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