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Guides for Barware

Ice Bucket

Many drinks and cocktails use ice. Whether you are fixing a blended margarita, a bourbon on the rocks or a chilled martini, ice is the best way to chill drinks quickly. An ice bucket allows you to store larger portions of ice at your bar so you don't have to keep going to the freezer. Look for an ice bucket with a large capacity and good insulating properties. Usually, thicker walls mean more insulation.

Shaker and Strainer

Shakers are used to blend ingredients together; James Bond isn't the only one who prefers "shaken not stirred." Shakers are also used to chill ingredients quickly when shaken with ice, such as with martinis or chilled shots. Many shakers have built-in strainers to keep ice out when pouring. If your shaker does not have a strainer, purchase a stand-alone strainer.

Blender

Blenders are most often used for blended drinks including daiquiris, margaritas, pina coladas and other tropical concoctions. You can also use a blender to prepare your drink mixers, such as juice and sour mixes. A good blender for a bar has a powerful ice mode and comes apart easily for cleaning.

Corkscrew

A corkscrew is used for one purpose -- to open wine bottles. However, most corkscrews have integrated bottle openers as well, which are great for opening sparkling water or bottles of beer.

Glassware

Every drink has a specific glass it is meant to be served in. Every bar should have a combination of pint glasses for beers, shot glasses for shots, rocks glasses for basic drinks served straight or on the rocks, highball glasses for mixed drinks and wine glasses for white or red wines.

Jigger

A jigger is a small metal or plastic device used to measure shot sizes. Most jiggers are shaped like an hourglass, with each side representing a different size shot. Often one side measures 1 oz. and the other side measures 1/2 oz. Use a jigger to pour accurate drinks time after time.

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