Cocktail Hacker

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Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

5 Minute $5 Cocktail Shaker Instructable

Posted by Reese On November - 1 - 2012

Hello there, Cocktail Peeps.  I just published a new Instructable detailing the quick process to make your own 5 Minute $5 Cocktail Shaker from a Mason jar and some spare lids.  The process is super simple the end result works fantastically well.

5 Minute $5 Cocktail Shaker

Cocktail Tools – Oxo Cocktail Strainer

Posted by Reese On August - 13 - 2008

Oxo Cocktail Strainer

So, we’ve covered a few essential tools so far, but none it would seem is more essential than a good strainer.  Arguably, the title could go to the shaker, but since the number of cocktails requiring straining outweighs those requiring shaking my money is on the strainer.  So, enough rambling.  What exactly do I look for in a strainer?

I look for some that will first strain well.  Second, the strainer should be easy to use, comfortable to hold and be usable without having to look at it.  Finally the strainer should look good.  So, how does the Oxo strainer fair?  Quite well in my opinion.  The spring strainer is not too loose as to allow large chunks of ice through, but not too small as to stop the flow of the beverage.  Oxo steers clear of the norm where ergonomics and handle design are concerned though.  The handle is a short “flap” of steel rather than the tubular handle found on most.  This is not at all a deterant though.  For one it makes the strainer more compact and easier to store and it also makes it much easier to clean.  Situated on top is a rubber finger rest that is nicely positioned to make holding the strainer on your mixing glass a breeze.

Finally, the looks.  I love ‘em.  It’s sleek and modern, blends well with their other products, yet is immediately recognizable as a cocktail strainer.  The overall verdict?  Extremely favorable.  I would recommend this strainer to anyone looking for a great addition to their cocktail tool collection.  And for $6 the price is right.

Oxo SteeL Cocktail Strainer [Referrer Link]

Cocktail Tools – Tovolo Perfect Cube Ice Cube Trays

Posted by Reese On July - 30 - 2008

Tovolo Perfect Cube Ice Cube TrayIce is essential to a good cocktail.  In the case of drinks served over ice, good looking ice is also a nice visual touch.  As I’ll discuss in detail in a later post I’m on a personal mission to create the perfect cocktail ice at home.  One of the requirements of what I deem good cocktail ice is a nice shape.  Picture, if you will, a wonderfully created Tom Collins served to your guests in a tall, thin Collins glass over the little milky crescents that your freezer pops out.  Just doesn’t seem quite right does it?  The Tovolo Perfect Cube Ice Cube Trays to the rescue!

These ice trays produce nearly perfect cubes about 1.25″ on a side.  The trays are made of food grade silicon so they won’t pick up weird freezer smells and as such won’t impart those scents to your ice.  They’re easy to fill and although they appear somewhat floppy once full of water they’re not too bad to handle.  The only problem I’ve run in to is that the ice is a little more difficult to get out of the trays than with a standard tray.

You can find the trays on Amazon.com, at Bed, Bath and Beyond and other retailers.  At about $10 for a pair they’re worth the investment.  And they’re a great step toward making your home cocktails even more elegant and professional.

Tovolo Perfect Cube Silicone Ice Cube Tray [Referrer Link]

Cocktail Tools – Oxo Zester

Posted by Reese On July - 16 - 2008

Oxo ZesterAs you may have gathered from my previous posts I’m a fan of Oxo kitchen tools.  So, when I needed a citrus zester/channel knife I naturally turned to Oxo.  I picked up the zester you see at the left and I’d very much like to give it a glowing review.  But…I can’t.

When I first brought the tool home the channel knife portion, which is what I was most interested in, was painfully dull.  It was so dull that the lemon twists it made were ragged and it was very hard to manage.  So, being a hacker, I busted out my dremmel tool and modded it.  I sharpened the channel knife and now it works like a champion.  However, the primary problem is that most people aren’t as geeky as I am and wouldn’t like a tool they have have to modify to make work correctly.  So, that being the case, I sent an email to Oxo informing them of my problems.  Their customer service was very responsive and they sent me a replacement right away.  Well, to be exact, they sent me two replacements for some reason.

Both of the replacement tools have been much sharper and therefore more usable.  So, in summary, if you’re looking for a channel knife/zester take a look at the all the options out there.  Make sure you get a tool with a nice sharp cutting blade, it will make nicer looking cuts and will be much easier to use.  I’m not going to give a referrer link this time due to my problems with the Oxo tool.  There are tons of options on Amazon though, so take a peek and find something you like.

Norpro Stainless-Steel Citrus Juice PressWell, if you’ve been making drinks along with us for the last couple weeks by now your hands probably ache and you have giant blisters from all the citrus juicing you’ve been doing.  Allow me to present a solution.  These press style juicers are great for juicing limes, and possibly lemons.  I say possibly because I haven’t had great success getting mine (the unit at left and linked below) to work on lemons to my satisfaction.  Limes however, this tool is a champion.  You simply cut the lime in half, place one half cut side down in the juicer and squeeze for all you’re worth.  The juice comes out of drain holes in the bowl of the juicer and when you’re done you toss your spent lime half and repeat.

For lemons I still turn to a plastic juicer that I’ve had for years.  So, if you see an awesome lemon juicing tool send word my way.  Hopefully this one can alleviate some of pain in your hands for now.  If that fails to help, I recommend more cocktails to ease your pain.

Norpro Stainless-Steel Citrus Juice Press [Referrer Link]