Building a home bar can be expensive and can take up a lot of space. Creating great cocktails does not have to be an ordeal, however. Use some of these bar hacks to simplify your next solo indulgence or cocktail party.
If you will be needing a large amount of ice, consider freezing a large block of ice in a roasting pan lined with plastic wrap then breaking it up. This process results in plenty of ice and allows you to customize the size of your ice pieces.
If you are serving punch at a cocktail party, try freezing the ice in a Bundt pan. It serves both to chill the drink and as a decoration.
Freeze garnishes in ice cubes. Not only does this look gorgeous, it will also provide a little treat as the ice melts. Alternatively, you can freeze the fruit itself to cool your drink.
If you don’t have a muddler, you can substitute any long stick with a rounded or flat end. You can also very gently use a mortar and pestle.
In a tight spot, a simple mason jar serves well as a shaker. Simply build the drink as normal, screw on the lid, and shake away.
You can use almost any pint sized glass with a Boston Shaker. Just make sure the glass is tempered (usually marked with a T on the bottom) otherwise you run the risk of it shattering.
Bar spoons are great inventions, but also incredibly easy to duplicate. If you have not yet invested in one, use a chopstick or straw instead.
If you have yet to buy a cocktail strainer you don’t have to tolerate used ice in your drinks. Simply strain your drink through a tea ball or kitchen strainer for the same effect.
If you don’t have the money to invest in fancy cocktail glasses, hit up a thrift store. They regularly have an extensive collection of glasses, though it may be difficult to find a full set.
If you really want to set your cocktails apart, consider crafting your own liqueurs. They will allow to customize your drinks to your taste. Plus homemade stuff is just cool! When thinking about making your own liqueur, consider the cocktails you make most frequently and build your flavor profile from there.
The same concept applies to infusing simple syrups with your favorite flavors. It is a great way to incorporate flavor into cocktails. Mary-Frances Heck has a great resource for infusing simple syrups here.
Hopefully these tips will help you to be on the top of your cocktail game in no time!