How do you know if a bartender is in his job for the long run or just waiting for “studies” to be paid off?
Bar tools – If a bartender is using his own equipment then he has taken a step in the right direction, not only educate himself about what is out there but also to understand which equipment is best for the job.
Let’s take the *Julep strainer. Not found in many bars in Africa but essential for the “throw” or fluffing of your Negroni. (* You can also invert a good quality Hawthorn) The 30 inch or 45cm bar spoons may be too long for some but are fantastic for perfecting the “finger flick” around your stirring glass. Having these bartenders use the right equipment, they understand the real differences between, shaking, throwing & stirring and which one to apply when making their cocktail.
When it comes to jiggers I prefer using the 15/ 30 even though most my recipes are in milliliters – using an ounce measure lets me spout pour quickly and bubble up to the mark. One of the best jigger styles for quick pouring is the Japanese jigger, but my “go to” jigger for large split drink orders is the ”Mr Slim Jim” 60/90 (has a line on the inside that measures 45). I also carry the 25/50 Slim Jim in gold, this makes some beautiful sounds if you tap it with your bottle when pouring. Others will swear by the bell jigger as it fits so neatly in your hand, giving stability on fast paced shifts.
It is essential to have the right tool for the job and whether you are a brand ambassador, drinks consultant, “Mixologist” or own a mobile bar company, having copper jiggers or golden Japanese shakers may add to the impression you want to impress your guests. Don’t get me wrong, having great bar equipment does not ensure the best tasting balanced drinks, but it will be an extension of your drink making style and technique.
Keep perfecting your art!