Shaken not stirred: Raising a glass to the cocktail party
There’s nothing like a cocktail party to raise your spirits. Whether you’re hiring staff or channelling Tom Cruise in classic 80s movie Cocktail and playing bartender for the evening, we’ve identified the best bar cabinets, trolleys and tools to help you throw the perfect party.
As the centrepiece must be a show-stopping cocktail cabinet. London antique dealer Andrew Nebbett specialises in vintage trolleys and cabinets of all kinds, crafting custom-made models for the likes of Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. Or for a bespoke bar where the budget knows no bounds, interiors agency Studio Indigo will create and install the bar of your dreams. Recent projects have included a cocktail station in a billionaire’s bedroom and a £250,000 whisky bar for a yacht.
Carefully crafted glasses are the next consideration. The shape of your glass affects the taste of your drink and the industry’s favourite glass dealer Thomas Kleibrink extols the virtues of vintage drinking glasses. Or you could check out the style of glasses used at The Savoy Hotel in London. The establishment’s American Bar has been serving cocktails for 125 years and in 2017 was awarded the title of World’s Best Bar. Whatever glassware you choose, stick it in the freezer for a couple of minutes while you’re mixing the drink – it will make all the difference.
Half the fun of making a cocktail is performing your shaker action, so choose a cocktail shaker that showcases your skills. The heyday of shaker design was the 1920s and 1930s, when Tiffany, Dunhill, and Asprey all released designs that are now classics. Cocktail Kingdom offers a full spectrum of professional tools from bar spoons to ice tongs fit for the most discerning bartender. Its speciality is Japanese barware, including a maple-handled ice pick for ice carving and a press for perfect ice balls. The shape of the ice is key when presenting the perfect cocktail.
With the stage set, it’s time to think about the drinks. Whether it’s a martini based or whisky based cocktail, a new concoction or a time honoured classic, for invaluable advice on everything from the best brands of spirits to the most delicious cocktail recipes, Victoria Moore’s How To Drink is an entertaining guide to serving the perfect drinks for every occasion.
Espresso Martini or Negroni? We’d love to see a picture of your favourite cocktail.