I was having this conversation with a writer about my new book on cocktail technique last week, and she got on the subject of bar tools. “A lot of this stuff is really expensive,” she said, “Do you have any advice for home cocktail enthusiasts who don’t want to spend a ton of money?”
And I was thinking, you know, like – she’s right. Bar tools are super expensive, and there are some places where you can skimp, and some places where you can’t. Like, you just won’t find a substitute for a good 18/8 stainless steel cocktail shaker. A cheap one from the liquor store just isn’t going to do the job.
But there are other areas where you can have great bar tools for not a ton of money. Like, my first piece of advice when I’m posed this question is to use a plastic chopstick from a Chinese restaurant instead of an expensive bar spoon. They’re actually easier to use, and they cost very little (free, if you just steal one). Sure, they’re not very stylish, but they’ll do the job every bit as well as a $30 bar spoon.
Source: Build a Better ($5.63) Muddler
I can definitely see the attraction to having a nicely-crafted handmade object, especially one made out of wood. I wouldn’t mind owning a nice, fancy, handmade wooden cutting board or the like (I have family who owns a couple that they bought at art fairs that are beautiful).
But, like, as far as a “life hack”, it’s kind of silly given how cheap decent mass-produced cocktail muddlers are and, for that matter, how few cocktail muddlers the average person buys over the course of a lifetime.