Food & Drink » Food & Drink Stories

Inspect your gadgets: 6 tools and potions for home-bar tinkering



Barrel-aged cocktails are all the rage, but short of getting your hands on an actual whiskey barrel, how to re-create that rounded, smoky taste at home? Easy. Tuthilltown Spirits distiller of the very fine Hudson whiskey family, as well as a few other craft spirits sells a Cocktail Aging Kit that makes it easy-peasy. A jar, a cork and a charred oak barrel stave are all you need to mellow out your Manhattan to Don Draper levels of smoothness. ($12.50,


Plenty of cocktails have bubbles built in gin and tonic, Campari and soda but what if your stronger drinks could share in the fizzy fun? With the right equipment, even an Old Fashioned or a Negroni can tickle your nose. Unlike the SodaStream, which insists you only carbonate water, the Bonne O says it's able to carbonate any liquid, even liquor. ($149.99,


And speaking of bubbles, people who need every little thing to be just so will be thrilled to realize that, with Jack Rudy's Small Batch Tonic, they can create the mixer of their own perfect dreams. You choose the fizzy water big volcanic bubbles, like Gerolsteiner, or tiny foamy bubbles, like Pellegrino and you choose the level of bitterness with how much of the dark-brown quinine concentrate you mix in. Did someone say control issues? ($16,


TSA restrictions on liquids carried onto planes have, among other things, doomed travelers to long stretches in the air without access to civilized drinking. Online cocktail mag Punch and W&P Design teamed up to create the Carry On Cocktail Kit to stave off that very problem the tiny tin is stocked with everything you need to mix two perfect Old Fashioneds at cruising altitude, from bitters to muddler, right down to a linen napkin. All you need do is procure a mini whiskey (or two) from the drinks cart. Bottoms way, way up! ($24,


It's not good to drink on your anger, but with Crate & Barrel's Ice Crushing Mallet and Bag, you can work out some aggression before you start mixing that drink. And giant ice is great if you're sipping a fine whiskey, but sometimes you need a nice mojito or mint julep, and cracked ice is required. The canvas bag soaks up any watery mess, and the heavy mallet does a lot of the work for you. ($29.95,


Let the '60s and '70s spirit suffuse your drinks station. Vintage liquor ads are inexpensive decor that's easy to procure on eBay or at Etsy shops like AdVintageCom, SaffronFields, RetroReveries and many more. A cheap IKEA frame is all you need to let that mildly racy, probably politically incorrect Madison Avenue magic sing.

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