Feature image via Keyhug.
Bonjour and good day, my lovely queer possums. Did you guys know I have a bar in my apartment? Nothing cray cray, just a small bar that I have a crap ton of fun with. Still, I’m always coveting new and exciting things for my bar and you probably are too. Let’s covet these together (and perhaps treat ourselves), shall we?
1. A Manual Juicer
Orange-X Professional Juicer, $123.64.
Manual juicers are double awesome because a) they look super cool and heavy and awesome and b) they get a crap ton of juice out of citrus with minimal, minimal effort. I’m a big proponent of using fresh juice when you mix drinks—it’s a really easy way to up your game and make your cocktail a million times tastier. As of right now, I use one of those little plastic thingies to juice*. My oh my do I wish I had the big guns.
*I have actually since lost the little plastic thing I use to juice! It’s probably in a friend’s house where I have gone and mixed cocktails. Friends, if you are reading this and you think the extra plastic juicer you have might be mine, please give me a call.
Oenophilia Martini Atomizer, $7.85.
My favorite cocktail and my signature move is a Sazerac. It’s rumored to be the oldest cocktail, but I’ve found at least one resource that states that’s bullshit. Still, it’s old and it’s classic and it requires an absinthe rinse—yes, just a rinse. A rinse is when you coat the inside of the glass with a liquor instead of mixing it in. It makes a nice subtle flavor, especially when you’re playing with something as strong as absinthe. However, when I taught the attendees of the A-Camp whiskey tasting how to make one, I almost stopped 20 queermos’ breath when I dumped the rinsed absinthe out. Some people actually screamed. Sweet Lesbian Jesus! IT NEEDS TO BE A RINSE, PEOPLE. You’ll ruin the balance if you just leave it in there. I do recognize, however, that it is a little bit wasteful. The solution is this atomizer—basically a very fine spray apparatus that will let you coat the inside of a glass with just enough liquor. Waste not, want not.
3. Fancy Mixing Glass
Cocktail Kingdon Yarai Mixing Glass, $42.95.
When I make a stirred drink (basically anything without a fruit juice or eggs or cream), I just stir in a pint glass because I can. It works. However, something a bit wider (that doesn’t taper down like a pint glass) is always nice if you can get it—then you can make nice sweeping motions with your bar spoon without clanking the hell around and chipping ice and making your drink all weird and watery and just in general making a very unpleasant noise. Plus this would look really very pretty sitting on my bar next to my absinthe fountain. Speaking of which—
4. Replacement Pontarlier Glasses
Rue Verte Absinthe Pontarlier Glasses and Spoons (two of each), $40.99.
At one point in my life I had four beautiful reservoir glasses (used for preparing and drinking Absinthe) that I brought home from Paris with me. During some move or another, they did not make it into the rest of my possessions. I really want to repurchase these glasses—no need to measure, just fill the bottom “ball” with absinthe and then do the standard fountain drip over a sugar cube. Blammo.
*If any of my friends, family or former roommates are reading this and you wound up with my absinthe glasses, please return them and we can drink together!
5. Whiskey Stones
Teroforma Whiskey Sones (set of 9), $17.50.
Many whiskeys actually are supposed to have a little water added to them, so many recommend using one ice cube with a large surface area (like those ice-balls or those really big square ones). However, there are those of us who are slow to drink (what, we like to savor it, okay?). I am one of those people, and if you are too you know the last half of that glass is basically whiskey flavored water. Enter whiskey stones—the cold stones will cool your drink and obvi they won’t melt. If the stones begin to melt, put down the whiskey. You have had enough.
Also, you know what whiskey stones are also good for? Cooling white wine in the glass when you have pre-planned enough to keep it in the fridge for the proper amount of time. This is a problem I have often. I should really get a set, is what I’m saying.
What are your neato burrito bar toys that you highly recommend to everyone? What kind of equipment are you coveting and slowly working up the justification to purchase? Please do share! I’m always looking for more neat bar toys to play with.
In a semi-regular segment entitled Liquor In The ______, I’m going to write to you about all the different ways you can liquor. I recognize that it’s weird, especially for those of you who have actually had a drink with me, because I am what the frat boys would call a “two-beer queer” (what I would call a “no-beer queer,” as I’m gay all the live long day). But I get drunk very easily, is the point. Still, I really really like beer, wine and liquor and want to share that love for the artistry of alcohol with you all, my favorite queers. Let’s lift a pint to alcohol and our Autostraddle community – they go together like wine and soft cheese.
Header by Rory Midhani
As a fan of Absinthe I am a fan of this list, thank you!
You are very welcome, fellow absinthe lover!
I swear to myself and all of you: My first purchases when I move back to the States will be a state parks pass and whiskey stones. #livingmybestlife
I’d say that’s best life territory. I love whiskey stones.
ok, I trust you, but if anyone else brought me to the lair where they keep all these fancy doodads I’d wonder if I was about to get serial killed
Man, your imagination is awesome. I’d only wonder if I was about to get a little tipsy.
Possibly I’ve watched too much Hannibal and now suspect anyone who does things that require skill and/or care
I had a bar senior year of college. It was amazing. But then it got out of hand because if you leave a group of 21 year olds in a room with a cabinet full of spirits and a gamecube… well, problem drinking and Mario Kart happens.
BUT! I am now older and wiser, and you have inspired me to have a bar again, so thanks! :)
Enjoy your Bar #2!!
I know what you mean about Mario Kart and spirits, but also add Mario Party(I think it was 6, it’s the one that came with a mic).
Oh you’re so right, there was much Mario Party, and yes, I still have the mic, which I’m sure will see a lot of use with bar 2.0.
Mario Party with spirits… omg. I can’t even imagine. I’ve played with people who would sell their mother to keep their stars..and they were completely sober. With alcohol it would be an all-out war of dirty, underhanded attempts to win the minigames and sobbing betrayals of loyalty when the person who you thought had your back steals not one, but two of your hard-won gold stars and dumps lemon juice in the wound by also somehow getting 20 spaces ahead of you on top of it, and even they don’t end up winning because there’s always that one person who inexplicably ends up with 90% of all the stars and remains silent throughout the game because they know they’ll be locked out of the house otherwise, but nevertheless wears an evil, triumphant smirk when the leaderboard comes on the screen.
…Or maybe I just hang out with weirdos.
i love #3 and am very into the idea of whisky stones. currently i’m coveting this beautiful bar cart from west elm: http://www.westelm.com/products/parker-mid-century-bar-cart-h415/
this is making me want to drink absinthe which i’ve never even had despite writing a 10-page paper about it once upon a time ago.
Wow, that cart is gorgeous!
I saw “burrito toys” in the title and I got SO EXCITED and instantly wanted to know more about this brave new world of burrito gadgets we were entering into.
This article was nice too, though.
Now I want to know what burrito toys might be!
volunteering to do a post about burrito toys. maybe stuff to burn pictures into your tortilla, or that peeler that can turn your veggies into decorative shapes?
I would buy both of those burrito toys.
I want to read this so so bad.
I just tried pickled poblano peppers and radishes in my burritos, does that count? It was delicious.
Me too Monique, me too.
I also thought that, but bar toys are nice too
I laughed out loud at this: “If the stones begin to melt, put down the whiskey. You have had enough.” I always love your writing, Ali!
I’m not sure that a fancy home bar is in my immediate future, but maybe a nice wine rack. Baby steps!
Thank you for reading (and for laughing!). And you’d be surprised how nice a nice wine rack is—like, having a bottle to open when friends pop over is just a really lovely thing.
Oh, man. Is it too early for a drink?
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
I have to say, though, that I really dislike that quote because the pinpoint of time that is socially acceptable to start drinking is, just that, based on social norms. So who really cares, right?
Alternatively: it’s time o’clock now, here!
Never too early for a bloody Mary/Caesar.
I have enjoyed the privilege of drinking at Ali’s bar, and I can confirm it’s hella-fine.
I MISS YOU DRINKING AT MY BAR, BETH <3 <3 <3
That juicer! Those whiskey stones! First I need to buy a bar though. I’ve been looking at cute portable ones for my room (the joys of living in a co-op) partially so I can have a bar in my room when cuties come over, but also partially because I’m sick of my record player sitting on my desk.
Oh man, combo record player AND bar? You’re living the jazz age dream. Read about Zelda Fitzgerald or something while sipping and listening and you’re having, like, a one person theme party.
Whoa, i just learned so much.
Can you do more info about absinthe? A girl is curious. I never heard of whiskey stones! so exciting!
So do the Whiskey Stones really work?? I’ve heard great and terrible reviews of them. Are you going to do a Sazerac class next camp? Will you start offering it at meals? I had some at that Whiskey tasting last year and I was like OMG THIS IS THE BEST
Here’s my take on whiskey stones… If you want your whiskey COLD, no they won’t work. They don’t chill drinks like ice. They do cool the whiskey to a temperature that is similar to having it in something like a cellar or mixing in a little cold water. So you won’t get condensation on the outside of your glass, but it does bring it down to what is considered to be the ideal temperature.
Meant to add that I’ve heard people who buy them for Ali’s wine trick seem to be pretty disappointed. But maybe some stone materials work better than others for this.
i’m glad i didn’t know you THREW OUT ABSINTHE. our friendship would be over.
Whiskey stones are the best! (I like these sleek black ones https://www.birchbox.com/shop/teroforma-polished-whisky-stones)
You can also get personalized engraved whiskey stones for gifts! Very cool.
I am still working on accumulating the basics, like proper glassware. Those whiskey stones look beautiful though! I am also a slower whiskey drinker and my ice is always melted before I finish.
Somewhere between that rockstar juicer and a tiny plastic juicer lives these badboys:
Sometimes I feel like there is a little more juice to be had, but lemons and limes are pretty cheap and this is just too quick and easy. I have a lemon squeezer and a lime squeezer, but honestly I could probably get away with just the lemon sized one for both.
ok that link didn’t exactly go where and how I wanted, but it gets the job done.
This is making me tingle in the toes just like a nice whisky would!
I wish I was reasonable enough to be able to create a nice whisky collection. But when I buy a bottle, I can’t help myself, I ended drinking juuuust a bit everyday… until the bottle is empty.
Then I tell myself “ok, no more whisky for a while, let’s take a break”.
I wish I could keep those bottles long enough to have several of them and a proper “bar” :(.
But hey, I’m in the UK now, people drink in pubs, and a glass of whisky here is the same price as a pint of beer, woohoo !
I’m really keen to try out one of Star Bar’s Hisashi Kishi’s san’s bar spoon. (The Diageo Bar Academy had a small article before.)
Also thinking it would be nice to try out an all metal Boston shaker? Currently most of the ones I see are metal and glass two pieces.
You had me at “Neato Burrito”