Every week YumSugar highlights an essential tool for the ultimate kitchen. People are always asking her what her favorite kitchen tool is and in a response to this perpetual question, she is creating a list of kitchen must-haves and special splurges (attention brides: use this as a checklist when creating your registry!). Lately I've noticed that more and more people are asking me about what the perfect hostess should have in her bar. To answer this question I thought I would put together a list of important tools, glasses, and gadgets that The Ultimate Bar (for the ultimate at home mixologist) should have.
Let's start with a tool that no bar (or kitchen for that matter) should be without: a good, reliable corkscrew. I have tried out the more expensive rabbit screw pull gadget like wine openers (test for yourself: the one pictured is $100), yet the two that I had both broke after several months of use. That's why I prefer the leverage winged, modern spiral corkscrew. It's by far the most dependable and one of the easiest to use: as the center coil is screwed into the cork, the arms rise up. When you press the arms down, the cork extracts. In some circles this twin handled affordable ($9.99) corkscrew is referred to as the Charles de Gaulle. The top of most can also be used to remove bottle caps.
Two more corkscrews so
Another option is the two-pronged cork fork, or butler's friend, that swiftly opens a bottle of wine without damaging the cork. It's recommended for use with older vintages of wine whose corks are more likely to crumble with the injection of a metal coil. ($18.95)
Some consider the corkscrew that waiters use, a waiter's friend, to be the most sturdy and handy corkscrew. This corkscrew relies on simple leverage to remove the cork and is light and compact. All parts fold up inside the handle, like a pocket knife making it extremely convenient and portable. When I worked in a bar I never got the hang of maneuvering this tool swiftly with one hand, however if used properly it's a great gadget complete with foil cutter, bottle rest, and battle cap opener. If you are on a budget this baby is your best bet, a fun, colorful one can be purchased under $8.00.