Getting Started: Basic Bar Tools January 23 2015

So you’ve just brought home a brand-new Rejigger, and you’re ready to join the Home Cocktail Revolution. But what next? Unfortunately, you can’t just stare at your Rejigger and make a cocktail appear. (We’re still working on that for version 2.0.) Instead, you’ll need to stock up on some basic mixology tools and ingredients—the beginnings of your very own home bar.

That might sound intimidating, but don’t worry. We at Rejigger HQ have your back. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing step-by-step tips for getting started with the Rejigger, from collecting bar tools to picking out spirits. By the end, we hope you’ll have enough materials to make most of the cocktails in the Rejigger recipe booklet—and the confidence to start inventing your own.

Today, we’re starting with bar tools.

Bristling with complicated-looking metal implements, your average home bar tools set wouldn’t look out of place in a mad scientist’s laboratory. Luckily, if you’ve got a Rejigger, you don’t need to raid Dr. Frankenstein’s house to join the Home Cocktail Revolution. You can get started with just these five items, some of which you may already have at home.

  1. Rejigger: It goes without saying that a Rejigger is a key component of an easy home cocktail setup. Its molded plastic compartments take the guesswork out of cocktail measurements, eliminating the need for a regular jigger. (That’s the little two-sided cup that comes with many bar kits.)

WHAT TO BUY: A Rejigger ($15), obviously!

  1. Pint Glass: Once you’ve poured your cocktail ingredients into the Rejigger, you need something to shake them in. A standard pint glass will work just fine—the Rejigger is designed to fit one. (The bottom half of some cocktail shakers may fit, too.)

WHAT TO BUY: Predictably, the perfectly sized (and aesthetically attractive) Rejigger logo pint glass ($5) is our top pick.

  1. Muddler: This is a thick, often wooden stick with a knob on the end, used for breaking up leaves, rinds, and other ingredients in the bottom of the glass. (Think the mint leaves in a mojito.) Muddling is a time-honored way of adding a new flavor profile to a classic cocktail, and a technique you’ll see often in Rejigger recipes. You can find a muddler for under $10 at many home supply stores, but if you don’t feel like making the trip, a wooden spoon will do just as well.

WHAT TO BUY: With its easy-to-grip handle and non-scratch plastic head, the OXO steel muddler ($13.95) featured in our holiday gift guide is still a safe bet.

  1. Citrus Juicer: Though not absolutely necessary to cocktail success, a citrus juicer will save your hands the trouble of squeezing juice from tons of lemons and limes—and your tongue from tasting less-than-fresh bottled citrus juice.

WHAT TO BUY: We love our big KitchenAid citrus juicer pictured above, but for an affordable, easy-to-store option, try the Dozenegg citrus juicer ($6.28), made of flexible silicone.

  1. Strainer: If you’re shaking up some ice with your cocktail, the Rejigger is all you need to keep it from falling into the glass as you pour: just tilt the Rejigger slightly as pictured in the directions. A fine mesh strainer still comes in handy, however, when you want a cocktail to look picture-perfect. Though leaving them in won’t affect the taste of a drink, straining out pulp, muddled herbs, and other small ingredients makes for a more polished presentation.

WHAT TO BUY: An OXO Good Grips mini-strainer ($8.95) fits snugly over the top of a cocktail glass, keeping things sturdy as you pour.

And that’s it—the five basic tools you need to start making craft cocktails at home. Easy, right? Next week the Getting Started Guide will be back to discuss the next step in building up a home bar: stocking basic spirits.