Catered events can be expensive, and during this economic hard time, many of us are looking for ways to cut expenses. Rather than having your next event catered or hosted at a banquet hall, consider how you might use your own home or public space to supply an arena for your party. Part of that planning will include identifying key equipment and fixtures needed to host a mini, or scaled-down, open bar. Consider the following critical tools and glassware.
Jigger - This is a fixture in most bars and is used to measure the amount of alcohol to dispense when preparing a mixer. Similar to a shot glass, a jigger is double-sided. With the larger cup facing up, you can measure one fluid ounce. When flipped upside down, the cup will hold about .75 fluid ounces. After measuring, the liquor is poured into a cocktail shaker to be blended with ice and other ingredients like juice.
Highball glass - This is going to be one of your more popular pieces of glassware. The highball glass is used for serving a cocktail.
Flute - Similar looking to a wine glass, a flute is narrower and used primarily for drinking champagne.
Ice - While you certainly know what ice is and why it's important in preparing mixed drinks, you need to also recognize the sanitation issues that come with this aspect of bar keeping. Ensure that you are using a scoop to place ice into your glassware to avoid contamination. Also keep this ice separate from that which is cooling your sodas or mini keg. Keep the ice supply covered at all times, if possible.
Muddler - This piece of equipment is the pestle of the bartending world. A muddler is a wooden tool used to crush cherries or mint leaves for certain mixed drinks.
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Throughout history, people have gathered at establishments that served alcohol. Tavern, dive, cocktail lounge- there have been countless names for these locations. During the Prohibition era, there were places opened called speakeasies to supply booze to people illegally. Today, there are themed clubs and lounges designed to cater to a certain type of individual. The alcohol choices may be similar among most locations, but the fixtures depend solely on the desired environment.
Most locations have the same equipment for making drinks. Mini freezers to refrigerate the bottles and sinks to clean glasses are staples. Most tenders are trained to use jigger to measure the liquor; usually on one side of this tool is a 1.5 fluid ounce cone while the other side is smaller. While kegs are popular with college students, you are more likely to find a draft beer dispenser in bars. Various types of glassware will grace the shelves, including mini shot glasses, champagne flutes, and steins. Mixers are necessary for blending crushed ice and flavored alcohol for such favorites as strawberry daiquiris. Bottle openers, corkscrews, and martini shakers are also common equipment.
The decor depends entirely on the atmosphere the owner is trying to create. Many establishments have stools at the counter so customers can watch the bartender mix the drinks. An upscale wine bar is likely to have fine glassware, expensive fixtures, and luxurious furniture. The aim is to attract wealthy clientele. Sports bars are completely different. The business will supply televisions and related equipment because they know that were draw in their type of patrons, who come in to watch the game and drink some beers with other fans. Because of the variety of establishments, everyone can find a table they feel comfortable at.