You don’t need fancy gadgets to make a good drink — but it certainly helps, and it’s a ton of fun to experiment with the latest bartending tools. With these seven gadgets, you’ll level up your bartending skills and be able to make some pretty exotic and tasty cocktails, beers and wines.
1. iSi Whipper
The iSi Whipper is primarily known for making whipped cream, but it also has plenty of other uses behind the bar. You can use it to create special creams and foams to top your drinks with. You can use it to carbonate your drinks or add pure nitrogen in the style of the trendy nitro brew coffee. You can even rapidly infuse liquids with aromas, reducing the usually takes at least a few days to just minutes. If you want to boost your creativity when it comes bartending, give this gadget a try.
2. Ice Ball Maker
You may have noticed bartenders using ice balls instead of ice cubes in whiskey, scotch and other drinks. What’s the benefit of this? For starters, it looks cool, but it also has a more practical advantage. Because round ice balls have a smaller surface area — and therefore less surface exposed to warm air — they melt more slowly and dilute your drink less.
The prices for ice ball makers vary wildly. You can get a regular round ice mold for a few bucks, or a more high-end gadget that melts cubes into perfect spheres for a few hundred bucks.
3. Beer Dispenser
Have you ever noticed that beer tastes better out of the tap? With the Fizzics DraftPour, you can take any canned or bottled beer and make it taste it like a nitro-style draft. Here’s how it works.
First, you put your bottle or can in the device. To pour the beer at a consistent rate under pressure — which the company says help to maintain its carbonation — you pull the handle forward. Push it back for foam, which the DraftPour creates using soundwaves that convert the carbonation into a micro-foam.
Citrus garnishes are an essential part of cocktail recipes for Bloody Marys, margaritas and more. It’s a familiar scene in bars, though, to see piles of lime, lemon and orange slices going bad before they can be used. How can you prevent this? By dehydrating your garnishes.
A dehydrator helps your fruit last longer and also adds a unique, sophisticated look to your cocktails. You can even get creative and dehydrate a variety of other ingredients, too! You can get your own dehydrator for anywhere from around $40 to a few hundred bucks.
5. Black and Tan Beer Maker
Black and tan layered beer, in which a lighter beer sits on top of a heavier beer, is a cool-looking bar trick that also makes for an interesting mix of flavors. To do this, you need to pour a heavy beer into a glass and fill it up halfway. Then, you need to gently and slowly pour a lighter beer on top of it. If you do it right, they’ll remain separate.
With a simple device like the Perfect Black And Tan Beer Layering Tool, which is available on Amazon for around $10, you can get the perfect pour every time.
Wine experts recommend letting some wines breathe or aerate them before enjoying them. To let wine breathe, you expose it to air so that the air can smooth out the flavor and enhance the aromas. This can take up to two hours, though, especially for stronger red wines.
A faster way to accomplish this is to use an aerator. These devices range from simple bottle attachments that pull in air and mix it with the wine as you pour it to smart aerators that mix in precise amounts of oxygen based on the type of wine.
7. Vacuum Wine Bottle Stoppers
While mixing a bit of air into your wine before drinking it can enhance its flavor, leaving it exposed for too long can destroy it. That’s why it’s best to drink the whole bottle in one evening or reseal it for storage if you’re going to finish it at a later time.
Getting as much air as possible out of your wine before putting it away for the night can help you preserve its flavor. Vacuum wine bottle stoppers can help you accomplish this. The Vacu Vin system includes a pump that removes oxygen from the bottle and stoppers that create a vacuum seal to keep that air out. According to Vacu Vin, using this system can keep wine tasting fresh for days.
Ready to step up your bartending game? Try some or all of these seven gadgets to upgrade your skills and try something new when it comes time to pour your next drink.