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 read more
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.