This month's selection of kitchen tools are a few of my latest favorite bar tools that have been great for making drinks, serving water and even saving wine! As you may or may not remember I posted an article featuring my list of must-have bar tools back in May, well these tools should also be included on that list. This month's tools are highly functional, easy to use, affordable (all cost under $20) and some tools are even multipurpose!
Zoku Ice Ball Mold (set of 2)
I have been seeing the sphere ice molds for some time now. My hesitation into learning more about the sphere ice molds in the past has always been the price. The first sphere ice mold I saw on the market cost a whopping $700! While it was very fun to watch the video of the ice being made…it wasn't something that would ever be in my budget. So I held off on thinking about sphere ice until recently while watching a Magnus Nilsson episode from the the series Mind of a Chef. During one of his featured episodes he made a cocktail by placing an ice sphere in a double old fashioned glass, then added a jigger (or two) of a bourbon, topped with a drizzle of locally sourced honey and garnished with fresh dandelion petals! It looked beautiful and the sphere ice cube suddenly peaked my interest again.
The Zoku Ice Ball Maker is my new go-to for serving both specialty cocktails and water at my various dinner and cocktail parties. Each box comes with 2 silicone molds that only require adding water and then placing in your freezer. The spherical ice cubes keep drinks cooler longer and create minimal drink dilution. In addition, these ice molds are dishwasher safe, BPA free and cost under $20! Spherical ice cubes have become a new way of life for me when it comes to serving beverages and I highly recommend trying this fabulous product.
Having a funnel in my arsenal of bar tools is something that I have found to be extremely helpful. There have been plenty of nights where I have wanted a second glass of wine, my husband pours it for me, I have a sip, we start watching a movie and I fall asleep. Since wine is particularly inexpensive, it is not something I like to waste (especially if it's a good bottle that only my husband and I plan on sharing). A funnel affords us the ability to pour leftover wine (i.e. an entire glass) back into the bottle to enjoy another night. Funnels are also transferring spices from store bought containers to display worthy containers or even just transferring food and beverages. Inexpensive, practical and potentially cost saving are all great reasons why the funnel is worthy of my bar tools must-have list.
Our ice maker has been out of commission and as a result I have had to purchase bags of ice when hosting parties at my house. I do love the way the clear party ice looks in a cocktail, so it hasn't been too terrible having to take this extra party prep step. The one issue however that has been slightly frustrating is the melting and clumping of ice while in transit from the grocery store to my freezer. Ice clumps result from the melting and refreezing process during transit and for a while I found myself having to bang ice chunks on a hard surface (like my countertops) to break up the clumps. Finally I came to my senses and invested in an ice pick. Now instead of smashing blocks of ice on my countertops (which creates a lot of noise and mess), I have an ice pick on hand to easily break apart the ice clumps and serve normal sized ice pieces in each beverage. Ice picks are inexpensive, practical and boy have they saved my countertops!
Summer is all about the fruit infused water and cocktails (i.e. Fresh Lime and Mint Mojitos!). One of the best ways to infuse fruits and herbs into a beverage is with a muddler. This tool extracts the oils and essences quickly and easily. Depending on the material of the vessel you are muddling your fruit and/or herbs in you should consider using a nylon covered muddler to protect your fragile drinkware. Regardless of whether you opt for the steel or nylon muddler, both are dishwasher safe, under $20 and will aid in creating fabulously flavored cocktails!