The Quick Juicer
First, always mix with fresh juice, not cartons. But hand-squeezing and picking out seeds is frustrating. Jillian Vose, co-author of The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem, recommends the Oxo Good Grips citrus squeezer for superfast pulverising. R389, yuppiechef.com
The Sturdy Strainer
The stainless-steel Buswell four-prong Hawthorne strainer nestles atop any mixing vessel, and the spring coil combs particles efficiently, says Aaron Paul, beverage director for the Alta Group. Because no one likes chewing their gin fizz. R770, wantitall.co.za
Smart bartenders depend on a 40cm Hoffman barspoon to create perfect cocktails, says Andrew Nichols, bar manager at Elk Room. The length handles even the tallest of highball glasses, and the low-profile head nimbly swivels around solid ingredients. You scoff, but the better you stir your drinks, the better they taste. The spoon can also double as a strainer, stopping loose ice from plopping into your serving glass when you pour. R423, coppermonkey.co.za
The Old-Reliable Jigger
Pouring spirits from a stubby jigger – or, worse yet, a shot glass – can create a mess. Instead, leverage a Japanese-style jigger to measure and transfer drinks with precision, says Jeff Bell, bartender at Please Don’t Tell. This tapered option, much like a Champagne flute, makes carrying whatever’s inside easier. R195, coppermonkey.co.za
The Power Peeler
A great drink smells as amazing as it tastes. Elevate aromas with one easy trick: twisting a citrus peel over a glass – not dropping it into one, says Alex Holder, assistant beverage director for McGuire Moorman. The oils settle on the rim and the surface of the drink, which results in a perfume of tropical notes. The Oxo Good Grips Y peeler cuts a nice, wide swathe. The larger the peel, the more oil you can express from it. R83.99, hirschs.co.za
The Prestige Mixing Glass
For any stirred drink, you want to combine the ingredients gently. Larger vessels, like a Yarai mixing glass, work best, says John McCarthy, co-author of Be Your Own Bartender. The sturdy-as-heck glass has a squat profile and heavy base that anchor it to your surface. R565, coppermonkey.co.za
The Three Best Bar Snacks
This year, ditch the peanuts and upgrade your snacking.
Pork crackling: It’s salty, it’s crunchy, and it’s all protein. Pork crackling from Woolworths is perfect partnered with an IPA, and the blend of herbs and spices is best friends with a whiskey.
Biltong: Let’s be honest, no bar is complete without a stash of biltong. It’s a South African staple. Biltong is tasty, high in protein and low in fat, so you can snack without the guilt. Bonus? It’s high in Vitamin B12.
Pistachios: You know how you always down the entire bowl of cashews? Well, pistachios come with a little flak jacket that you have to unlatch, which helps with pacing. Plus, healthy fats!
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