Best Home Bar Furniture and Equipment
The Bar Itself: Best Portable Bars and Bar Shelves
Check out: CustomizedDesigns.com’s Gallery
For the ultimate in home bar furniture and bar displays, there is no substitute for CustomizedDesigns – [LED Bar Shelves / Liquor Displays, Portable Bars, Amazon Search]. Easily folds and breaks down to make space, for transport or storage. Could also be easily transported and set up for events. Lots of options and modern LED styling. The option to create a Logo design makes it look amazingly awesome, especially when LED backlit. Check out the gallery at the link above.
Best Barware and Bar Supplies
The best equipment is from Cocktail Kingdom, made for bars/professional bartenders. They sell Koliko shaking sets which are aluminum tins (not glass), so will last forever. Check their website first as they may sell sets.
Koriko Small and Large Weighted Shaking Tins (the small fits into the large to shake drinks) [Amazon Large Tin, Amazon Short Tin]
Mexican Beehive Juicer [Amazon]
AG Hawthorne Strainer [Amazon] (Winco brand)
Jigger (to measure, or could use a normal shot glass) [Amazon]
Bar Spoon, ie [Amazon]
Speed pourers, ie [Amazon]
Ice Cube Tray, ie [Amazon] (if you don’t have an ice maker on the fridge)
Fine Mesh CoCo Strainer (for extra straining, ie mint leaves / fruit pieces) [Amazon]
Julep Strainer (only better than AG Hawthorne for a mixing glass instead of using mixing tins) [Amazon]
And remember: Shake the drinks of which you don’t want the taste to linger.
Best Wine Key / Corkscrew:
Best: Cartailler Deluc Waiter’s Friend imported from France $30 [Amazon]
Substitute: Pocket Prestige by Coutale Sommelier – Waiters Corkscrew $30 [Amazon]
Dirt Cheap: Pulltaps $11 for two – Barmaid or beer-girl friendly [Amazon]
Don’t get: Code38 Corkscrew $400+ – Absolute waste of money. Buy more wine to store instead!
Value – Luminarc Nuance Goblet $28 for 12 [Amazon]
Premium – Luigi Bormioli Prestige break-resistant $40 for 4 [Amazon]
Both not as well-known in the U.S. as the Riedel and Spiegelau brands, however, I prefer to make sure the glasses are sturdy. If shopping elsewhere, prefer stemmed glasses (only supposed to hold wine glasses by the stem, not palmed, in order to not alter the temperature of the wine, unlike liquor like Brandy/Whiskey/Tequila which can be warmed up by the hand to bring out aromas). Also, the wine glass is designed to hold about 1/3 to 1/2 of a fill to properly release the aromas in the wine. For Strictly Tasting/Sampling Wine, the Stolzle Inao Glass [Amazon] is THE reference glass for all wines and is used in all kinds of competitions and tasting circumstances, albeit it is small. Dishwasher-friendly.
Beer Mugs / Glasses: Tulip Beer Glass [Amazon]
There are nicer looking glasses out their such as the Spiegelau IPA glass, however, thicker glass that is sturdy and won’t break/chip easily is preferable and Tulip glasses seem to be one of the best shapes for aroma/taste.
Decanting Liquor – For best taste, one can simply pour from the bottle to the glass (no need for a decanter).
If you must, a great looking Liquor Decanter (Note that if it is not airtight, the alcohol will evaporate) is the Luigi Bormioli Strauss $30 [Amazon] (albeit slightly smaller than a normal 750ml liquor bottle – 23.75 oz instead of 25 oz)
Wine Accessories and Consuming Wine
Predominating theory has been wine should be stored on its side to keep the cork moist and elastic to ensure an airtight seal.
For champagne or sparkling wine, however, the wine should not be in contact with the cork, as the acidity erodes the cork if in contact over 18 months. The vapor pressure inside the bottle is sufficient to keep the cork moist, anyway. Source: Champagne’s professional body – CIVC (Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne). Wine refrigerators are only for the connoisseurs who need to store expensive ways away from changes in temperature within the household.
Best Wine Decanter
Skip the Wine Aerators (ie Vinturi, Soirée, Respirer, Zazzol, Tanors, where the wine is poured through the Aerator into the glass) or hyperdecanting (pulsing the wine within a blender). You may, however, tradionally decant your wine, ie pour beforehand from the bottle to a glass wine decanter carafe. From where, with wine, you can let it aerate for a specified amount of time and swirl it however much you like, and then pour to the glass.
Why Decant? Decanting allows wine (particularly older wine) to separate from its sediment, which, if left mixed in with the wine, will impart a very noticeable bitter, astringent flavor. Second, when you pour wine into a decanter, the resulting agitation causes the wine to mix with oxygen, enabling it to develop and come to life at an accelerated pace (this is particularly important for younger wine).
Just pour it into the decanter. Let it sit for twenty minutes or so before you serve it, and you’ll likely notice a dramatic increase in subtlety and complexity. If there is sediment at the bottom of the bottle, make sure not to pour it into the decanter!
Letting the bottle sit open does not work to aerate the wine because of the low open surface area, however, one may just let the wine sit in glasses for a few minutes before it is served! Source Source2, Source-Exposure to air has a positive effect after 30 minutes
Best Value Wine Decanter: Oenophilia Tear Drop Decanter [Amazon]