In the Spirit
Drink smarter, not harder
By Tony Cross
Every now and then while I’m scrolling through social media, I’ll come across a bartending or kitchen tool that catches my eye. This has become more frequent in the past couple of years as bartending/cocktail influencers flood my algorithm like a Category 4 hurricane. There are a ton of folks online who will do anything for likes and are way too flashy, but there are a few quality accounts with a passion for spirits, cocktails and hospitality. I’ve actually found new ways to make drinks easier and more fun from a couple of the better-quality sites. Since we live to serve, here are a few of my favorites:
Morgenthaler Triomphe Atomizer
Having an atomizer is nothing new when it comes to my collection of bar tools, but it’s the details of this one that made me splurge. I’ve been following longtime bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler for years, whether it’s his bartending blog, cocktail books or YouTube videos. When he announced he was collaborating with Cocktail Kingdom, I pretty much knew that I’d be interested in whatever he was pitching. Plus, I’m a fanboy, so there you go. The main reason I purchased my first atomizer years ago was to make my Sazerac cocktails better: On busy nights, I was wasting absinthe by rinsing my rocks glasses with it. An atomizer gave me the opportunity to evenly coat the glasses by spraying a mist of absinthe inside them. Another perk was saving absinthe; having a 1- or 2-ounce atomizer makes whatever is inside it go a long way. In addition to having a fine mist, the Morgenthaler atomizer has one detail that makes it more user-friendly: a rotating, color-coded system. When I see a green dot, I know it’s absinthe; when I grab my orange dot atomizer, I know it’s Angostura. There’s also an option to turn it yellow and red. This makes grabbing the right atomizer easier without having to label them. The fact that it’s easy to fill and use makes it a great addition to my set.
Vintage Kitchen’s “The Press”
This citrus press has gotten pretty popular, pretty damn quick. It seems like I saw it for the first time on an Instagram account and within a few months, everyone had their own — maybe not this exact brand, but a version of it. “The Press” is another way to juice your lemons and limes. What makes it different from your standard hand juicer, you ask? A couple of things. First, if you’re using a hand juicer and you press the citrus, you’re getting the juice, but the oils are lost. Using “The Press” squeezes the oils into the juice. This gives you a more flavorful fruit juice and will make your cocktails taste better. Second, hand juicers don’t allow for juicing oranges and grapefruits; they’re just too big to put in the fitting — even some lemons are hard to fit into hand juicers. This is exactly why I purchased one. Juicing grapefruits and oranges on the fly is effortless and, with the addition of the oils . . . it makes my tiki cocktails tastier and easier to make on-the-go.
Crew Supply Co. Crew and Chubby Bottles
The first time I came across Crew Bottles, I thought, “Why in the hell didn’t I think of that?” I was watching a bartender make a flavored syrup, and when he finished, he grabbed a glass bottle, twisted off the bottom and poured the syrup in. I had to have one. So, not only does it make adding syrups easier, it makes cleaning the glass bottles a cinch. Ever clean a bottle through just the small opening at the top? It’s more than a pain, especially if what was inside it stains and leaves an odor. Not only does Crew Supply make their syrup “Chubby” bottles, it also sells standard 750-milliliter “Crew” bottles. The same twist-bottom setup applies, but with the addition of measurements for 250, 500 and 750 milliliters. When the bottle is flipped upside down, you see graduated markings from 100 through 700 milliliters. No more guessing how much juice, spirit, syrup, or whatever else you’ve filled the bottle with, is left. Such a no-brainer moment. Even if you’re not a cocktail enthusiast, these make great gifts for anyone who spends time in the kitchen. PS
Tony Cross owns and operates Reverie Cocktails, a cocktail delivery service that delivers kegged cocktails for businesses to pour on tap — but once a bartender, always a bartender.