Its easy to understand why. While beer and wine are convenient, pour-and-drink choices, cocktails require a little elbow grease and creativityboth of which appeal to 20- and 30-somethings who appreciate anything with an element of artisanship.
While few things are as enjoyable as a fine cocktail out on the town, making your own is a great way to turn your favorite pastimedrinkinginto a hobby. But you'll need some extra gear to keep pace with your neighborhood watering hole.
One thing I have learned about hosting guests or making cocktails for myself is that I seem to never have all the tools I need, says Jeff Jagger, a bartender at Philadelphias acclaimed Townsend .
Sure, that means jiggers, cocktail tins, and all the other basics . But to take your at-home cocktails to night-out levels, there are some great optionsfrom molecular kits to infusersthat will elevate your drinks above run-of-the-mill manhattans and martinis.
What should you be shopping for? Here are 10 great buys.
Hella Bitter Craft Your Own Bitters Kit
Bitters are the glue that holds a cocktail together, Jagger says. They add aromatics, flavor, depth, and complexity. If youre bored with Angostura or Peychauds both of which Jagger recommendsthis instructive kit comes with everything you need to craft two batches of made-at-home bitters. Even better: Pair it with a good instructional book like this one and you can continue to experiment, with delicious results.
$64.95, Buy It Here
Breville PolyScience Smoking Gun + Woodchips
If you really want to blow your buddies hair back, you cant beat this handheld smoke infuser. Smoke your cocktail glasses before pouring to add another layer of aroma, or add some smoke to a bottle of spirts for greater complexity.
$179.95, Buy It Here
Molecule-R Molecular Mixology Kit
Foams. Emulsifications. Bubble infusions. If youre bored with simple shaken-or-stirred cocktails, this kit will help you explore new techniques and methods.
$49.95, Buy It Here
4 Perfect Winter Whiskey Cocktails:
Craft Connections Spirit Infuser Kit
Flavor-infused vodkas and gins are becoming more and more popular in craft cocktails. This easy-to-use kit allows you to skip the additive-laden offerings at your liquor store in favor of vodkas infused with real, whole ingredients like orange peel or cucumber.
$44.95, Buy It Here
American Oak Aging Barrel
Pour in a fifth of your favorite whiskey or bourbon and let the magic happen. Along with adding oaky richness and complexity to your whiskey drinks, the included tap on this barrel allows you to sample your liquor as it agesand so get a feel for how your favorite spirit matures over time.
$59.95, Buy It Here
Gin and Tonic Premium Botanicals
If you love G&Ts; or other clear-spirit-based drinks, this botanical kit is the perfect way to pump up your favorite cocktails flavor profile with natural ingredients. Including star anise, cardamom, and other aromatic botanicals, this kit is a true drink-elevator.
$89.97, Buy It Here
Oak Infusion Spirals
Looking to imbue your whiskey with a little added depth and nuance? Slip one of these charred-oak spirals into the bottle and let it sit for a week. Its an easy way to give a basic whiskey a boost.
$12 for two, Buy It Here
Floral Elixir Co. Cocktail Kit
Another easy way to add subtle (or not-so-subtle) hits of complexity to your cocktails, these five flower syrups include a touch of cane sugar and citrusmaking them perfect complements for your favorite brown spirits.
$29, Buy It Here
Grow Your Own Cocktails Container Garden Kit
This will take some next-level dedication. But if youre interested in crafting your own from-scratch cocktails, this seed-planting set helps you grow Thai basil, tulsi, bronze fennel, and other popular ingredients. If youre not sold, imagine asking your date to join you outside while you pick some fresh lemon balm for the mojito youre making her.
$14.99, Buy It Here
Broquet Whiskey Sour Cocktail Kit
Nearly every classic whiskey drink has come back into fashion. Whiskey sours are still flying under the radarbut you can bet that will soon change. Stay ahead of the trend by serving your pals this old-school favorite, mixed up right with this handsome kit.
$59, Buy It Here