Time to raise your drinking game.
David Kaplan and Alex Day, the gents behind New York bar Death & Company (additional credentials: They judged the 2015 Grey Goose Pour Masters competition), on the essential items for the world’s greatest domestic booze station.
A REALLY GOOD BAR KNIFE “This is not just a kitchen utility knife; get a really beautiful handcrafted showpiece knife for when you’re cutting up garnishes in front of your friends. Western Knife Works makes gorgeous steel ones.”
A JIGGER “Even if you’re making drinks at home, measure everything. Cocktails aren’t like cooking; they’re more like baking. Japanese-style jiggers, like the ones from Cocktail Kingdom, are the most useful because they have multiple internal measures.”
A BACK-POCKET RECIPE THAT CAN BE ADAPTED “The last thing you want when you’re hosting people is to spend the night making drinks. If you have a good-quality seltzer and good-quality booze around, you can make something very sophisticated. Grey Goose and soda, with simple variations like adding different herbs, for instance, can be very impressive.”
AN EDITED BAR SHELF “Have a couple of good bottles in each booze category—gin, whisky, vodka, tequila—and then a few that have stories you can share with people. You also need a workhorse orange bitters. Regans’ or Fee Brothers is good.”
GLASSWARE WITH PERSONALITY “Glassware should be special, personal. You only need a set of six or eight. Each glass should feel good in your hand. We’d recommend a Collins glass, an old-fashioned glass and maybe a coupe. The great thing about making drinks at home is that you don’t need to stick to a standard—if you make a big drink, you can just pour it into two different coupes you found somewhere. Parched Penguin in Vancouver has beautiful stuff.”
A GOOD SHAKER