Christmas Ideas for your Bar Friends Part I

Here are a few ideas for you as we approach the Christmas Holiday for any of your friends that drink or mix drinks or for yourself.

The Soda Stream

This is a must have at anyone’s Bar. I have been using one of these for the last three months and it is now an essential item here at MySideOfTheBar. The process to create a liter of mixer is very quick. The finished product is fantastic and I challenge you to take a taste test against your favorite mixers.

Check out the web site Soda for a neat video on the usage.

The Soda Stream comes with a huge sampler pack so you can try several of the popular flavors. My two main stays are Diet Tonic and Diet Lemon Lime. However the Diet Root Beer is absolutely fantastic.

As per the Soda Stream Website the three No’s of the Soda Stream are:

No Lugging – The bottle the mixers come in are small and hold enough to create the equivalent of 33 cans of your mixer.
No Storing – The bottles are very small and take up only a fraction of the space 33 cans would.
No Empties – Again the bottles are small and take up no room at all.

As for the device, well it is smaller than my coffee pot on the counter and is very streamline looking.

I highly recommend this item and it is available at at large variety of retailers.

Bar Supplies

Bar supplies are always needed and generally we put off buying them for ourselves until the last minute.

Here are what I believe to be the essentials.

Martini Shaker – There are many varieties, including crystal, glass and metal coated. I prefer the metal uncoated variety so as you shake you can feel the coldness of your concoction in order to obtain the perfect Martini. When the metal is so cold you can not hold the shaker any longer you can be confident your Martini is ready to be served.

Martini Glasses – As with the shaker there are many, many varieties. One unequivocal fact is that all glasses eventually break. I am always on the look out for cheap Martini glasses. Some of the best places to look for sales are Outlet Mall shops, Bed Bath and Beyond, Pier One Imports and department stores. You can usually find a multitude of glasses for a dollar or less.

Shot Glass – When it comes to a shot glass choose one that you will enjoy using. I know this sounds silly, but if you enjoy the tools of the trade you will enjoy making Martinis. I prefer the stainless steel variety with a standard shot on one end and a jigger on the other. One other advantage of using any metal tool is there are impossible to break.

Martini Pitcher and Stir Stick – Many varieties available and I prefer glass for both the pitcher and stir stick.

Strainer – Always nice to have on hand for the times when you wish to stir and not shake or when you do not have a strainer built into the cap of your Martini shaker.

Olive Skewers or Tooth Picks  - I prefer the metal skewers to tooth picks as you do not get the wood flavor as they sit in your drinks. Plastic is always an option as well and while great for parties, not as stylish as metal.

Here are a few retailers that I recommend

Pier 1 Imports
World Market
Bar Supply Warehouse

Bar Condiments

Always a treat to receive bar condiments and condiment holders.  Some great ideas are

Caper Berries - Great in Bloody Mary's and Martinis
Stuffed Olives  - World Market usually has a great variety of these.
Cocktail Onions
Pre-Loaded Stir Sticks - The one pictured was from the Better Cheddar and has on the stick - A sweet pickle, An Olive, A Red Pepper and An Onion

This is a great Condiment Caddy (and the one I have) as the containers come out and can be covered and placed in the refrigerator for use another day.

Other places to look for Condiment Caddy's and Condiments are:

Williams Sonoma
The Better Cheddar
World Market

That is it for this week and look for more Christmas ideas in the next few weeks on MySideOfTheBar



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