7 Insane Bar Gadgets That You Don't Need (But Will Still Want)
Bar geekdom knows no bounds. Over the last decade, companies have created all kinds of over-the-top gadgets to help the cocktail obsessed craft and serve drinks with unparalleled flair. And we want them all—even if we’ll only use them once or twice a year. From wacky shakers to pricey tools to floating glassware, here are seven awesomely insane bar gadgets that you definitely don’t need, but will certainly drool over.
If traditional shaking isn’t your jam, turn the whole practice on its head with Monkey Shoulder’s Konga Shaker. Launched last year, the Konga Shaker (pictured above), is not only about three times the size of a typical cocktail shaker, but it also has two handles, which allow bartenders to turn the shaker quickly to mix drinks (appropriately, the movement looks a lot like you’re dancing the Konga). The design is based on a shaker that was popular during the 1930s, but Monkey Shoulder’s update comes with a few technical improvements, including the addition of a sieve. Though the Konga Shaker isn’t currently available for sale, that won’t stop us from dreaming of extra-large batches of hand-spun Gimlets this summer.
Unless you’re a diehard cocktail nerd, you’ve probably never considered purchasing your very own centrifuge, a powerful device that can separate fluids of different densities or pull liquids from solids—it’s especially great for bartenders who use clarified juices and extracted herb oils in drinks. But for anyone who has been eyeing one of these expert-level tools, this new innovation from Booker and Dax’s resident beverage scientist Dave Arnold is a godsend. While most centrifuges found in restaurants and bars cost upwards of $5,000, this one comes in at a much more reasonable $699. So if you ever find yourself with an insatiable craving for clarified banana juice or parsley essence, at least you won’t have to blow your entire savings to do it.
If you’re of the mind that grounded glassware is overrated and you have an extra $150 lying around, allow us to introduce you to the Levitating CUP. As its name implies, this piece of futuristic glassware bobs around about an inch off its base, effectively swirling your whiskey for you. It uses electromagnetic suspension to keep the glass from toppling over. The project was effectively funded on Kickstarter last year, so you can now purchase your own anytime the need for a little Harry Potter-style imbibing strikes.
Dave Arnold isn’t the only big name in the bartending industry to come up with a high-tech bar tool. Charles Joly, the lauded bartender who founded Crafthouse Cocktails, joined forces with Fortessa to create the Cocktail Smoking Box, which comes complete with a smoking gun and wood chips. The idea is to infuse cocktails placed within the box with the savory, smoky flavors emitted from the smoking gun. So all you have to do to achieve applewood-smoked Manhattan perfection is drop $200 and clear off some counter space.
Want to add an age statement to your cocktails? A one-liter barrel made from American oak is the way to go. While these mini casks are typically used by bars who regularly serve hoards of people every night, that doesn’t mean laypeople like us can’t also make use of a full liter of barrel-aged Negroni.
If you had the option to turn everything you consume into foam, wouldn’t you at least consider it? We would. In fact, we’ve been longing for an iSi Gourmet Whip for exactly that purpose. Not only can the tool create light and fluffy toppings, but it also uses carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide to rapidly infuse or carbonate cocktails. So if you’re looking to play mad cocktail scientist in the near future, this handy dandy tool is all you need—and it only costs $55.
Ice is a hot topic for cocktail lovers. So much so that many of them are willing to go to serious lengths to make perfectly clear cubes and spheres. But it’s a fact that ice just isn’t as good if it isn’t made in a gold-finished mold made of aerospace-grade aluminum. OK, we might be exaggerating just a bit—but imagine opening up your freezer to find one of these precious metal ice makers from Cocktail Kingdom next to your frozen pizza and tots. That’s the definition of #fancy.