Enough with the scented candles. As an alternative present for Mother’s Day, can I suggest you encourage your offspring to treat you to some really classy cocktail equipment? Regular readers will know that this year I aim to get you all making decent cocktails and to start, you’re going to need a few essential bits of kit. Not least, obviously, is a stylish cocktail shaker.
You can improvise with most cocktail equipment – a wooden spoon handle makes a reasonable muddle stick, an egg cup is more or less a measure for spirits and a tea strainer works fine to decant a mix, but a decent cocktail shaker is pretty essential. Here are a few suggestions to mail to your children.
Possibly the most stylish cocktail shaker I’ve seen recently is the David Mellor toughened glass and stainless steel one below at £22.95, which combines a lovely line with a useful measurement for liquids, jolly handy when following a recipe. A slightly better priced version on the right is the French Shaker with useful resipes on the side, from John Lewis at £15.00.
For a more rustic version, the charming Rowan & Wren Mason Jar Shaker above, at £34 is a good size for mixing group cocktails, a batch of mint mojito’s for example. Lovely for summer garden suppers too. Add a few rustic glasses and you’ve got a perfect present
The most handsome and complete set I could recommend is from John Lewis’s Hammered Barware range. The half hammered shaker is £25 and the complementing half hammered bar tool kit at £30 contains pretty much everything you need to start your career as a competent mixologist. A word on’ glass versus metal’, it’s generally agreed that metal gives a sharper shake, breaking the ice up more efficiently and they are lighter, which is important if you are bulking mixing, but tbh, I can’t tell the difference.
John Lewis also do this simpler 3 piece gift set, with the essential spirit measure and useful strainer for £30. For those who are happy to spend generously on their mothers (and children, you all know you really should…) do also remember the excellent Tipplesworth cocktail sets we wrote about here.
For more retro mums, I would advise you to scout Ebay, where vintage cocktail shakers -often with matching glasses similar to the ones below -can be picked up for a song. Classic shakers go from around £8 and decorative ones for upwards of £12 although you can pay a lot more for special ones (the ones below have high price tags). If you’re buying for Mother’s Day, though, you need to get your skates on.
For the more contemporary minded mum, the Marcel Wanders funky shaped one, below, in shiny stainless steel might do, from Marks & Spencer at a slightly reduced£15.60. And for those with a need for glass free environment, the House of Fraser Cellardine one (made from acrylic) with recipes printed on the side is rather cute and a total bargain at £6.39.
So plenty to chose from. For those feeling very generous, don’t forget a cocktail needs a good glass. I’m loving the LSA gold Garbo ones, from John Lewis again, at £38 for two.
And btw, I love scented candles too…