Don't Buy a Jigger on a Stick

In the famous last words of every blog everywhere, “there will be additional content appearing in the coming weeks.”

One project I am excited to kick off is a guide to essential cocktail gear. Most of the advice on cocktail gear is bad. Most of the cocktail gear on the market is awful. I will dispense with the nonsense and create a living guide that specifies what to buy and why it’s necessary.

At the moment the basic sketch is to have three guides, subject to change:

  • The bare minimum. Without these things, all hope is lost. What is necessary to bootstrap into cocktail mixing, nothing more, nothing less. All products will be tested and recommended in specific.
  • A well-equipped bar. Still sparse versus expectations, this gets the reader from bootstrapping to being able to cover most cocktails of import. A few items are included for style and quality of life.
  • Unnecessary items. Nobody needs several kilograms of milled aluminum to make a perfect ice sphere, but it sure is fun.

These guides will be kept up to date and may change in mild ways over time. If it was legal for me to get affiliate income in Connecticut, this is how I would monetize this blog. Since I cannot, I am not quite sure why I am doing it.

In any event, this then creates a convenient hook for me to make a series of posts that form a synthetic fourth topic:

  • Don’t go there. The world is full of awful things, and I am here to prevent you from buying them.

So we’ll kick that off today with two important recommendations of what not to buy.

Don’t Buy a Jigger on a Stick

There is no reason to buy a jigger on a stick. Whatsoever. Here’s an example of a jigger on a stick, included in a set of bar tools. A stick jigger? Even saying it out loud sounds awkward.

One might ask, “why is the jigger on a stick?” Surely there must be a useful and practical reason? Maybe an interesting history? Perhaps, but doing that research would take time. Here’s why the jigger is on a stick, according to me: Everything else in the bar set was on a stick or handle. It would have looked stupid for the jigger to just be sitting on the side.

While we’re on the topic of bar tools…

Don’t Buy a Set of Bar Tools

Bar tool sets are like knife sets. Here are the essential knives:

  • A chef’s knife.
  • A paring knife.
  • A bread knife.
  • A boning knife and a cleaver, if one’s into meat fabrication.

Most knife sets come with a hilarious assortment of useless knives. Most of the chef’s knives that are included are the wrong size. The cleavers, if included, are inadequate.

With more knives, more money can be charged. With useless knives, additional knives must be purchased. This philosophy is great for knife makers and horrible for knife users.

Bar tool sets have the exact same motivation and problem. Avoid them at all costs. Hang in there, recommendations for discrete components essential to building a cocktail kit are coming.