As well as software, I also make cocktails. I got into it a few years ago, and by now it’s become a fully grown hobby, as evidenced by the entire kitchen shelf given over to bottles, and the ongoing invasion of my fridge by Mason jars of syrups and infused spirits. (Luckily my roommate considers that an acceptable price to pay for having an onsite bartender!) One question I often get asked is: “How do I get started making drinks at home?”
Home bartending is a very satisfying hobby, not least because you’re working with booze. It offers much of the creativity and sensuality of cooking, but with a fraction of the prep and cleanup work. And there’s a thrill to making a tasty, classy drink at home, for around $4 instead of $8 plus tip. And it doesn’t take much to get started. Your average kitchen is probably only missing four cheap pieces of equipment to make a wide variety of cocktails.
If you want to get started for yourself, the following are my recommendations for what to get. They also make a nice gift package: buy someone these, wrap them up as a set, and they’ve got four fewer excuses not to start mixing their own drinks.