We taste first with our eyes, which means a beautiful garnish can elevate a cocktail from standard to stunning. Whether you’re trying your hand at tiki or you’ve progressed to intricately carved citrus peels, having the right tool for the job makes all the difference.
F. Dick Premier Plus 31⁄2-inch Paring Knife
The value of a quality knife can’t be overstated, and German company F. Dick has been making them for more than a century. The Premier Plus line features high-carbon stainless steel, and the 31⁄2-inch paring knife is the ideal size for the bar—utilitarian enough for everyday slicing, with a maneuverable fine point for intricate cuts and carving. $36.80, knifemerchant.com
Kyocera Horizontal Ceramic Y Peeler
A horizontal peeler offers more precise control than a vertical peeler, especially when cutting strips of citrus or cucumber ribbons. Kyocera’s ceramic blade is rustproof and lightweight and stays sharp longer for a perfect peel every time. $9.95, amazon.com
Microplane Premium Classic Series Zester Grater
From spices to chocolate to citrus, a Microplane is hands down the essential grating tool to have in your arsenal. The 8-inch surface is made of surgical-grade stainless steel and delivers snowflake- like perfection. We like the soft-grip handle and bright color options of the premium series. $14.99, microplane.com
Straight Tip Tweezer, 10-inch
Large kitchen tweezers offer superior dexterity behind the bar, from retrieving cherries or olives from jars to precisely placing delicate garnishes. These stainless steel tweezers from JB Prince are an industry favorite, and the 10-inch length is perfect for reaching the bottom of a highball glass. $16.80, jbprince.com
For precise drops and dashes, these dasher tops designed by Cocktail Kingdom are made to fit onto most brands of bitters bottles. Available in four different finishes, the tops are crafted from aerospace-grade aluminum, making them both durable and easy to clean. $15.99/two-pack, cocktailkingdom.com
Zyliss 2 in 1 Zester
For both finer strips of zest and longer ribbons, opt for a combo tool to save space. A solid grip is key for tough rinds, and this wide-handled zester from Swiss company Zyliss is the most comfortable we’ve tried. The built-in channel knife is in the center, making it good for righties or lefties, and the stainless steel blade is dishwasher-safe. $7.99, zyliss.com
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