Expert Lessons
Mixologist Anu Apte's 8 Favorite Cocktail Tools
Anu Apte's Essential Tools
Photo © Dylan + Jeni Studios

At her Seattle bar, Rob Roy, mixologist Anu Apte obviously has all of the traditional barware, but she also likes to use special tools that she's collected along the way. Below are some of her favorites from her stunning tool kit.

“All of these tools are sentimental to me for different reasons; some are antiques, some are gifts and some are even from India. My parents go back every year and my mom always brings me back beautiful silver things. I also love wandering through consignment and antiques shops whenever I have the time.”

1. “I was looking for a plant spritzer to use at home and I bought this on Amazon—ha! I'm growing a money tree. It's about a foot tall right now but I'm hoping to see it to its six-foot potential. These trees love to be spritzed. But in the bar, I use this to spritz an aromatic liqueur over a drink for a slight flavor, but mostly for aroma.”

2. & 5. “My amazing and handsome boyfriend, Chris Elford, bought me this Tiffany Hawthorne strainer and knife as a gift when he was courting me. He found them at an antiques store. The Hawthorne strainer is used to strain cocktails and the knife has several functions: It grabs garnishes, cuts and peels, and the little hook near the handle serves as a bottle opener.”

3. “This silver flower holds rose water. There are little pinholes in the center of the flower that releases the fragrant water from the dasher. My mom brought this back from India for me. It is traditionally used in Hindu prayer ceremonies.”

4. “My brother-in-law, Jared Rudy, bought this antique ice grabber for me. It's great for picking up large chunks of ice.”

6. & 9. “These small silver cups are also from India; they were gifts from my parents. Traditionally, they're used for incense cones or oils in Hindu prayer ceremonies, but I put detail garnishes in them, such as whole clove or small dried rosebuds. I might be testing the gods by using these for cocktails.”

7. “This is actually part of an antique Italian stovetop espresso maker. I found it at an antiques store on the Washington peninsula. I use it on a hot plate to make a quick shot of espresso when I need a pick-me-up.”

8. “The measuring spoons were a gift from Chris's twin sister, Heather Elford-Fitzpatrick. They are gorgeous and very detailed. I use them for dry spices and jams. And I use them every time I'm making large batched cocktails for events.”

For more on Apte's cocktail philosophy, read A Mixologist's Quest for the Next Big Cocktail Flavor.

Related: Jim Meehan's Cocktail Primer
Gifts for the Cocktail Enthusiast
Cocktail Recipes and Mixology Tips

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