Evenings with friends now include mixed drinks before eating, and I like to try new recipes and methods with them, as well as classic recipes. As I find I am transporting more equipment each time, I needed a dedicated method of making sure I had everything with me in an easily portable format.
Bartender bags & cases are not a new invention, and top mixologist Jim Meehan has designed perhaps the ultimate utility bag, supplied by top-end leatherworkers, Moore & Giles. However, at around $1,000, this beautiful object is a little too expensive for my current needs.
My solution was a £25 camera case from the UK electronics supplier, Maplin. The case is designed for carrying delicate photo or electronic equipment, and has a foam insert that is pre-cut in a grid format to allow one to arrange the storage to suit.
Twenty minutes work with scissors, and I now have a case that carries the following basics for an evening of mixed drinks:
Bar tools (spoon, hawthorn strainer, zester & knife)
Small chopping board
Cherries (in a base of maraschino & Angostura bitters)
Large bottle of vermouth or other flavouring ingredient (here it is Aperol, for a Death in Florence cocktail)
Bitters – four bottles: my house mixture, clove, grapefruit & Bob’s astounding Abbott’s bitters
Waiter’s friend-type corkscrew
However, I still have my eye on the Meehan bag…