The Equipment Everyone Needs To Make A Cocktail - Exclusive

Who doesn't enjoy sitting down with a good cocktail? Food writer and TV personality Gail Simmons is no stranger to the wide world of cocktails. Among her foodie endeavors, Simmons is a connoisseur of fine cocktails. In an exclusive interview, Simmons tells Mashed that she has "had lots of cocktails all over the world." And now, she has used her knowledge of cocktails in partnership with coffee liqueur brand Kahlúa to create a specialty espresso martini kit. The kit, available through Cocktail Courier, will include everything a person needs to make their own espresso martini and the recipe for Simmons' unique cocoa cups to hold the cocktail.

A well-made espresso martini is a beautiful thing. After much testing to get it just right, Simmons has the creation down. "Let's just say I'm an expert," she told us. For those who may be new to mixing their own drink, Simmons has a word of advice on the absolutely critical equipment.

A good cocktail shaker

Before you even start, Simmons recommends taking stock of supplies. "Like anything in the kitchen," she says, "have your ingredients organized, plan ahead, set up everything in advance, make sure you have lots of ice, make sure you have everything measured." According to Simmons, the most important thing to check is your shaker. "Have a really good shaker because that is your key piece of equipment." 

She goes on to explain that a good shaker is not necessarily about spending money, but more about making sure it can really handle the job. "It doesn't have to be a professional cocktail shaker — it just needs to be a sealed jar of some kind that has an opening big enough for ice to come in and out of it. It could be a mason jar, for example, or a water bottle with a big opening mouth. But a cocktail shaker is key." Simmons says that if you intend to use a mason jar, "Then you need a strainer if you're not using a proper cocktail shaker."

A frothy finish

The shaker is essential when it comes to cocktails such as the espresso martini. As Simmons explains, an espresso martini is comprised of simple ingredients, "one part Kahlúa, one part vodka, one part espresso, over ice." But it is the preparation of those ingredients that makes the espresso martini. The ingredients must be "shaken vigorously so that when you pour it out into your cup or your glass, you get that beautiful foam that replicates crema. It's part of the allure of the drink." 

Without a proper cocktail shaker, there is no crema on the cocktail, and you are left with a tasty but less visually appealing cocktail, and presentation is a vital part of the experience. That's why before you set out to make your next espresso martini, be sure to have a cocktail shaker worthy of your creation.

Stir it Up With Kahlúa & Gail Simmons: Espresso Martini Kit will be available exclusively from Cocktail Courier from now until December 17.