Make a Cocktail with
Whether you’re a new mixologist or you’re looking for a new drink to add to your cocktail journal, Pottery Barn called on renowned designer, style maker and lifestyle curator Ken Fulk to share his favorite festive drink recipe. One of Ken’s favorite drinks is called the Boulevardier cocktail, named after a Parisian writer who founded the Boulevardier magazine in the 1920s. In addition to this special cocktail recipe, we’ll give you some tips on how Ken likes to organize his bar cart plus more inspiration on setting up your own at-home bar so you can begin crafting signature cocktails.
KEN FULK’S FAVORITE CLASSIC COCKTAIL
Classic cocktails are some of the simplest to make, and the Boulevardier is no exception. Ken likes to grab a cocktail shaker and since he’s a pro, he prefers measuring by eye and counting while pouring. To create the drink, first add ice, then pour in a shaker one part Campari, one part Vermouth and if you want a strong cocktail like Ken’s, use two parts rye whiskey. Give the shaker a good hard shake, then gently pour over a low tumbler, or Old Fashioned glass, then garnish with a little orange peel placed inside the glass. Give the cocktail a twirl with a stirrer to release the citrus oils into the drink, then sit back and enjoy.
KEN FULK’S BAR CART
A bar cart is probably one of the most functional accent pieces you can have in your home. It’s mobile, sculptural, compact yet holds quite a lot of items, and as small as it can be, a cart tends to be the entertainment focal point of a room. For cocktail-free gatherings, a bar cart makes a perfect drink station with ice, bottles and cans of juices and sodas. After all, the bar cart got its start as a tea trolley in Victorian times. Ken, who specializes in creating fantastic interior settings whether it’s in a home, at a party or in a restaurant, even works his magic on his bar cart. It’s an uncluttered bar set up that lets you know you’re in the good hands of a cocktail expert. Ken’s cart includes a selection of glassware, a lovely copper punch bowl filled with ice, a small metal bowl of oranges for garnishes which also adds a bit of color, three glass decanters of alcohol needed to make his cocktail, and on a smaller round tray, his signature penguin-shaped shaker complete with bowtie plus a glass and stirrer.
ESSENTIAL BAR TOOLS
Even on a cart, you’ll have room for essential bar tools in addition to bottles, decanters, a mixer or two such as tonic or juice and a requisite shaker. Start out with a basic bar tool set which will include a corkscrew and bottle opener, a cocktail strainer for pouring your drink from shaker to glass without the ice, a bar spoon/stirrer, a measuring jigger, garnish knife and ice tongs for your ice bucket or container. You’ll most likely need to buy a muddler tool separately, which helps you to crush items to release flavor into your cocktail. Ingredients that are muddled are usually sugar cubes, herbs, lemon/lime wedges, fruits, leaves and ice.
To make your bar look sleek and organized, you might want a well-edited collection of glasses set out for immediate use. Two of the most common types of glassware will fit nicely on a cart. The essentials include high and low tumblers for cocktails, white wine glasses, red wine glasses and simple beer glasses such as pints or pilsners for non-cocktail drinkers. A couple of shot glasses are handy, too. If you’re hoping to find unbreakable, dishwasher-safe barware, consider Schott-Zwiesel Triton® crystal, which looks like traditional crystal but without the lead, clouding and breakage problems.
Garnishes, such as fruits, olives and herbs, are edible flourishes that add flavor to a drink. Bitters, which are liquid extractions of plants and leaves, are also garnishes. Certain garnishes partner with drinks for ideal combinations. For example, tropical drinks go well with tropical fruits while tomato-based cocktails, vodka, tequila and rum pair best with lemon and lime. Sugar and salt are also garnishes for various drinks, such as margaritas. For the freshest drinks, you’ll want the freshest garnishes and what better way to do that than to grow your own cocktail garden. The best way to plan your cocktail garden is to decide what garnishes, such as herbs, you’ll frequently use. From mint to basil, you can have it all even if you have space for a simple container set in a sunny spot.
Whether you’re throwing a cocktail party or just want to bring your cocktail experience up a level, now you know which essentials to pull together. Your bartending and mixology skills will no doubt grow in time, as well as your cocktail journal for all to enjoy.