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Tuesday 10 December 2019

We compare: the best cocktail kits, shaken or stirred

Cocktail kits as immortalised by 007
Cocktail kits as immortalised by 007

Sarah McCabe

After a long week, there's nothing better than a homemade whiskey sour. Cocktail making is back in vogue, with more options available to amateur mixologists than ever before. We tested the top kits to help your Martini stand out from the crowd

Marks & Spencer €68

THIS looks, at first glance, like the grandaddy of all cocktail kits - and it is certainly priced as such. But all is not well. The shaker on this was quite small; you will struggle to make more than two drinks at once, especially if your recipe requires lots of ice. I also didn't like the rust-coloured covering on the implements, which looks a little cheap.

On the plus side, it comes with four stylish Martini glasses. These can be expensive to buy independently and are quite difficult to find - though Hickey's have a nice range.

Debenhams €37.60

This is a decent mid-range option. All sleek steel, it would make a stylish addition to anyone's bar.

It is well made and sturdy and the shaker does not leak despite vigorous testing. The price doesn't hurt either, leaving lots of change to spend on exotic liqueurs. It doesn't come with quite as much as the M&S set but you still get a whisk, shot measure and a shaker with a strainer attached.

As with the Marks & Spencer set, my biggest complaint is that the shaker could be bigger.

Meadows and Byrne €19.95

With their Boston Cocktail Shaker, Meadows and Byrne have gone for quality, not quantity.

You get nothing but the shaker - but it's a good one. The drum is larger than the other two and can hold up to 700ml of liquid, meaning less work mixing if you are making big batches. Helpfully, it also has volume measurements for common cocktails printed on the sides, so no fiddling around with teaspoons and more time for drinking.

The inclusion of a whisk and measure would have been nice though.

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