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February 3, 2015 at 12:26 AM

Cocktail shake-up: Mix up your home-bar routine with new tools, gadgets and flavors

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By Sara Kennedy / Sunday Market

You’ve had a whole month to work on your New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you’ve joined a gym, been more mindful with your kids or gotten more sleep.

But what about getting organized? Adding more style to your life? Having more fun? Work on all three of those goals by updating your home-bar gear. Here are some ways to add new spice to your liquor cabinet.

1. You have basic stemware. Add some pieces with personality. 

Whether you’re hosting book club or a dinner party, the Kate Spade New York Larabee Dot Stemless Red Wine Glasses ($50 for four at bedbathandbeyond.com) are sure to bring a smile to your guests’ faces. The etched dots are chic, and the lack of stems makes them less fussy for serving and cleaning.

Get in on the Moscow Mule craze and invest in a set of the copper cups in which the vodka, ginger beer and lime-juice cocktail is traditionally served. The Old Dutch Moscow Mule Hammered Mug Set ($94 for four at wayfair.com) is solid copper with a brass handle and holds 16 ounces of the hip brew.

2. You have a wine decanter. Add a couple time-saving tools. 

Being patient and letting a wine breathe is important, but we don’t have all day (or night). Save some time on other steps with a couple of high-tech gadgets.

The new Waring Pro Electric Wine Opener ($32 at amazon.com) now has a fully stainless-steel finish for a more refined look, while the Waring Pro Electric Wine Chiller/Warmer ($80 at Bed Bath and Beyond) will bring your bottle to the perfect temperature within minutes. And its database of 33 preset temps means you don’t need to guess or look up what that should be.

3. You have a dusty bottle of whiskey. Add pieces that make you look like a connoisseur. 

Like the Moscow Mule, whiskey has made a serious comeback. Host a tasting party and employ the Fitz and Floyd Winston 5 Piece Whiskey Set ($50 at wayfair.com), which includes four glasses and a decanter, so everyone can enjoy the drink’s beauty.

Add a bit of civic pride to your lowball glass collection with a set of theUncommon-Green’s Seattle Street Maps Rocks Glasses ($12.50 each at theuncommongreen.com), featuring etchings of Seattle’s streets.

4. You have a kitchen cabinet full of bottles. Add a dedicated space. 

The locally handmade Urbancase Sidebar ($3,300 at urbancase.com) is a stunner, made of domestic hardwood with a retro-cool sliding panel, interior glass shelf, drawer and side compartment.

Or go for the convenience of a mobile cart with West Elm’s Wood Kitchen Caddy ($299 at westelm.com). It has three mango-wood shelves with a blackened iron frame and lockable caster wheels.

5. You have a shaker. Add some advanced cocktail tools.

Infuse vodka with your favorite flavors with the Zing Anything Vodka Zinger ($26 at the grommet.com). Prongs in the bottom cup mash your ingredients while a mesh screen lets the liquids meld.

Change your title to mixologist with The Ultimate Cocktail Bar Tool ($40 at uncommongoods.com). It includes a zester, muddler, knife, jigger, corkscrew and more.

Take your drinks to the next level with locally made finishing touches. Seattle’s Scrappy’s Bitters ($20 at Kitchens N Things, Ballard) come in flavors such as lavender, cardamom and chocolate, while Addition Cocktail Spices ($16 at drinkaddition.com) are liquid spice tinctures in flavors such as Thai green chili, star anise and rosemary. The Seattle company also makes Beer Sauce ($12) to add punch to your brew.

6. You have a drawer full of plastic cups. Add some chic unbreakables to your outdoor collection. 

Enjoy an after-work drink on the patio with the Govino Go Anywhere Flutes ($3.50 for one or $15 for four at Whole Foods). The flexible plastic pieces can be used over and over and then recycled.

Tote your drinks and snack outside on one of West Elm’s Acrylic Trays ($34–$44). The crystal-clear trays come in two sizes and are made from sturdy (and trendy) high-gauge acrylic.

7. You have wine bags. Make your next wine gift a little different. 

Give a nice bottle and a wine rack with the Rackpack Convertible Wine Box ($25 at uncommongoods.com). Three bottles can lie through the holes, or it can unfold two different ways to hold six or 12 bottles.

Wine Stoppers ($8 each at Eurostyle Your Life, South Lake Union) are another fun and practical bonus gift. Made in Corvallis, Ore., of wood native to the area, the stoppers are lovely in or out of a bottle.

Comments | More in Food, Home, Locavore

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