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By Mark Ellwood
It's as true in your living room as it is behind the bar: The right tools can elevate a good drink to a great one. Here, master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim shares the little-known -- and surprisingly low-tech -- essentials he relies on.
The bowl of this vessel has a slight tulip shape, which is intended to retain the carbonation of seltzer in cocktails such as a gin fizz. Abou-Ganim considers five to eight ounces the best size.
La Rochere glasses, 5 1/4 oz., $120 for 6, amazon.com
Photography: Diane Fields2 of 6
Made from a branch of the tropical Lele tree, this mixes drinks more thoroughly than a plastic stirrer. Abou-Ganim uses it for cocktails with crushed ice, so as to not further break up the delicate shards by shaking.
Photography: Diane Fields3 of 6
Angled Bar Spoons
For optimal stirring, these models feature an elegant long handle angled to sit in the center of a glass. They hold a precise level tablespoon to simplify recipe testing.
$13 each, themodernmixologist.com
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Sawara Cypress Bucket
Used in Japan to store rice, these are being employed as ice buckets by in-the-know barkeeps. Why? Sawara cypress is antibacterial and insulating, and it wicks moisture so ice stays solid and dry.
Photography: Diane Fields5 of 6
Lewis Bag and Muddler
Rather than using a crushed-ice machine, Abou-Ganim fills this canvas bag with cubes and smashes them into chunks or flakes with a muddler. The fabric absorbs melting water, and the resulting bone-dry pieces won't dilute a mint julep.
Bag, $15; and muddler, $18; themodernmixologist.com
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Spherical Ice Mold