Empires may rise and fall, Elvis songs become dance remixes, but mixing cocktails at home with your very own set of bartending tools—preferably in silk pajamas, with a pipe dangling negligently from the corner of your mouth—will always be cool.
You'll want to do some comparison shopping online, but here are some of the basic mixological implements and sample prices to go with them. As Ovid once exclaimed: "He who makes the martinis rules the world."
Double-sided measuring jigger ($1.99): Perfect for making tiny measurements. Need three-fourths of an ounce? No problem.
Hand citrus juicer ($5.45): Those limes aren't just for decoration. Juice 'em silly with this handy gizmo.
Julep strainer ($2.95): Used in mixing glasses instead of the Hawthorn—looks like a tiny colander.
Hawthorn strainer ($2.95): "The standard bar strainer used [at] nearly all bars" (www.barmagic.com).
Cobbler shaker ($6.70): For shots and other small jobs, this mini shaker can be a big help.
Cocktail spoon ($2.95): A long spoon with a swizzle-stick appearance. Used for stirring cocktails, natch.
Boston shaker ($29.95): Metal shaker and glass in one handy combo.
Waiter-style wine opener ($5.95): Have fun pretending you're a waiter, but don't expect a tip.
Channel knife ($12.95): Now you can "create beautiful designs and [garnish] easily" (www.sharpknives.com).
Citrus reamer ($2.99): This vividly named tool is essentially a handheld juicing device.
Nutmeg grater ($3.40): For grating nutmeg, which is actually hallucinogenic. (Did you know that?)
Can and bottle opener ($3.95): Opening someone's beer for them isn't as sexy as lighting their cigarette, but it's close.
Paring knife ($16): Helpful during smaller barroom brawls.
Ice tong ($1.45): OK, kids: What are ice tongs used for? Anybody?
Kitchen knife ($59.99): Helpful during barroom brawls.
Muddler ($4.95): Muddling is "a simple technique for grinding herbs in the bottom of a glass" (www.acats.org).