Bar accessories come in many varieties and types. You may wonder what items are essential for bartending, and which bar accessories are not necessary. A well-equipped bar has all the bar accessories required to mix a variety of cocktails, highballs, and special drinks without improper substitution. Therefore, choosing the right bar tools is not just a case of guessing or settling for a group of matching bar accessories that might not have everything you need. That is not to say that all-inclusive bar accesories kits aren't a great way to start your bar accessories collection:One of the easiest ways to equip a bar with bar accessories is, of course, to purchase an all-inclusive set or kit. If you want to suit your bar with more specific bar accessories, it is usually a better idea to purchase each piece of your equipment separately. The complete bar accessories kit is nothing to sneer at, however. Some like the look of well-matched bar accessories, especially for home and private bars. What could match more perfectly than items created as a set? The problem is, a lot of "complete" bar accessories kits might be missing an essential object or two that you might need available, and some of the higher-end bar accessories like all-in-one tools are not available as part of the set.The advantage to a bar accessories set is, of course, the fact that items are a single purchase, and usually the cost of a set is cheaper than buying items singly for your collection. Keep in mind to choose an all-inclusive set that features full-sized bar accessories; some sets have slightly smaller sized shakers and essentials, which may make the convenient set a little less convenient, especially if you need to mix larger-volume drinks. In addition, be especially cautious not to choose a set that is attractive but not sturdy. You want to select bar accessories that will hold up well over an extended time. Here is a list of bar accessories essentials that every bartender should have readily available:Shaker - The cocktail shaker is one of the most essential bar accessories. Cocktail shakers can be made of plastic, metal, and even glass, but you must take a lot of matters into consideration when selecting the perfect cocktail shaker for your bar accessories arsenal. Size, composition, and quality are all considerations for the shaker, which is considered by many to be the king of all bar accessories. The reasons for this are simple. Size matters in a cocktail shaker because a person accustomed to mixing drinks one at a time and exclusively focusing on martinis might be satisfied with a smaller shaker, where someone used to bartending at parties might decide this is one of the bar accessories that has to be standard to large size. Composition depends a lot on personal taste, but remember that a stainless steel cocktail shaker is a lot more conductive, making the ice work much more quickly. Aesthetics also comes into play; often it is desirable to have more than one cocktail shaker for whimsical or special event purposes.Straine - A strainer is one of the most essential bar accessories. When you are mixing drinks that result in sediment or just for the purpose to strain ice, a bar strainer is necessary. These tools aren't completely easy to clean by hand, so be sure your cocktail strainer is dishwasher safe.Corkscrew / Opener - Corkscrews come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but a corkscrew is one of the most essential bar accessories if you serve wine. Cork screws can be as simple as a standard old-fashioned model or as complex as The Rabbit. Choose a corkscrew that meets your needs, and for an added bonus, look for one with an attached foil cutter.Knife / Cutting Board - To prepare garnishes and peel ingredients, it is necessary to have a knife and cutting board handy. There are several varieties of these bar accessories available, including very pricy collectible knives. You need a very well-made, sturdy, and completely washable knife, preferably in one-piece steel for ease of thorough cleaning. Choose a cutting board that is not too
Flowers, so bright and cheerful, raise your vibe without even trying. Edible flowers take that energy into the centre of your being, especially when they also have medicinal properties like the gorgeous nasturtium. Their flowers are bright trumpets, heralding sunny days. As children we used to pick the nasturtium flowers, bite off the point at the back of the flower and suck out the nectar, the merest fairy sized sip of sweetness.The plants grow easily and prolifically from seed, tumbling out of planters with abandon, flowering all shades of fire colours from vermilion to ochre. All they need is moisture and not too rich a soil and you're guaranteed a harvest. Anyone with a herb garden can find a space for a few seeds, though if space is limited confine them to a container or they will happily tumble over all your other herbs.Nasturtium flowers make cheerful posies as a centrepiece for a lunch table, especially if you have planted a mixture of colours, ranging from gold through bright orange to deep fiery red. Arrange them with a few sprigs of other herbs such as rosemary and fennel to add some texture, lavender flowers for contrast and you have an edible, scented bouquet, perfect to take as a gift when you visit friends.The nasturtium's best kept secret though is that both the leaves and flowers are edible. Their sharp peppery tang lends a bite of interest to salads and can be a real boon to a jaded palate when the shops only offer bland varieties of lettuce. A few of the round green nasturtium leaves, that look like they could be parasols for mice or fairies, will lift a bland iceberg or butter lettuce into the realms of designer cooking, their bright flowers scattered over to delight the eye and bring an element of fun to your table. Recipe for a Nasturtium Salad1 lettuce - iceberg, butter or cossmall bunch of nasturtiums - leaves and flowersripe red tomatoes1 tablespoon capersfeta cheeseDecide quantities to your own taste. The nasturtium leaves are peppery and the more you put in the hotter the salad gets. Wash and dry the lettuce and tear into the size pieces you prefer. Rinse the nasturtium leaves, and tear or chop into rough strips. If you're using baby tomatoes halve them, chop bigger ones into cubes. Cube the feta cheese and sprinkle over the salad with the capers. Top with the whole flowers and maybe one or two whole leaves. This peppery, bright salad is just right to accompany pizza, cold meats or as a starter on its own. The round leaves are a potent medicinal weapon against sore throats. At the first sign of a sore throat, chew on a nasturtium leaf every two hours. This can sometimes get rid of the sore throat altogether, at others it just prevents it getting too bad. The leaves have natural anti-bacterial properties and are rich in vitamin C. They can also be made into a tea by infusing a few leaves in a cup of boiling water for five minutes and sipped either straight or with the addition of a teaspoon of honey.In ancient times in its native Peru the nasturtium was used as a wound disinfectant and taken onto battle fields to be used as a poultice and a disinfectant wash. Not bad for a pretty garden flower!Copyright 2007 Kit Heathcock
Like a fine wine, gourmet chocolate is the thing to which our palates instantly respond ruining us forever for the average store-sold candy bar. While its true that chocolate of any variety will surely bring joy to the consumer, gourmet chocolate delivers a special treat for the taste buds. But, as would be expected, it can come at a price.Gourmet chocolate can not be defined but rather must be experienced. What may be considered gourmet to some may be perfectly ordinary to another; in short the term gourmet can be more than a bit subjective. But most chocolate enthusiasts agree that gourmet chocolate falls within the boundaries of that chocolate that is prepared with a certain level of care and an eye towards quality.Such quality includes the highest percentage of cocoa butter. In many cases, a certain amount of cocoa butter is removed from the chocolate and replaced with vegetable fat. This significantly compromises the quality of the chocolate. Truly gourmet chocolate will contain the highest amount of cocoa butter followed by sugar. Sugar should never be the first ingredient listed on chocolate.Gourmet chocolate often derives from highly regarded chocolatiers who have built their business on using quality ingredients. Many are family businesses passed down from generation to generation. This is not to say that factories can not produce gourmet chocolate, but it stands to reason that the more personal attention the chocolate making process is given the higher quality the finished product. Many reputable chocolatiers pride themselves on their handmade chocolate and for those who taste it the effort is difficult to argue.Gourmet chocolate runs the price range from astronomical to quite manageable. Regardless of your budget, with a little research and a lot of tasting you can find a delectable gourmet chocolate thats just right for you.
California is one of the must-visit places at the moment for so many reasons. You can experience so much from just one place that it is impossible to get bored. However, you will not have experienced California properly until you go on a wine tour. Certain areas of the American state are all about the wine and this is most definitely the case in Napa Valley. Those looking for something different may still want to go on a wine tour, but something like the California wine tours for bikes. You can easily ride from winery to winery in Napa Valley because there are over three hundred within a relatively small area. You can visit several within a short space of time. California wine tours for bikes may therefore be worth a go!California wine tours for bikes have a distinct beauty about them. Not only are you riding through the most beautiful countryside in the United States and will be blown away by the stunning landscape, you will also be able to access some of the best wineries in the world. There are some huge vineyards that would take all day to walk around but there are several other little treasures dotted all over the place that you can quite easily visit within the space of a day. Small family businesses often provide some of the best wines and you can truly experience the wine culture in California. Discovering these little gems would be a result of the California wine tours for bikes!The weather in California is perfect for California wine tours for bikes. The blue skies are present for most of the year and make the bike ride an absolute joy. As an extra bonus for those going on California wine tours for bikes, there are lanes on public highways especially for bikes so you can get from winery to winery without risking your life! You can arrange your own California wine tours for bikes or go with one of many companies that actually provide them as par for the course. There are many of these, but they are matched in number by bike hire places in the Napa Valley. You can hire a bike for the day or book onto California wine tours for bikes that last for a specific amount of hours with likeminded people.California wine tours for bikes may also be offered as a vacation package with meals and accommodation thrown in. These are fantastic because you spend all week or weekend going around wineries experiencing the win and the atmosphere with people that may become friends! California wine tours for bikes should be a part of your vacation there.The California wine tour is a must for anyone interested in wine and visiting California. There are many wineries open to the public so it may be worth just taking a few days to explore as many of them as you can. I guarantee that you will not be bored when you get there!
Tea wholesalers are an important, if sometimes overlooked, segment of the loose leaf tea business and they add significant value to the tea marketing and distribution process.Tea wholesalers add value to the efforts of tea suppliers by reselling tea and adding value added products and services. Wholesale customers include hotels, restaurants, retail/grocery outlets, and coffee bars/cafesThe value that tea wholesalers add is significant. For example:Hotels provide high quality loose leaf tea to guests in rooms, room service, spas and restaurants.Restaurants complement high quality meals with good tasting fine tea either in ice tea or after dinner hot tea. Retail/grocery outlets present quality tea products in an attractive and convenient displayTea rooms, coffee bars and cafes add tasty food and comfortable surroundings to the tea experienceIt is important to understand that a wholesale relationship should include more than a catalogue and a discounted price list and should offer additional benefits to the qualified wholesaler. A comprehensive package of services supports the role of the tea wholesaler and the value they add to the tea distribution process.Services and benefits to the wholesaler should include quality of product, quality of support services and volume pricing.The supplier of tea must provide the highest quality, best tasting tea on the market since this will attract and keep more loyal customers to the wholesaler. Wholesalers should deal with a supplier whose brand has a reputation for consistent quality. Suppliers who cup every imported chest of tea add considerable value.Providing the wholesaler with dedicated customer support offers the benefit of a dedicated representative to help with orders, track shipments, provide billing support etc. This aspect of customer service creates long term benefit to both suppliers and wholesalers.As an integral part of a long term relationship the suppler should offer the wholesaler multiple-tier wholesale pricing. Aggressive pricing provides the wholesaler greater profits through larger volume based discounts.In addition, some suppliers offer auto-adjusting price levels that reward higher volumes from the wholesaler in real time and wholesale status indicators that remind the wholesaler when it is getting close to the next wholesale level.Those suppliers with state of the art e-commerce sites provide automatic retrieval of past orders that save the wholesaler significant time when re-ordering. In addition these sites often support auto recurring shipments that save time and effort and avoids ordering errors.In addition comprehensive order history lookup on e-commerce sites is an attractive option because this feature avoids ordering and billing confusion.Finally, some supplier sites offer unlimited shipping locations per order and single point of billing for multiple locations.The wholesaler affiliation with the tea supplier is very important because of the value added nature of the relationship. A total package of services that support the wholesaler will pay dividends in the future.