Bartending isn’t as simple as it looks. From remembering recipes for 100 different kinds of cocktails, mocktails, their measurements, to which glasses they should be served in, everything needs to be carried out with precision. Being said that, we would love to bring to your attention a bartending equipment that is seldom given the credit which it deserves.
We are, of course, talking about bartending knives. Have you noticed your bartender possessing more than one kind of knife when you are seated on a bar stool waiting for your drink while it is being made? Here’s a quick guide to all the knives that every bartender needs to have in his possession.
Sometimes a bartender requires wider, longer strips to garnish desserts or cocktails. There are tools that make this process neater and more efficient. These tools typically have two components: a citrus zester and a channel knife. The knife cuts a single thicker ribbon of the peel. It has a handle that is similar to the size and shape of a small knife or vegetable peeler. Different knives may cut thicker or thinner channels, or wider or narrower channels, depending on the design.
Originating in Japan, the meaning of the word ‘Santoku’ is ‘three virtues’ or ‘three uses’ that includes chopping, dicing, and mincing. It is made of a thinner but harder steel to allow chefs to perform tasks that need sharpness. It has a balanced weight and is also lighter to hold and varies in size from five inches to 7.9 inches. Best used for slicing, chopping or dicing fruits, vegetables and nuts, the Santoku knife can also be used for mincing meat or herbs.
This Japanese stainless steel knife is coated with non-stick silicone, making it the perfect blade for cutting citrus fruits that have a hard rind. Paring knives are also super-easy to clean after the job is done and are extremely adaptable and can be used in different ways. This knife is great for peeling fruits and vegetables as well as slicing a single garlic clove or shallot.
Smaller than a chef’s knife but a touch larger than a paring knife, this handy general-purpose tool is your one-stop answer for all your everyday tasks. Be it limes, lemons, and oranges, these are best cut with an utility knife.
Chefs’/ Cooks’ Knife
A chef’s knife is a giant 20cm (8 inch) straight blade tapering to a pointed tip. The arched blade permits it to rock like a seesaw on the chopping board as vegetables are diced and chopped. That feature also makes it every chef and bartender’s favourite tool to work with. Its broad heel also creates a sturdy knife to withstand more heavy-duty work.
Bartenders’ Ice Knife
A thick single-sided high-carbon stainless steel blade is ideal for designing and carving ice. It’s flat edge makes it easier to probe the ice. The ice knife, about four inches in length, also comes with a comfortable beechwood handle and blade cover for safe storage and transport.
Now, the next time you head to a bar be sure to glance at which knife the bartender is using and identify it from the list given. If you’ve already seen bartenders use these knives, let us know which one you think they look the most stylish with.
Images used are for representational purposes only. All images courtesy Unsplash.
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Gargi Shanbhag is a polyglot and bibliophile who is always up for discussing regional movies - preferably over many cups of filter kaapi.