ATOMIZERS: Fill small atomizers or spray bottles with aromatic spirits to enhance your concoctions. For example, spritz the inside of a glass with absinthe before adding whiskey to create a makeshift Sazerac (see page 35), or mist a cloud of crème de violette over gin to evoke an Aviation.
BITTERS IN MINI BOTTLES: Collect and hoard these like gold; they're the fastest way to elevate on-the-go cocktails. Angostura, Hella Bitters, Scrappy's Bitters, and the Bitter Truth all make travel-friendly minis. It's worth it to spring for a travel set, since it will probably last for a long time. The three you're likely to use most often are Angostura (or another aromatic bitters), Peychaud's (which has a cherry-spice profile), and orange bitters (particularly good for martinis).
CHAMPAGNE OR OTHER SPARKLING WINE: For impromptu cocktail making, adding a splash of sparkling wine to juice or liqueur is a fast-track to festive drinks. If you're driving to your destination and it's hot outside, pack the bottle in the backseat so the wine won't overheat in the trunk.
CHOPSTICKS: "Great as stirring sticks, disposable chopsticks also make the best muddlers when they're split in half," says Keli Rivers of San Francisco's Whitechapel bar. Just snap them in two, then secure them to each other with a rubber band (or your hand) to create a blunt tool ideal for muddling herbs or crushing fruit.
CITRUS: This magical ingredient will make any drink smell enticing, taste better, and look polished. Pack whole fruits for longevity, or halves or quarters for easier squeezing. Jacob Briars, a well-traveled brand ambassador, explains that citrus peels "can have a transformative effect on your olfactory sense and mood, while a spritz of fresh lemon juice makes any drink taste fantastic." You can also cut off (or in a pinch, pull off) a bit of peel to garnish drinks.
COCKTAIL SHAKERS: Shakers don't weigh much, but they do take up space, so I've suggested alternatives so you can do without wherever possible. If you can take one along, make it two stackable mixing tins or a three-piece cobbler shaker, which has a built-in strainer. Drop a jigger inside the tins and wrap it all in a clean towel to minimize rattling.
COLD-BREW COFFEE: Bartenders are fans of using high-octane cold-brew concentrate in drinks in place of espresso or even iced coffee. It's widely available in bottles or cans for on-the-go drinks, or can be made by steeping 1/3 cup ground coffee in 1.5 cups of cold water overnight, then straining through a coffee filter into a Mason jar."
- from the book "Road Soda: Recipes and techniques for making great drinks anywhere," written by Kara Newman.
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