Four Chicago bartenders share their secret weapons for amazing summer cocktails.
1/4Photograph: Elizabeth JochumCharles Joly Beverage director at the Aviary (955 W Fulton Mkt, 312-226-0868)Favorite tool Zyliss Easy Grip zesterWhy it works �Cheap, durable and consistent,� Joly says of this dual zester-channel knife tool. �Other channel knives cut a jagged twist and don�t go deep enough,� he says. �This gives a great twist-type cut and extracts a massive amount of oil that can be aimed at the top of a cocktail with as much or little effect as you would like.�Where to get it $8 at cookswarehouse.com
2/4Photograph: Elizabeth JochumDaniel de Oliveira Brand ambassador for Olmeca Altos tequilaFavorite tool �Mexican elbow,� a handheld citrus juicerWhy it works De Oliveira has been seen carrying this tool on his belt loop�a serious compliment in a world of weak juicers prone to breakage. �I juice a case of limes solo in under an hour with this thing,� he says. �It�s great because you also get some of the oils from the fruit in the juice, which enhances the flavor�something you don�t get from an electrical juicer.�Where to get it $20 at themodernmixologist.com
3/4Photograph: Elizabeth JochumErin Hayes Beverage director at Perennial Virant and the J. Parker (1800 N Lincoln Ave, 312-981-7070)Favorite tool wood muddler (nicknamed �the Judge�)Why it works �I prefer it because it�s multipurpose,� says Hayes, whose muddler earned its moniker because of its intimidating size and weight. �I can crack ice, muddle and use it with a Lewis bag to crush ice. And,� she jokes, �I can keep people in line.�Where to get it Vic Firth muddler, $15 at amazon.com
4/4Photograph: Elizabeth JochumJennifer Contraveos Brand ambassador for Angostura; bartender at Barcito (151 W Erie St, 312-274-1111)Favorite tool handmade Lewis bagWhy it works Contraveos�s friend made her Lewis bag (�She has since turned it into a little business and now sews them for profit�), which serves a purpose beyond its utilitarian ice-crushing function: It doubles as a bar-tool-carrying sack. �I can shove everything I need into it to get to whatever event I might be doing,� Contraveos says.Where to get it $30-$40 at Etsy.com/shop/LifeWithFox