Aggie MacKenzie rates drinks gadgets
For an area of life that’s already a source of great enjoyment, I’m always ready to pull out all the stops (and stoppers). Not all drinks gadgets are worth shelling out for, but there’s more quality stuff out there than a bartender could shake a swizzle stick at. Here’s my pick.
‘On the piste’ wine cooler jacket
This is a cute device, ideal for picnics and barbies. The cooling pad needs to go in the freezer for about two hours, then you wrap it around the bottle and encase them both with the cosy zipped puffa ‘jacket’, complete with a loop handle to help you pour.
Boston cocktail shaker
£15, John Lewis
This American-style glass shaker with stainless steel collar and lid comes with six cocktail recipes. Feels robust and, most importantly, has a rubber washer between glass and steel to prevent leaks.
£36, John Lewis
This is a wine-keeper with knobs on. The sealer part has a colour indicator that tells you at a glance whether your opened bottle of wine is air-protected. The sleek metal pump comes with two sealers. It’s not suitable for fizz.
Tovolo king cube tray
I love the idea of giant 5cm ice cubes, such as the ones this gadget turns out: no more diluted drinks (or having to gulp them down before they become mostly water) because they melt much more slowly. You could make each ice cube even more of a feature by dropping a raspberry or lemon slice into the tray’s holes before freezing.
This ingenious piece of kit scores on many fronts: it’s beautiful (choose from four vibrant colours), has a clever design and a tactile, good-quality feel – and it’s practical. As well as a corkscrew and bottle opener, it has just about all you need for making cocktails, bar the shaker, alcohol and hawaiian shirt.
And a word about red wine stains…
Wine Away, £10.99 for 360ml, Lakeland
It’s a fact of life: where there’s red wine, there are red wine stains. This stain remover is made from fruit and veg extracts so it’s safe around children and pets. And the best thing about it is it really works.