In preparation for the holiday season, Anya Georgijevic picks the best barware that mixes mixologist functionality with contemporary looks
It's hard to resist Tom Dixon's playful takes on entertaining essentials. The Tank collection is the latest result of the British designer's growing interest in gastronomy. The mouth-blown laboratory-flask shape is glammed up with Dixon's now-signature copper, and the designer's logo sandblasted onto the base. Red wine will glisten in this tank. In the unlikely event of leftovers, the clever ball stopper will keep your drink of choice from evaporating. Tank decanter by Tom Dixon, $182 at The Modern Shop (www.themodernshop.ca).
Sweden's most influential contemporary designers Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune always stick to what they know best: the elegant simplicity of Scandinavian design. The trio's solid soapstone coasters from their home accessories offshoot, Smaller Objects, will ensure one's chilled cocktail remains cool. (Soapstone has the ability to maintain temperature for up to an hour.) Place the coasters in the freezer before use to get them icy cold. Cold Coaster by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Smaller Objects, $85 at Mjölk (www.mjolk.ca).
A very handy bar tool for any home mixologist, this jigger from the Umbra Shift line provides three measurements: ½ ounce, 1 ounce and 1½ ounces. Its form suggests a play on the mould manufacturing process that creates a robust shape and, thanks to a brass-plated finish, cleverly resembles a trophy. This little gadget makes for a cheap-and-chic host gift. Trophy Jigger, $20 at Umbra (www.umbrashift.com).
The design duo behind Edmonton-based brand Hunt Amor, Amor Carandang and Chris Provins, specialize in handcrafted jewellery, which is why this regal bottle opener from their Utility collection has an heirloom quality to it. Carandang and Provins placed the decorative element on the inside of the octagonal solid-brass frame, creating a sense of discovery every time one picks it up. Precious, indeed. Bottle Opener No.1, $128 at Hunt Amor (www.huntamor.com).
To call this dual-purpose tool by Guido Venturini a wonder of design wouldn't be overstating things. The frequent Alessi collaborator has managed to combine two bar essentials, a citrus squeezer and a muddler into an entirely seamless shape. Shiny stainless steel gives it a futuristic vibe that will look striking on any bar cart. Muddling mint suddenly doesn't seem like a chore. Mojitos, anyone? Valerio citrus squeezer/muddler by Guido Venturini, $75 (U.S.) at Alessi (www.alessi.com).
Designer Klaus Rath looked to classic 1950s Danish designs as inspiration for this stainless-steel pitcher. The fresh take on a vintage design marries a slender, precision-formed steel shape with a sculptural handle wrapped in sun-dried bast fibre, which should develop a lovely patina over time. Freja pitcher by Klaus Rath for Stelton, $170 at Design Within Reach (www.dwr.com).