The Ultimate Barsenal: Stock Your Home Bar Like a Pro

The owners of Portland's Bull in China cocktail supply store share their favorite finds.

By Benjamin Tepler March 3, 2015 Published in the March 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

Bar supplies from Bull in China.

At their cocktail supply store, Bull in China, Lucas Plant and Daniel Osborne evoke a bar nerd’s fantasy. Make your way to their shop in the back of North Portland’s Workshop Vintage, where you can snag the basics—jigger, strainer, shaker—and discover house-made, hand-blown mixing glasses, classic bartending tomes, and ornate stemware scoured from the deepest reaches of vintage Portland. Below, Plant and Osborne reveal their favorite finds.

Bull in China Lewis Bag and Ice Mallet
The perfect mint julep or snowcapped tiki drink requires impeccable crushed ice: just stuff this durable, hand-sewn canvas bag with ice, and hulk-smash away with the hefty black walnut mallet. $100

Bull in China Mixing Glass
Hand-blown in Northwest Portland, this hammered, pocked mixing glass went through rigorous testing at the city’s busiest bars—like Teardrop Lounge and Expatriate—before getting the B in C stamp of approval. $60

Vintage Punch Bowl
In their rotating selection of found vintage glassware, the duo always keeps a punch bowl in stock. “The punch bowl symbolizes the great things in life: a gathering of friends, having fun, and sharing delicious cocktails,” says Plant. $25

“The David” Bar Knife
“A lot of us bartenders tend to go for cheap knives behind the bar, most of which dull quickly,” explains Plant. These Portland-made Station Knives sport precise, four-and-a-half-inch blades ideal for carving citrus and trimming mint. $250

Commissary Syrups and Gommes
Commissary mixologists Daniel Shoemaker and Sean Hoard craft some of the most labor-intensive and hard-to-find juices and syrups—from demerara sugar syrup and pineapple gomme to Bloody Mary mix and horchata—so that casual drinkers can whip up their own high-end cocktails at home. $14–20

Cocktails on Tap: The Art of Mixing Spirits and Beer by Jacob Grier
This month, local beer-cocktail pioneer Jacob Grier releases his bible of more than 50 sudsy combinations, like the “Green Devil,” with Duvel pale ale, gin, and absinthe. “Jacob’s knowledge of the world of suds and cocktails is extensive,” Plant says. “We’ve been counting down the days until it’s released.” $24.95

Filed under
Show Comments