Happy Hour: 3 tools to take your drinks to the next level

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      You've got the cocktail shaker and the proper glassware. Now you need to kick your drink-making up a notch. Here are three things that will help you do just that.

      Ninja in the Kitchen 

      Daquiris, margaritas, Bellinis, frosés, and more: the “Total Crushing” blades of the Ninja 1000W Professional Blender will give your Happy Hour drinks the perfect icy texture, whether you’re crushing, blending, or pureeing. The mighty product—its base available in a shiny red in honour of July 1, the company being born in Canada—comes with a 72-ounce pitcher so you can make big batches of summertime cocktails to share. You can also use it to make smoothies, sauces, dips, and soups. $144.95 at Canadian Tire.


      Glowing libations

      Give your late-night Happy Hour a glow with light-up ice cubes. Eruner Multicolor Flashing Submersible LED Lights are made of clear, acrylic, food-grade plastic and filled with nontoxic freezable gel. The battery-powered cubes are liquid-activated, so the LEDs turn on when placed in a drink and turn off when taken out. In colours like blue, green, pink, and purple, these flashing cubes are one way to liven up the look of that vodka soda. $41.99 at Amazon.


      Caffeineted cocktails 

      The better the ingredients, the better your final product. For the ultimate espresso martini, you need high-quality vodka as well as premium coffee—even better if it’s ready in seconds. Check out Nespresso’s new Vertuo Next. Made of 54 percent recycled plastics, the machine comes with integrated Bluetooh and WiFi connectivity for automatic software updates. With a single button, there are five cup sizes, each yielding a silky crema through the product’s “centrifusion” technology. Garnish your martini with coffee beans or a strawberry. Need more ideas for espresso-fuelled drinks? Head on over to Espresso Machine Experts, which has recipes for 10 different esspresso-based alcoholic bevvies. $199 at Nespresso.