Why Every Home Bar Should Have a Channel Knife

Male bartenders using a channel knife to create garnishes out of an orange peel

These days, the number of kitchen gadgets available can seem endless. There are air fryers, dicing mandolins, cherry pitters, and much more. It is challenging to decide which items are worth the cost and space, but there is one gadget that should be in every respectable kitchen or at-home bar, the channel knife. Whether you are making a drink, cooking, or baking, a channel knife is sure to improve the look and taste of your creations. Columbia Distributing serves Washington and Oregon. Here, we discuss why you should add a channel knife to your home bar.

What is a Channel Knife?

If you have ever watched a bartender at a restaurant or bar, you have likely seen a channel knife. Designs can vary, but the small tool usually includes a small handle (similar to a peeler) and always has a raised, V-shaped blade at the end.

When you first look at a channel knife, its function might not be clear, but it is very handy. Its V-shaped blade is used to peel the rind of fruits, chocolate, vegetables, and more. The strips of produce peel in thin, curly strips that you often see in drinks such as martinis. The strips are generally thin and narrow. The curl is created by the knife peeling in a circle around the produce.

Why Is a Channel Knife Essential?

After understanding what a channel knife is, you might wonder why it is important to have in your kitchen. After all, you can cut strips with a kitchen knife or a vegetable peeler. While this is true, the channel knife is not only simple to use; it will help your drink taste better.

The secret is its ability to cut just deep enough to slice off only the rind. In fruit, a white substance called the pith separates the rind and the fruit. While pith is sometimes included in drinks, it generally has a bitter taste that many people do not find pleasant. A channel knife allows beverages to absorb the flavor of the rind without the bitterness of the pith. While choosing quality beverages is key to taste, what you add to the drink makes a huge difference. Columbia Distribution partners with Constellation Brands Inc. to provide some of the best spirits available.

If you are hosting a dinner party, friends, or simply making drinks for yourself, a channel knife allows you to create concoctions that are both visibly appealing and delicious.

Choosing the Best Beverages

In addition to proper tools and ingredients, the spirit or juice you choose to start a cocktail or mocktail with matters. No citrus juice or kitchen gadget will overcome low-quality spirits. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar store, restaurant, bar, or simply making drinks at home, the taste starts with the spirits. Researching brands and distributors can help you create drinks that you and your friends will enjoy.

Male chef using a channel knife to peel a lime

Channel Knives Outside the Bar

While a channel knife’s most obvious function is creating garnish for beverages, there are many other reasons to keep one on hand in your kitchen. From baking to decorating and much more, you will love using this tool.


If you love to bake, a channel knife is sure to up your game. It will make your baked goods look professional with minimal effort. Whether you are making a tart or a chocolate pie, a channel knife is handy. The V-shaped blade easily creates the chocolate rings you often see on top of pies and cakes, and the channel knife makes citrus rings for pies and tarts with ease. You could even candy the fruit rinds to make a delicious addition to any dessert.

General Cooking

Have you ever been out to a restaurant and wondered how they created the curly zucchini garnish on your plate? Well, you can recreate the garnish easily at home with a channel knife. Just choose any fruit or vegetable you would like, peel it with the channel knife, and voila, you have a beautiful garnish.


While decorating with a channel knife might not seem like an obvious choice, it can create beautiful curly accents. For example, you can use it to peel gourds and pumpkins, which makes gorgeous additions to Halloween displays to go with your candy-inspired cocktails. Whether it is used for jack-o-lantern hair or table garnish, the curly strips will add a creative element sure to impress.

Create Great Cocktails With Help From Columbia Distributing

While quality ingredients are vital for making quality beverages and foods, having the right tools matters. A channel knife helps add taste and physical appeal without adding bitterness to any drink or dish, and the best part is it is easy to use. With the help of this tool, your desserts will look professional, as will your favorite drinks. No kitchen or home bar is complete without the handy little channel knife.

To learn more tips and tricks to creating unbeatable beverages, visit Columbia Distributing in the Pacific Northwest, and if you have any questions regarding distribution, brands, beverages, or more, contact us today! We distribute more than 250 alcoholic brands and 60 non-alcoholic brands throughout Washington and Oregon.