This article was published on December 27th, 2016
Setting up and stocking your home bar is no small feat! It is essential that your bar reflects not only your own tastes, but also caters to the tastes of any variety of guests who may visit your home in the future. As a host, it is your duty to be able to provide a wide selection of offerings, including the drink choices of your guests. To do this, there is no need to go out and buy hundreds of different bottles of liquor; however, a carefully chosen collection will cover most requirements. It’s important to choose quality over quality. Instead of buying a variety of each spirit, carefully select high quality brands and just get one of each. Here are the 5 liquor cabinet essentials for the foundation of every home bar.
Gin: A great base to so many drinks, go for a high quality London dry gin – the most versatile of the gin family. Great for gin and tonics, martinis, a Tom Collins or sweeten things up a bit with a bramble. A staple for any home bar!
Whiskey: This is where it’s easy to invest a lot of time and money! A great starting point is to choose a great bourbon and a great scotch. Choose to suit your palate; if you are not a whiskey drinker have someone help you choose a great all-rounder. Make sure to have a good stock of soda water and, if you really want to impress, get some whiskey stones. These reusable stones are cooled in the freezer and then put into the drinks to cool without diluting.
Rum: Start with a good white rum and eventually, or if your tastes dictate, expand to include a dark and a spiced. A staple liquor for mojitos, daiquiris and punches, this versatile spirit is a summer staple and is always good to have on hand. Try adding some spiced rum to mulled wine to give it a bit of an exotic kick!
Tequila: This is where going for the good stuff really matters. Tequila can bring up memories of overindulgence in youth, so its important you go for high quality to avoid triggering memories of adolescent incidents. However, with the ever-growing popularity of fabulous margaritas, not to mention an ever present taste for a good tequila sunrise, tequila is a vital component to any well stocked home bar. Just make sure to get 100% agave tequila and ask around for recommendations.
Vodka: Perhaps the most important component of a home bar, no bar is complete without this great all rounder! The subtle flavour of vodka makes it a great addition to so many drinks, a vodka, lime and soda for those on a diet, a vodka Martini for those on a Bond kick or vodka on the rocks. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because the flavour is subtle you can cheap out on it! Stolichnaya vodka is vital to avoid the dreaded “tastes like paint stripper” effect.
Your bar will grow with time, as will your tastes. You’ll refine what you like, don’t like, and inevitably end up with a bottles that will do nothing but gather dust in the back. Start small, grow, and let your liquor cabinet essentials expand over time.