If, at the end of an evening of general carousing, your group of friends usually ends up at your swanky place, then you’ve got to have a well-stocked home bar. We’re talking about mixed drinks too now. It doesn’t count to just go to the fridge and pull out a brewski. Whether you’re schmoozing the boss, romancing a date, or impressing the hell out of a friend, becoming a home mixologist is imperative!
About now you’re probably well on the way to a panic attack. The very thought of putting together a home bar that doesn’t make the girls titter is monumental. No worries. Follow these steps and it will be cheap and easy (insert ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend joke here).
1. If you don’t like drinking it, don’t buy it. Rule number one of stocking a home bar is this: quit worrying about impressing guests and cater to your main customer – you! It’s easy to spend a fortune on alcohol you’ll never use. A word to the wise. Don’t do it. This also gives you a great chance to share your favorites with friends and party guests.
2. Start small, grasshopper. Trying to create a fully stocked working bar from the word go is another recipe for disaster. Once again, buy what you’re familiar with; vodka, gin, and scotch are a good start. The problem with buying stuff you don’t have experience with is you’re probably going to screw up people’s drinks. It’s better to pare down the list of offerings until you gain experience mixing. Don’t forget, it’s perfectly fine to buy a few new ingredients and “practice” during the week.
So exactly what kind of alcohols do you need to get started? Of course, you should make your own decisions, but here’s our two cents worth.
Gin – This is the base spirit for lots of popular cocktails, so get plenty. London Dry Gin is a good starter.
Vodka – Since it doesn’t have a strong color, taste, or odor, vodka is great for cocktails like Bloody Marys or Cosmopolitans. There are all kinds to choose from. Grey Goose mixes with almost anything.
Don’t forget the bourbon whiskey, scotch whiskey, tequila, and rum. For mixers you’ll need club soda, tonic water, cola, Sprite or 7-Up, ginger ale, orange juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, pineapple juice, and angostura bitters. Add garnishes, glasses, a mini-bar, and you’re good to go.
Party on, Garth!
The Jake Swank Team
Flickr / bucklava