Stocking up your home bar
By Russ Cobbe
Last week we discussed what bartending equipment you should have in your home bar. This week we will cover the ingredients you need to complete the setup of your home bar.
Your main selection of alcohol should include 750ml bottles of the following: Gin, Vodka, Rum, Bourbon, Scotch, Tequila, Vermouth, Red and White Wine, Brandy, Port & Sherry plus whatever liqueurs are most palatable to you and your friends. The most popular liqueurs to have would be coffee, orange, irish crème and crème de cassis.
Next up would be bitters. Bitters are made from a variety of roots, barks, berries and herbs. They generally add a bit of zing to your drinks. You should have Angostura, Peychaud's, Orange and Abbotts Aged bitters.
For mixing you'll need a good variety to make a lot of different recipes. The standards include multiple bottles of Mineral water, cola, ginger ale, club soda, tonic water, lemon/lime sodas and fresh juices (orange, pineapple, lemon, lime and tomato). Don't forget to have lots of ice on hand. If you make your own ice use bottled water so you don't get a chlorine flavour to your drinks. Ice should go in the glass first to avoid splashing and to cool the ingredients as they get added.
Finally you will need some things to garnish the drinks to add that special touch. The essentials include cocktail onions, stuffed olives, lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, celery stalks, Tabasco sauce, maraschino cherries, pineapple, course salt, coconut milk, grenadine syrup and cream.
In a future article we'll cover some bartending techniques that are essential to making the most of your home bar.
Always remember to drink responsibly including not drinking and driving. For more cocktail information you can visit http://www.idrink.com