There is a certain sense of satisfaction experienced when you are able to walk to the cabinet in your home and pour yourself a drink. Having an in house bar allows you to entertain friends, family, dates, or co-workers who will enjoy coming to visit and schmoozing over a well made concoction. No bartender in the world can pour a perfect cocktail without the proper ingredients though, so here is the Beverage Events list of some of the basic things needed in order to stock your home bar like a pro.
Well duh! Of course you need to have some of Grandpa’s old cough medicine in your home bar. If you are serious about going out and buying enough alcohol to have a respectable home bar set-up, let’s talk about what you should buy.
Basic Bar: 1 bottle: Well vodka
Mid-Range: 2 bottles: Absolute, Absolute Citrus
Fancy Style: 4 bottles: Grey Goose, Absolute, Absolute Citrus, Stoli Raspberry
Bartender’s Notes: Vodka has become very popular in the past twenty years and the array of fruity and flavored options available now is immense. A basic bar should have a mid-tier, plain offering like Absolute or Smirnoff. It is nice to have a bottle of Absolute Citrus and Stoli Raspberry if you want to be able to make cosmos, lemon drops, or Stoli Raspberry and Sprites. Grey Goose and Kettle One are good top shelf options if you want to kick it up a notch.
Basic Bar: 1 bottle: Well gin
Mid-Range: 1 bottle: Tanqueray, Bombay, Gordon’s, Hendricks, Beefeater
Fancy Style: 2 or more bottles: Tanqueray, Bombay, Gordon’s, Hendricks, Beefeater
Bartender’s Notes: In the earlier half of 20h century and through the days of prohibition, gin was often the drink of choice for the most sophisticated palates in America. Gin was cool. Gin was sexy. Somewhere along the way people lost interest in poor old gin and switched to drinking vodka. Pick your poison on this one when making your selection here. I prefer Tanquerrey or Hendricks but this is your bar! Buy what you like and serve it with pride! Defend your gin!
Basic Bar: 1 bottle: Captain Morgan’s
Mid range: 2 bottles: Captain Morgan’s, Bacardi
Fancy Style: 3 or more bottles: Captain Morgan’s, Bacardi, Malibu, Myer’s, Black Seal, Bacardi Gold.
Bartender’s Notes: Rum is pretty popular these days and has been for a long time. Whenever I drink rum I kind of feel like a pirate. Even nice rum kind tastes like you are up to no good but I guess that is why everyone drinks it on vacation right!? A bottle of Captain and bottle of Bacardi will get the job done here but of course adding a coconut rum like Malibu, or a Jamaican rum, such as Myer’s, adds another layer to what you will be able to make. Those two options in particular will provide you the opportunity to make delicious punch drinks like the kind you sip under the palm trees in Aruba. Umbrella straws are a necessity.
Basic Bar: 1 bottle: I would say well tequila..but just don’t.
Mid-Range: 2 bottles: 1 mid-range, 1 top-shelf: Jose Cuervo, Patron
Fancy Style: 3 bottles or more: More than two bottles of tequila is not necessary unless you are some sort of tequila connoisseur.
Bartender’s Notes: Tequila. You either love it or you hate it. Tequila is a classic example of the saying “all things are good in moderation.” Having one bottle of nice tequila, such as Patron, is a fun edition to the in house bar that allows you to make margaritas as well. Tequila shots can liven up a party and they can also throw a party into mayhem. Be sure to exercise caution when doling this stuff out.
Basic Bar: 1 bottle: Evan William’s or Old Grand-Dad Whiskey
Mid-Range: 2 bottles: Jack Daniel’s, Maker’s Mark
Fancy Style: 3 or more bottles: Jack Daniel’s, Maker’s Mark, Crown Royal, Canadian Club, Dewars
Bartender’s Notes: Bourbon is hugely popular in the U.S. and seems to be becoming a lot more popular amongst the younger (legal) drinking demographic. According to Distilled Spirits of the United States (DISCUS), whiskey (including blended, bourbon and Tennessee, Canadian, scotch-blended, scotch-single malt, and Irish) generated the largest value of sales of distilled liquor in the United States in 2009, accounting for $5.3 billion. When it comes to stocking your in house bar, try to have one decent bourbon, one Canadian and one Scotch whiskey. Having a nice collection of bourbon and scotch is something you can grow over time and take pride in when friends come to visit.