Our mission: to help in the transition from drinker of quantity to drinker of quality. Along the way, we'll have some laughs, or someone's catching heck. Prolly me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Equipping Your Home-Bar, Vol. 1; Blowing the First of Several Pay-Checks

Pictured: Your Glorious Home Bar
By Johnny Lager
Every now and then, when I'm feeling ambitious, I'll present to you this series of How-to's.

Booze Spirits:
There are many, many types of cocktails, never mind the number of ingredients and their varying qualities and characteristics. And of course, every drinker has their own idiosyncrasies. So how can we build or fine-tune our humble home-bar to accommodate everyones prima-donna, persnickety needs?

Well, we have 4 options:
1) Are you just hanging with your college friends? McCormick Vodka and any blue colored syrup you can find at the grocery store will do. Even cough syrup. Maybe get a lime. Prolly not.
Cost = Shame Tolerance

Pictured: No.
2) If you have classier friends, like I pretend to, go to your local liquor store, head straight to the bottom shelf and get one of everything; vodka, gin, blended whiskey, bourbon, light and dark rums. You can buy more expensive signature bottles as you scrape together the loot. Next, you need dry and sweet vermouths. Vermouth is cheap, so always buy the best, but Martini & Rossi is pretty good. Martini & Rossi FTW.
Liquor: $50 
Vermouth $5-12

3) My favorite option: For a few dollars more you can get some pretty tasty stuff; Sobieski vodka, Seagrams gin and Canadian Whiskey, Evan William's bourbon. Rum? I know f_ck-all about rum. Help me out in the comments section, wouldya? Anyway, as far as bar-bang-for-your-buck, these are cheap yet high quality liquors you won't mind mixing. Cocktails made with these carefully selected bottles will put you in good stead with the hoi polloi.
Liquor: $65 
Vermouth $5-12

Pictured: Martini & Rossi FTW.
4) What's that? You make a killing working for VanDeLay Industries? Well pardon me, Lord Swankington; go ahead, buy all the "top shelf" sh_t all at once! ...Ahem... My top shelves at the moment are Belvedere vodka, Boodles gin, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Makers Mark Bourbon, Laphroaig Scotch and whatever rum I'm experimenting with at the moment. Currently Pyrate XO Reserve.
Liquor: $?? Sky's the limit, homeschool. 
Vermouth $?? or, Martini & Rossi FTW.

Finally, you'll need mixers. A grocery store will have all the common mixers like juice and soda. I keep orange juice, pineapple juice, tonic, ginger beer and Coca-Cola on hand at all times. Pepsi is for children. They'll also have sweetened and unsweetened lime juice as as well as grenadine.
Mixers: $15-20

Pictured: Entry Level Martini; Halo
Your shopping trip will give you all you need to mix quite a few classic cocktails at a moments notice. For example, I often like to surprise myself with a dry martini within minutes of getting home. Self-love is key. And you can mix so much more; a Dry, Sweet or Perfect Manhattan, all the Bucks, Coolers and Mules, as well as several standards like the Gin and Tonic, Screwdriver, Rum or Whiskey and Coke, etc. And, thanks to me, you did it all within your budget. Ain't I sweet?

Next installment, Bar Equipment, on the cheap!

Bottoms up, keep it classy,

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