What Should You Be Keeping in Your Liquor Cabinet?
When it comes to kitting out your home bar, you’ve got lots of options. Keep things traditional and simple or go all out with exciting new spirits and essential cocktail ingredients.
However, you don’t need to have everything in your liquor cabinet, just the drinks that you’re actually going to put to good use.
So, whether you’ve got a whole room dedicated to your ‘bar’ or you’re looking for ideas for sideboards with bottle racks, here are some of the liquors you might want to add to your cabinet:
Staple, Go-To Liquors
There are six basic liquors that will provide the staple for a whole host of drinks and are, therefore, well worth considering for your home bar. These are vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, brandy, and rum.
Vodka’s at the heart of many a cocktail, gin is the drink of the moment (so you may want more than one variety here), tequila is the key ingredient for a good margarita, whiskey is the perfect after-dinner drink, brandy isn’t essential but often features in some classic cocktails, and a rum or two will be a must-have in several cocktails.
Other essentials for your liquor cabinet are the mixers you’ll make up many drinks with. Of course, the most important of these is ice. Ice will be included in the majority of drinks, so always ensure you’ve got plenty in the freezer at all times.
As far as other important mixers go, you’ll probably want a number of juices, e.g. orange, cranberry, tomato, lemon and lime, pineapple, and grapefruit juice. These often make up summery drinks or are perfect for longer drinks or cocktails.
You might also want to have some syrup on standby to help sweeten up those cocktails, a bottle of bitter (orange or aromatic) to add a lovely twist to your cocktails, a sour mix for tropical drinks, coffee, tea, milk and cream, grenadine, and perhaps even some tobasco or Worcestershire sauce.
Soda is quite often a basic component of a drink and can be easily added to one of your liquors to create a tall, refreshing mix. Tonic water (gin’s best friend), lemon-and-lime soda, diet cola or cola, ginger ale, and club soda are all likely to be included in your cocktail recipes.
Finish with Garnishes
Finally, no liquor cupboard will be complete without the wonderful finishing touch of garnishes. These include oranges, lemons, and limes, and a Maraschino cherry or two. Not only will these top off your cocktail perfectly but they’re also a great source of fresh juice.
Other ideas include cinnamon, olives, salt and sugar, mint, whipped cream, pickles or celery, and grated nutmeg.
Armed with all of the above (and a few of your favorite liqueurs, e.g. amaretto), your bar will soon be the talk of the town!