What better way to ring in 2012 than to restock your bar? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably running a bit low after this holiday season… Or maybe you just need some guidance re: what essentials (and what brands) to purchase?
The Kitchn offers up some thoughts, including 12 essentials that “every bar should have”:
- Gin (i.e. Brokers or Aviation)
- Light rum (i.e. Flor de Caña White or 10 Cane)
- Dark rum (i.e. Gosling’s or Myers')
- Silver tequila
- Reposado tequila
- Bourbon (i.e. Four Roses or Bulleit)
- Rye (i.e. Old Overholt or Rittenhouse)
- Sweet Vermouth (i.e. Martini Rossi)
- Dry Vermouth (i.e. Noilly Pratt)
- Vodka (i.e. Tito’s or Dripping Springs)
- Cointreau or Grand Marnier
I’d substitute some of the brands (Templeton Rye and Carpano Antica, totes) but it’s hard to argue with the overall set of ingredients. Toss in some Domaine De Canton (ginger liquer), some St. Germain (elderflower liquer) and some Campari/Aperol/Averna, and you’ve got me taken care of for a long time.
Meanwhile, Serious Eats has an alternative recommendation: pick a few cocktails and then shop for the ingredients. Cheaper than buying everything at once, for sure:
It’s nice to have a stocked liquor cabinet so you don’t have to run out and get supplies when you read an intriguing cocktail recipe or get a craving for an old classic, but as Cocktail 101 columnist Michael Dietsch wrote last year, it can be expensive to go out and buy one of everything all at once, even if it’s just twelve bottles. And if you don’t use it, that bottle of brandy may just gather dust in the back of your cupboard.
Instead, it makes sense to do some drink planning—rather than naming essential bottles, pick 3 or 4 cocktails you like to drink, and stock up on supplies to make those. If your four favorite drinks don’t call for dry vermouth, then don’t buy it until you decide to make something else.
Either way you go, tasty tasty drinks are just around the corner!