In the third part of How to Set Up a Home Bar series, we’ve partnered with Stuart Alexander & Co, Importer & Distributor of MONIN premium syrups in Australia to bring you the essentials mixers and modifiers to get you on your way to a fully stocked bar.
Mixers are what you typically add to a drink such as tonic water, soda water, ginger beer and ginger ale while modifiers play a supporting role to the base spirit by adding flavour and texture. They range from syrups to vermouths, liqueurs, bitters and fresh juices just to name a few.
Essential Mixers & Modifiers for a Home Bar
Syrups add a sweetening agent, viscosity and flavour to many cocktails and are an integral part of your liquid essentials. MONIN syrups have been in the market for over a century and they’re produced using the finest natural ingredients from all around the world – flowers, fruits, spices and nuts. Made with 100% sugar cane, they’re flash-pasteurised, have no chemicals, GMOs, gluten or dairy and have a shelf-stable life of 36 months before opening, and once opened they have a secondary shelf life of 2 to 6 months which is ideal for the home bartender.
The core range of MONIN Syrups is what you need to get started. MONIN Cane Sugar Syrup is used in popular cocktails such as Daiquiri, Old Fashioned and Mint Julep; MONIN Orgeat is an almond syrup that goes in a Mai Tai and Trinidad Sour; and MONIN Agave Nectar Syrup is essential to Tommy’s Margarita.
MONIN have over 140 flavours available and the MONIN Cocktail Kit with five 50 ml bottles (Passionfruit, Mojito Mint, Grenadine, Coco and Blue Curacao) allows you to experiment before upgrading to full sized bottles.
From orange liqueurs such as Triple Sec to elderflower liqueurs, maraschino and ginger, liqueurs play an integral role in many classic cocktails and pair well with specific spirits. Start with the liqueurs you need for the cocktails you enjoy then build on your collection.
3. Bitter Aperitifs and Digestifs
Whether it’s bitter orange aperitifs, dry and sweet vermouth, bitter herbal liqueurs or digestifs, these modifiers work very well and add oomph to a cocktail. When it comes to vermouth, start with classic brands of dry and sweet vermouth. They are versatile to use and work well in a variety of drinks without competing with base spirits. As it’s technically a wine and has a short shelf life, remember to store your opened bottle of vermouth in the fridge.
Bitters are often referred to as the salt and pepper of the cocktail world with the most common being Angostura Bitters. You can always build on your bitters collection with Orange Bitters for a Martini, Peychaud’s Bitters for Sazerac then discover a whole range out there such as celery bitters for savoury cocktails.
Mixers include tonic water, soda water, cola, bitter lemon and ginger ale/beer. Choose a good tonic water that isn’t overly sweet and doesn’t overpower the base spirit. Read our review of tonic water where we blind tasted nine tonic waters.
Consumables include anything from fresh citrus to pickled onions, olives, fresh herbs and spices, cocktail picks, napkins and garnishes. When it comes to edible consumables, always use fresh citrus not only for the juice but for the peel and its aromatics and essential oils as well as a garnish. To up your garnish game, learn how to dehydrate citrus wheels.
Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved.