Essential Mixers & Modifiers for a Home Bar

After building your home bar and stocking it with spirits, we look at the essential mixers and modifiers you need to start mixing drinks.

Essential Mixers Modifiers for a Home Bar

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

1. Syrups

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.

2. Liqueurs

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.

4. Bitters

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.

5. Mixers

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.

6. Shrubs

Shrubs are drinking vinegars made from fruit, sugar, and vinegar with an aromatic herb or spice used in cocktails and mixed drinks. Learn how to make shrubs and how to use them in cocktails.

7. Consumables

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.

Next in How to Set Up a Home Bar series… Part 4 – Essential Bar Tools for a Home Bar

Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved.

Essential Mixers & Modifiers for a Home Bar was last modified: August 30th, 2017 by Corinne Mossati
Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars and popular online magazine Gourmantic. She is named in the Australian Bartender Magazine Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy who judges the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions. Read the full bio here.