Now that you’ve built your own bar, it’s time to start stocking it with spirits.
In the second part of How to Set Up a Home Bar series, we’ve partnered with Pernod Ricard Australia to bring you the essential spirits you need for your home bar.
When it comes to investing in spirits, there’s no need to buy everything at once. Choose the base spirits in the cocktails you enjoy drinking first then build on the collection. The aim is to eventually have a good selection of spirits so you can make the range of drinks you like.
Essential Spirits for a Home Bar
It may be dubbed the odourless, flavourless spirit, but a good vodka should have subtle character. Choose a vodka that’s smooth and mellow, has a minimum of 40% ABV and no added sugar such as ABSOLUT Vodka distilled from winter wheat.
When it comes to juniper based spirits, look no further than a classic, full flavoured gin that’s versatile and makes a good base for many drinks. Plymouth Gin is made to similar specifications as a London Dry with a soft juniper hit and subtle citrus notes of lemon and orange.
With tequila, always choose a product that is made from 100% agave. Tequila blanco, or “silver” as it’s also called makes a good choice for cocktails. Avion Silver is very smooth with a good balance of roasted agave notes, citrus, pineapple and black pepper.
Rum is a diverse spirit category and while you can have anything from a young rum to an aged rum for different cocktails, a white rum such as Havana Club 3 Anos makes a good starting point. It’s smooth and light, aged for 3 years and is well-suited to home made summer cocktails.
Use for: Daiquiri, Cuba Libre, Mojito, Rum Punch
If you’re a whisky fan, you’re unlikely to put your precious single malt in a cocktail but you don’t want to compromise on quality and flavour. A blended whisky such as Chivas Regal Extra with ripe orchard fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger notes ginger notes make it perfect for warming winter cocktails.
6. Rye Whiskey
It always pays to have a bottle of rye whiskey such as Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky in the home bar for when you don’t feel like the sweetness of bourbon. It mixes well and adds good spice notes to cocktails and mixed drinks.
A good, classic bourbon such as Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select (a Brown-Forman spirit) is essential for that unmistakable bourbon flavour. It’s smooth, rich and full bodied with a balance of vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, spice and oak.
Once you have acquired the basics for your taste, you can always add different expressions of the spirit or consider more spirit categories such as Irish Whiskey, Mezcal, Cachaça, Brandy or Cognac and Genever.
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