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The Old "Stocking The Bar Conundrum," Level 3

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Guest   
Guest

So, I have been reading books,  messing w IoS cocktail apps, bashing around in Kindred Cocktails database, looking up cocktails by ingredient... and wondering to myself what my plan of action should be for bar stocking...level next.   I feel I've gone beyond the usual beginner level questions and I've heard the advice to build one drink at a time (many many times) -- but I feel I'm still being haphazard in my approach to getting a more complete cocktail arsenal in place.  

 

What I'd really like to see is a listing of bottles by *frequency of use* in cocktails -- ranked by a panel of experts -- or just a smart bartender.  This is the sort of intel that would have put a bottle of Campari in my bar long before I threw down for that (still, 95% full) bottle of Apricot Brandy I bought in a weak moment last year.

 

Anyway, for those inclined to a challenge -- here's where my bar stands -- wondering...where would *you* go next?  Any bottles you consistently reach for for you that you see missing from the (admittedly, very full) lineup below... 

 

Base Spirits

 

Bourbon - lots

Rye - lots

Scotch - one bottle of Bruichladdich Laddie, one older bottle of Grant's Stand Fast

Canadian - One bottle of Cask Strength Crown Royal, two bottles of CC12, and a 1.75 of Forty Creek

Irish-  One bottle of Redbreast 12 Cask strength

Rum -- wide variety sippers, mixers, overproof, and countries of origin

Pisco -- One good bottle

Gin -- couple good bottles

Genever - one Bols

Sloe Gin - Plymouth

Vodka - Plenty

Tequila: one bottle each of good Reposado / Blanco  (I don't like Mezcal)

Brandy - Copper & Kings Butchertown 

Calvados: two good bottles.

Cognac -- Two decent bottles

 

Bitters:

Angostura

Orange

Peychaud's

Fee Brothers Aztec (Chocolate) 

 

A Bit Further Out:

 

Port -- Two good LBV's

Red Vermouth: Dolin 

Dry: Martini

Sherries: Amontillado and Pedro Ximinez

Swedish Punsch

Campari: one bottle in fridge

Cynar: Bottle in fridge

Cio Ciaro

Green Chartreuse

Maraschno Liqueur

Couintreau

Orange Curacao

Creme De Cacao: (White and Dark)

Cherry Heering

Benedictine

Goldschlager

Galliano

Apricot Brandy

and a bunch of fruit liqueurs I made last summer: apricot, peach, blackberry, red currant, plum, raspberry

 

Any thoughts appreciated.  Understand that this may be a topic of limited interest to the non-obsessives out there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Steve L

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dcbt   
dcbt

I'd add Angostura bitters.  I only say that because that's the one ingredient I've had to run out and get for a specific purpose.

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Guest   
Guest
2 minutes ago, dcbt said:

I'd add Angostura bitters.  I only say that because that's the one ingredient I've had to run out and get for a specific purpose.

 

Thanks!  I forgot to add the bitters.  Got those!  

 

s.l.

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dcbt   
dcbt

How 'bout a coffee-infused liqueur (kahlua).  Some people like Baileys also but I despise it so much I refuse to keep it in my house, hah.

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Guest   
Guest
Just now, dcbt said:

How 'bout a coffee-infused liqueur (kahlua).  Some people like Baileys also but I despise it so much I refuse to keep it in my house, hah.

Ha, yeah same here.  I think my wife might actually have some of this hidden away...  : )  

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dcbt   
dcbt

Also, maybe Disaronno.  I only say that one because my wife drinks it, and she doesn't usually go beyond beer / wine / martinis / margaritas.

 

Oh, and maybe this is a Texas thing, but Deep Eddy's sweet tea vodka is delicious on a hot summer day.

 

Also, maybe Goslings for Dark N Stormies if it's not included in your rum collection...

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b1gcountry   
b1gcountry

I say a bottle of foaled water maybe? Some decent ice cube trays? I dunno, I've never gotten more complicated than coke, coffee, or oj.

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tanstaafl2   
tanstaafl2

Although you have Dolin I never feel my bar is complete without Carpano Antica (I also like Punt e Mes but that could be further down the line). Carpano comes in a big liter bottle but can also be found in a 375. Cocchi di Torino is another good and affordable red vermouth that comes in both 750 and 375.

 

Dolin Blanc (a "white" vermouth but sweet) is a nice addition. They can be found in a 375 and are pretty cheap. Great for making an El Presidente (use blanc, not dry vermouth).

 

Calvados is nice but the Laird's 100 proof apple brandy is also nice for cocktails as it provides more proof and works in cocktails calling for apple brandy.

 

Don't know which orange bitters you have but both Regan's and Angostura orange are nice. There is a big New York bar (Death & Co. I think) that makes a house orange bitters by combining those two and Fee West Indian orange bitters all in one!

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b1gcountry   
b1gcountry

Distilled water. I don't know what I was trying to type

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Jawja Boy   
Jawja Boy

Since we started taking cruises some years ago, my wife has become a big fan of "boat drinks" and I've really started to get into Tiki drinks, especially the old classics.  Always have loved a properly prepared Zombie but finding a barkeep who actually knows how to make one is next to impossible. 

 

For me, a few things I see missing are:

Blue Curacao

Midori

Pernod

Grenadine

John D. Taylor Falernum

Chambord

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tanstaafl2   
tanstaafl2
7 hours ago, Jawja Boy said:

Since we started taking cruises some years ago, my wife has become a big fan of "boat drinks" and I've really started to get into Tiki drinks, especially the old classics.  Always have loved a properly prepared Zombie but finding a barkeep who actually knows how to make one is next to impossible. 

 

For me, a few things I see missing are:

Blue Curacao

Midori

Pernod

Grenadine

John D. Taylor Falernum

Chambord

 

Unless you just want to make blue drinks the purchase of blue curacao seems unnecessary for most liquor cabinets. There are so many great orange liqueurs out there that I would tend to look for a variety of different ones rather than get a blue colored curacao which tastes just like orange colored (or even clear!) curacao. If you have the luxury of more than one orange liqueur (and I admit to having about ten!) then Clement Creole Shrubb is always a good choice. And I just learned that Rhum JM orange shrubb is coming to Atlanta so I hope to add one of those soon as well!

 

As for the rum Long Island Iced tea of the tiki world, the Zombie (its only 4 ounces of rum including an ounce of 151 proof Lemon Hart in what amounts to about a 5 1/2 ounce drink after all...), they aren't so hard if you are willing to commit to getting the right ingredients. And I do like a good Zombie!

 

Don't think I have ever had a cocktail with Midori that I liked (unless you are a HUGE fan of watermelon Jolly Rancher candy!). I remember it as kind of an 80's thing. I may still have a dusty bottle sitting somewhere in the very back of my liquor cabinet. 

 

But I think it is a rule that every time you open a bottle of Midori you lose 5 points off your man (or woman) card! :lol:

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smokinjoe   
smokinjoe
4 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

 

But I think it is a rule that every time you open a bottle of Midori you lose 5 points off your man (or woman) card! :lol:

 

Dammit...I was hoping 2 or 3 tops...

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Bullseye   
Bullseye

That's quite a list already... but I would add absinthe and yellow chartreuse. I know the Pernod is close to absinthe, but it has a lot of added sugar, real absinthe gives you more flexibility. I like Kubler. 

 

Absinthe will allow you to make a proper Sazerac.  This is a classic cocktail for a good reason. 

 

The yellow chartreuse will will allow you to make an "Alaska", one of my favorite dry cocktails. It is two parts gin and one part yellow chartreuse. It is almost too easy to drink. 

 

There is a whole world of amaro to explore. The Cynar is a good introduction. 

 

Fun times ahead. 

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