Setting a limit of twelve bottles for a bar can be very strict. One must decide what to include as well as what can be excluded. Part of the decision process id deciding what will provide the best variety of drinks for your home bar. While life would be much easier if one allowed himself to have fifteen, it is possible to meet the limit with careful planning.
If you choose to take this challenge for your own home bar, you will want to have representatives of all the main spirits, whiskey, brandy, rum, gin and vodka, however you must also decide the brand that will serve you best. Although the type of whiskey to include can be difficult, if you make the right choice it will not fail in any drink. Accent liqueurs are also a challenge as well. For most effective mixing, you will want to choose those spirits used in the greatest number of cocktails or those that can easily substitute for others. Still if you choose well and have a well stocked supply of mixers, it is easy to create a minimum of 100 cocktails from these twelve bottles in the home bar.
While the brands you finally choose to stock your own home bar will be a personal decision, some suggestions along the way can help. It is essential to remember that while some brands are excellent alone, they do not mix well. For your limited home bar, you need both qualities.
- Charbay Clear Vodka– This vodka is honest and wholesome. It remains true to its own roots and helps to enhance cocktails you mix in your home bar with a clean style.
- Martin Miller’s Gin– This refined gin offers a crisp taste that is not overly abundant in botanicals which can create an undesirable flavor in your home bar cocktails.
- Corazon Reposado Tequila– This aged tequila is smooth and flavorful, making it a great addition to any home bar. It adds the kick expected from tequila and a spicy flourish.
- Jacques Cardin Cognac– This spirit has notes of sweet vines making it perfect for most classic brandy cocktails you will mix in a home bar.
- Leblon Cachaça– Cachaça can be used to replace light rum. It is smooth yet lively and offers a sugary sweetness that is perfect for most rum cocktails.
- Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky– This is one of the best whiskeys for the home bar. It is versatile enough that it can mix a Manhattan or an Old-fashioned.
- Cointreau– This is a top choice for an orange liqueur. It is wonderfully flavored and highly mixable. It can be used in any cocktail requiring an orange Liqueur.
- Café Illy — This Coffee Liqueur can fill many needs for the home bar. It is essential for so many classic drinks and this espresso producer does a great job at producing it.
- Luxardo Amaretto — This luscious amaretto describes the bottle perfectly. It has a delicate flavor that enhances all it mixes with.
- Vya Vermouth– This extra dry vermouth is perfect for creating a marvelous Martini and a magnificent Manhattan however both drinks also require a sweet vermouth as well. Vya can stand on its own and is excellent when mixed with vodkas and gins.
- Cinzano Sweet Vermouth– This bottle for the home bar offers all one might expect from a sweet vermouth. Its Italian bouquet is a great addition to many of the classics.
- Angostura Bitters– One of the necessities of any bar is at least one bitter. While it is difficult, this is the most universal choice that can add the necessary punch to drinks mixed in your home bar.