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A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

From the Knowledge Vault

Stocking a Better Bar

Last time, we talked about how to go about building a better home bar. Once you’ve done that and have all sorts of empty space (because you paid attention, and your bar holds about twice your current supply of liquor, right?), we should now get on to the fun part – how to best fill your shiny new liquor cabinet.

Now I know that I’m going to catch it in the comments by declaring some brands “essential” versus others. I know y’all are a bunch of passionate drinkers, and I also know that in certain areas, y’all have much more experience than I do tasting and thinking about spirits. But that’s not going to stop me from doing just that. The good news? After making declarative statements about which spirits you should have in your bar, I’m going to let you in on a few secrets about how to find rare and discontinued bottles that have helped me in the past. So take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride.

I’m a firm believer in Alton Brown’s mantra of buying things that serve many purposes. Unless you’re into a certain segment of the liquor market, you should strive for buying liquor that lets you make as many cocktails as possible. Once you’ve tasted a good representation of what’s out there, decide what to focus on, and buy more of those things, but with the understanding that if you run across something special and hard to find, you really ought to buy it. But more on that later.

Recent Additions

  • Songs My Mother Taught Me — Mezcal, Cardamaro, Amaro Montenegro, Fernet Branca, Bitters, Orange peel
  • Calexico — Aquavit, Rye, Herbal liqueur, Bitters, Ancho Reyes Verde chile liqueur, Lemon peel
  • Rare Hearts — Cognac, Bourbon, Herbal liqueur, Cardamom bitters, Lemon juice, Vanilla syrup
  • Long Peninsula Iced Tea — Light rum, Curaçao, Cola, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Brewed Tea
  • Blueberry Patch — Rye, Ginger liqueur, Blueberry syrup

Recent Discussion

  • Re Baby Zombie, 6 minutes 55 seconds ago HallA commented:

    Dangerously sweet for the booze content. Would be careful to not make this with high fructose grenadine (or take it down) as this is inclined to lean sweet but with the passionfruit and lime there's nice bite there with layers of booze. Very nice,

  • Re Songs My Mother Taught Me, 6 hours ago Mixed up in Na… commented:

    Enjoyable, interesting, and surprisingly refreshing.

  • Re Camp Counselor, 10 hours ago bkemp1984 commented:

    I used Fever Tree's "Refreshingly Light" ginger beer, which just has about half the amount of sugar. I didn't try it with the regular ginger beer, but I think the one I used is the way to go. It was still plenty sweet since the liqueurs and vermouth have plenty of sugar.

  • Re Patent Pending, 1 day ago TrinSF commented:

    Bullitt rye and Bitter Mile Chocolate Chili bitters. It left a zing on the lip. A nice Manhattan changeup.

  • Re Alpine Bird, 4 days ago HallA commented:

    It's good, there is a weird, pleasant note that I'm reading as coconut-ey off the combination of the braulio and the pineapple. Lots of foam.