How To Stock Your Home Bar
Although you might want to invite Cordial Craft to every party you throw, sometimes you are going to have to get things done without us. The easiest way to do this is to have a well stocked bar at home. Whether you are a cocktail coinsure or just a terrific host, it’s always nice to be able to whip up a really delicious cocktail in the comfort of your own home. You can dive in as deep as you want to go but for this blog we are just going to discus the basics to get you started. The rest, my friend, is up to you.
Tools / Equipment
You can’t make drinks without the essentials, trust us we have tried. Here is a list of a few things that will make you feel like Tom Cruise from Cocktail!
Shaker – A good old fashioned tin-on-tin shaker set will allow you to make cocktails the right way. Avoid martini shakers, (the ones with the small cap on top) these are difficult to use and they just look goofy.
Bar spoon – Regular spoons and chopsticks don’t have the length and weight distribution to properly stir a drink.
Muddler – It’s more than just a stick, it’s your new best friend.
Jigger – Jigger’s are measuring devices that will allow you to create specific recipes. You can get a full set if you want to be hardcore, but at the very least get one that has a 1.5 oz side and a .75 oz side.
There are a few things, that aren’t liquor, that you should always have on hand. These are some standard mixers that will help you create beautiful drinks at the drop of a hat.
Sugar – Sugar is a main component to so many cocktails. As well as granulated we keep some sugar cubes on hand for Old Fashioned style drinks. Honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and jams are also good alternatives. Simple syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks and it is very easy to make. Just mix equal parts sugar and hot water, your sink water might actually get hot enough that you don’t even need to dirty up a pot!
Club Soda – Bubbles, tops on almost every drink to give it an extra layer.
Tonic Water – Always keep a couple small bottles on hand.
Gingerale – Gingerale is more versatile than coke or sprite.
Lemon / Lime Juice – You can get away with the cheap stuff in the “juice” aisle. It lasts a long time and mixes well enough, just remember to dilute it with a little water.
Fresh Fruit - Fruit is good to eat and since you already have some on hand smash it up and shake it with some booze!
As cool as a mocktails are, real drinks are better. These are the spirits we ALWAYS keep on hand.
360 Vodka – Not only is this spirit distilled in Kansas City by a company that is doing all it can to reduce it’s carbon foot print, it is gluten free and tastes great.
New Amsterdam Gin – We like versatile gin and for the price point this London style dry gin never lets us down.
Four Roses Bourbon - Just ranked one of the best bourbons to make an Old Fashioned with, so that’s exactly what you should do with it.
Bacardi - Get a bottle of light and dark. It is affordable and when mixing rum cocktails remember, two rums are better than one.
Speyburn 10yr - Full bodied single malt scotch that is perfect for drinking straight or making drinks with.
What kind of a bartender would you be without a few tricks up your sleeve?
Bitters - Bitters is a bartenders salt & pepper. Get as many flavors as you would like to subtly affect the taste of your cocktails. Our favorites are the classic Angostura, Citrus, and Cinnamon.
Vermouth - These fortified wines have an earthy bitterness to them that you will learn to love. Plus, Martinis and Manhattans.
Cool Ice (no pun intended) – You can find fancy spherical or large block molds on Amazon for a reasonable price.
Cool Glasses - Don’t sleep on the glassware. We like to recommend that you have at least 4 rocks glasses, 4 collins, and 4 wine glasses to start. The heavier the better, steal some from grandma's China hutch if you want, she won’t notice.
We like to add a bottle to our collection once every couple months to mess around with. If we have inspired you to create drinks at home please post them and tag us on Instagram @cordialcraftkc. Bringing friends and family together is what Cordial Craft is all about, if we can help you do that with or without us then we go to sleep happy.... and also a little tipsy.