Types of Wines
When planing a dinner party or simply stocking your home bar it is important to learn the differance...
Liquors, Mixes and Garnishes to Stock
Stocking your home bar with necessary liqueurs, mixers and spirits needed to make a variety of drinks can be an intimidating prospect. Primarily the types of drinks you plan to serve will dictate the liquor you will need on hand. If you plan to serve basic cocktails, there are certain liquors you will need on hand. It is important to build a solid base when stocking your home bar that you can then build upon as you branch out and begin to serve other drinks.
To begin, you will need to stock what are known as base liquors. These should be kept on hand in your bar at all times. With these base liquors you can make almost any cocktail at any time. These liquors serve as foundations for practically all cocktail recipes. Avoid the temptation to stock just one bottle of whiskey. To make a variety of cocktails you will need the distinct characteristics provided by several different types of whiskey. While one type of whiskey may work fine for one type of cocktail it can be the downfall of another.
The basic base liquors you will need include: brandy, bourbon, Canadian whiskey, gin, dark rum, light rum, tequila, Scotch, rye whiskey and vodka. You may also wish to include a variety of beer in your bar, including both imported and domestic. Popular brands include Corona, Heineken, Guinness, Coors and Budweiser.
Wine is also a nice addition to a home bar. Ideally, it is best to have both a bottle of white and red wine on hand in your home bar so guests will have a variety to choose from. Remember to keep the white wine cold and the red wine at room temperature. Champagne isn’t necessarily an essential for a home bar collection; however, if you can afford a nice bottle of bubbly it is certainly nice to have on hand for impromptu celebrations.
You will also need to have a variety of liqueurs and cordials in your home bar. Remember that liqueurs are used in combination with base liquors to create flavor. As such they are a necessary addition for many cocktail recipes. While there are a wide variety of liqueurs available, you should begin by stocking your bar with at least the following: Irish cream, amaretto, crème de cacao, peach Schnapps, Kahlua, sweet vermouth and triple sec.
Other essential liquors that should be included in your home bar include mixers. Mixers are actually non-alcoholic liquids that are used in many drinks to add both volume and flavor. These are ideal to keep in your bar because not only are they readily available at both your local liquor store but also your local supermarket. In addition, they are relatively inexpensive. Basic mixers you should keep on hand include cranberry juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice, sour mix, lime juice, bitters, grenadine, Worcestershire sauce, simple syrup, tonic, club soda, Tabasco sauce, lemon-lime soda, cola, half and half, milk, ginger ale, water and coffee. Be sure to check the freshness and expiration date of mixers periodically to make sure they are still good. You might also wish to consider adding pre-bottled mixes to your collection such as Bloody Mary Mix and Pina Colada Mix.
Garnishes are also important to include in your home bar. Ideally, you should always use fresh fruit. Garnishes that should be kept on hand include limes, lemons, oranges, celery, olives, Maraschino cherries, cocktail onions, whipped cream, sugar, salt and nutmeg.
By making sure you have the necessary liquors, mixers and garnishes on hand you can be sure you have the right ingredients to mix up whatever cocktails or mixed drinks your friends might happen to request the next time you throw a party.