During this pandemic we are having “Cocktail Hour with Will” six days a week on our instagram stories. Each day we will teach you either a cocktail recipe or something about entertaining with your home bar. We hope this gives you all a place to relax and let the day wash away. You can see past stories in our highlights.
Whether it’s for entertaining a few guests or a quiet evening around the house, the home bar is a quite essential. Building the perfect cocktail not only lets you express your own personality, but it also offers something new to your guests. It’s as much of an entertainment as it is an enjoyment. Think of each cocktail as an amuse bouche to the main course.
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To setup the basics for the home bar we are going to gather items for the bar, pantry, and refrigerator. These items will include the five main base liquors, Vermouths and cocktail accoutrements, which most cocktails are made with.
When choosing your liquor, vermouths, bitters and wine, it comes down to personal taste. Each one of the items listed above come in many varieties and their flavor profiles can vary drastically. There is a bit of trial and error here, finding which brands you like most. Do a little detective work next time you have a great cocktail and ask the bartender what the drink was made with. Hopefully they will turn you on to something new and exciting.
Once you have your basic bar setup, it’s time to have fun and explore. We like to have items that we can serve before and after dinner such as aperitifs and digestifs or something to add complexity to our standard cocktail recipes.
We prefer our aperitifs to have a more bitter citrus flavor, which stimulates the appetite. An example of an aperitif would be Campari, which can be mixed with soda for a Campari and soda cocktail. For our digestifs, a sweeter and smoother taste is ideal for after a meal. This can be a cognac or Lillet.
We always have a healthy rotation of our favorite spirits in the bar. Some things hang around for awhile and others we replenish regularly. Make sure you mix it up once in awhile to keep it interesting.
For recommendations on cocktail glasses for the home bar, see our post here.