Was out celebrating a friend’s birthday last night and it got me thinking…
The key to a good house party is an even better, proper stocked home bar. Often I enjoy having good friends over rather than heading out all the time. It’s a bit more of a personal experience, and really saves the headache of making sure everyone sobers up and gets home alright. Plus – you can make drinks the bar tender may have never even heard of – and not have to concern yourself with paying top dollar for them.
…because clearly, he thinks that anything original has to be worth more than your first born – either that, or he doesn’t know what to price this masterpiece you just invented on the fly.
So I thought over the next few weeks I’d do a series, starting with the first batch of essentials that are easiest to get your hands on. Ready? Let’s go.
For The Weekenders: Bar Essentials Part 1
First thing’s first – in the drinking world, soda matters. But what type of soda you use matters more….not everything can be mixed with cola. So these are what I have stocked at all times:
- Ginger Beer – Great for mixing with absinthe.
- Tonic – Excellent for when you want that “low-calorie” drink for a strict fitness regime.
- Lemon Lime Soda – Adds a good amount of zest.
- Club Soda – For when you wanna keep things really light – but I hardly use this one.
- Cola – Skip the diet junk…it does more harm than good.
Next thing – juice is your friend. It doesn’t always have to be used for “fruity” or “feminine” drinks either. Juice is a really great mixer and if you know what you’re doing, can have you hitting the sauce harder than you’d expected without even realizing you’re drinking an “adult” drink. Here’s what I like to keep stocked…
- Orange Juice – Chock full of that “vitamin C.”
- Grapefruit Juice – Rim the glass with sugar and you’ve got a nice sweet/sour combination.
- Cranberry Juice – A standard for the classic “Cape Codder.”
- Tomato Juice – When you’re in the mood for a Bloody Mary.
- Pineapple Juice – Tangy. Sweet.
- Lemon Juice. – Common essential.
- Lime Juice – Other common essential.
Last thing – The seemingly unconventional but vital others go here. These are the ones that make all the difference in those drinks you like to take off the beaten path of your typical assembly line. Stock your home bar with these and you’ll start to earn your stars…
- Water – Yes, water…and not to sober up.
- Simple Syrup – If you haven’t already, get yourself a bar tending 101 book – this mixer is more important than you think.
- Sour Mix – For when you don’t always want things sweet.
- Bitters – More bitters the better.
- Coffee – For when you want the charge with the alcohol “high”…okay I lied – for when you can’t make up your damn mind.
- Grenadine – For when you wanna get fancy – or when you really start paying attention on how to make real drinks.
- Half & Half – Pretty obvious.
- Milk – For the non-lactose intolerant.
- Tabasco Sauce – Spice things up.
- Worcestershire Sauce – Goes beyond food.
- Tea – Now you know how grandma stayed so young.
….and that’s all there is to it. Keep your home bar stocked with these, and before you know it a good night in will revolve around more than just vodka, jagermeister, and Pepsi. A great way to make sure your best buddies or new guests have awesome drinks, and an even better way to impress that date you invited over while giving her a brief but fascinating history lesson during the process of making his/her drink.
Hope everyone’s having an awesome weekend.
Improve Your Lifestyle. Improve Yourself. This is Life. This is Rego’s Life.™