Necessary Items For A Simple, Functional Home Bar

As I age and mellow, weekend nights tend to find me reaching for beer and wine. But sometimes a night in calls for something a tad stronger to fortify the troops. Back in my former life, I was a keen boozehound, and am distilling all my experience for your drunken pleasure with this list of the only five things you need for a killer home bar.

1) Booze. 'cause without it, you're still sober, my friend. A bottle of each of the basics should get 'er done: rum, tequila, vodka, gin, brandy, whiskey. As far as brands, choose what pleases you, but this boozy pauper sternly recommends you pony up a few bucks to get a brand of vodka other than Smirnoff. Standards, guys.

2) Fresh ice. If you have to utter the phrase, "Uh, I think we have ice somewhere," then your ice isn't fresh enough. Ice absorbs all the grody flavors of your fridge, so do yourself a favor and use nothing more than a week old.

3) Fresh citrus fruits. You can hand-squeeze these to make juice to order. Some dudes are crazy about their orange and grapefruit juices, and bully for them, but for my money you can never go wrong with half a dozen each lemons and limes tucked into your fridge. And never use that bottled junk. It's made for cooking, not drinking, and is so bitter it'll flip your eyelids inside-out.

4) Simple syrup. Boil two cups water on your stove. Dump in two cups granulated white sugar. Stir 'til all the sugar dissolves, then funnel into a container and store indefinitely in the fridge. There's a reason it's not called complicated syrup. Now you can easily sweeten drinks without stirring your wrist off for the crystals to dissolve.

5) Cocktail shaker. Nothing fancy: stainless steel, strainer in the lid, comfortable grip, and big enough to hold however many cocktails you usually shake at a time. The key to shaking a cocktail: use lots of ice, and shake it -- like you're waking it up, not like you're rocking it to sleep -- until the outside is covered with condensation.

No-fail guide to making a delicious drink? Fill cocktail shaker (#5) with lots of fresh ice (#2). Dump in one once citrus juice (#3), one ounce simple syrup (#4), and two ounces of any basic booze (#1). Shake, strain into a chilled glass, and enjoy. Your friends will think you're a genius. You'll think "dude, let's all go dance around naked outside. Woo!"

What key bar staples did I miss? Heckle me in the comments section.

Posted by TKOG of Not That Kind of Girl.


Chrissy said...

hey how about: the ever present olives for the martinis?, the cutesy umbrellas for those fruity drinks...the swizzle sticks???

That Kind of Girl said...

Oh man, good additions. I'm a sucker for garnish, but I usually just use my lemon zester to make citrus twists. Oh, and sugar rim the cocktail glasses!

Erin said...

I so needed this information, because I'm not a seasoned drinker. In fact, I once ordered a Mai Tai in Washington D.C. that came out in an iced tea glass. Needless to say, a short while later I went skipping down the hotel hall.

Ali said...

Brilliant! Got so excited when I read that you wrote this, NTKOG!

Ali said...

Or TKOG. My bad.

sandyb said...

TKOG, how do I love thee? Let me count the vodka shots! The tip about the ice was fantastic, very servicey, actually, and something I am all too guilty of!

PS, this blog is like a dream come true for a List Lover like me!

Sada said...

This made me want a cocktail, but all I have is citrus, peppermint schnapps, and really old ice. CRAP! But I do have swizzle sticks from The Gilded Cock, so... win?

Jen said...

Great post! Thanks for the tips!

Alice said...

The only thing missing from this is the "U" in ounce. "Dump in one once citrus juice". Besides that this is golden! :D

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

List Lovers Unite

Send an email to listaddicts(at)gmail(dot)com to join the Secret Society of List Addicts
List of Members Secret Society of List Addicts Facebook Group

Top Secret Missives

Enter your details to receive occasional messages from the Secret Society of List Addicts:

Subscribe Unsubscribe