Ep #103 – Stocking a Home Bar – Bottle Recommendations

This week Alex & Jordan answer a question we’ve gotten for our entire 2 years, and only ever answered in spurts: what bottle should I pick up? And we try to answer that question with a few of our favorite recurring bottles from our bars. Importantly, we focused on bottles that are for cocktails, not necessarily on their own, and in a price range that will keep them stocked. We also link to recipes for the cocktail we think are the best display of the spirits’ potential.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Our favorite bottles to keep stocked on our personal bars,
  • How to use those bottles,
  • Cocktails that best display the characteristics of the spirit, and
  • What to look for when you hit the liquor store.

BASE SPIRITS

Whiskey

Rye-        

  • Rittenhouse, 100 proof, 4 years, $25 (750ml) (Heaven Hill)
  • Pikesville Straight Rye, 110 proof, 6 year old, $50 (750ml) (Heaven Hill)
  • Old Overholt, 80 proof, 3 years old, $18 (750ml) (Jim Beam)

Bourbon-

  • Old Grand-Dad 114, 114 proof, NAS, $30 (750ml) (Jim Beam)
  • Elijah Craig Small Batch, 94 proof, (formerly 12 yr), $35 (Heaven Hill)
  • Buffalo Trace, 80 proof, NAS, $30 (750ml) (Buffalo Trace – Sazerac Company)

Blended Scotch-

  • Monkey Shoulder (blended), 80 proof, $30 (70cl) (3 distillery blend- Speyside)

Rum

  • Plantation 3 Star White Rum, 82.6 proof, $25 (750ml) (Blend of Jamaican, Trinadad, Barbados rums)
  • El Dorado 8 Year (gold rum), 80 proof, $25 (750ml), (Demarara rum from Guyana)
  • Appleton Estate Rare Blend – 12 Year Old, $35 (750ml), Jamaican
  • Plantation OFTD Rum, 138 proof, $32 (750ml) Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana

Gin

  • London Dry- Beefeater, 80 proof, $17 (750ml), London
  • American Dry- Bluecoat, 94 proof, $35 (750ml), Philadelphia Distilling
    • Quintessential Cocktail: Gin & Tonic (but don’t use below-average tonic!)
  • Genever- Boomsma (jonge), 70 proof, $25, Dutch
  • Old Tom- Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, 80 proof, $25 (750ml), London

Agave

  • Espolon Blanco Tequila, 80 proof, $22 (750ml), Mexico
    • Quintessential Cocktail: Freshly-made Margarita
  • Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, 84 proof, $38 (750ml), Mexico

Brandy

  • Copper and Kings American Craft Brandy, 90 proof, $28 (750ml), Louisville
  • Courvosier VS Cognac, 80 proof, $25 (750ml), France

Vodka

  • Jordan’s opinion: “Still don’t care. Something with nice branding without paying extra for it.”

MODIFIERS

Sweet Vermouth (1)-

  • Dolin
  • Carpano Antica Formula
  • Punt e Mes

Dry Vermouth

  • Dolin Dry

Liqueurs and Amaro

  • Campari/Aperol
  • Ginger Liqueur (Domain De Canton)
  • Amaro Nonino

Bitters

  • Angostura
  • Peychaud’s
  • Regan’s Orange #6
  • Something experimental

Syrups (all homemade)

  • Simple Syrup
  • Turbinado Syrup
  • Rock Candy Syrup: We have a recipe with our Mai Tai recipe
  • Grenadine: Jordan’s recipe is still one of the best

Bar tools

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