Home Bar Question

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John Liotta
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Home Bar Question

#1 Post by John Liotta » December 16th, 2010, 5:00 pm

How big is your home bar? (Assuming you have one and don't just keep liquor on hand)

If you have a true bar, what do you stock regularly? How many bottles would you say you have at any given time? Do you wish you had more? Do you purchase for parties and get togethers rather than keep things in stock?


Just curious as I am in the process of populating a new-ish home bar.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#2 Post by John Liotta » December 17th, 2010, 7:08 am

Overwhelming responses again.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#3 Post by zachary l a n g » December 17th, 2010, 7:28 am

My home bar is a shelf in the wine cellar, not a true bar, but for most staples i just have one bottle on hand (vodka, gin, teq, etc) if you want a selection at my house, you have to ask for bourbon. If I have a party, it's the same thing but I just buy more

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Re: Home Bar Question

#4 Post by John Mc » December 17th, 2010, 7:40 am

my home bar is about 6 feet wide and has 3 bar stools in front ...more of an accessory than the centerpiece of the room due to size restrictions

I keep all the staple speed rack liquor and mixers that don't require refrigertation in it.

i keep the open bottle plus a full of each

I also get 1.75 bottles for specific guests

my MIL drinks grey goose like water and her husband drinks rum by the pint glass

on the shelfs behind the bar, i keep my premium liquor (about 20+ vodka, 5 or 6 differnt gin, 10+ tequila & rum - note: a good friend owns a bar and I get them at his cost)

in the cabinet to the left, l keep my private stash of scotch and bourbon (under lock)
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Re: Home Bar Question

#5 Post by zachary l a n g » December 17th, 2010, 7:47 am

Holy cow...I want your bar!

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Re: Home Bar Question

#6 Post by Tyler Rico » December 17th, 2010, 7:49 am

still stocking up booze and shopping for an actual bar. But right now I have about 4-5 gin's on hand, 2 vodka's, a few bottles of rum, about 20 bottles of bourbon and 15ish bottles of scotch.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#7 Post by Jorge Henriquez » December 17th, 2010, 7:53 am

John Liotta wrote:How big is your home bar? (Assuming you have one and don't just keep liquor on hand)
Not that big. Crate & Barrel Madison wine tower. Store all liquor bottles in the slot.

Image
John Liotta wrote:If you have a true bar, what do you stock regularly? How many bottles would you say you have at any given time? Do you wish you had more? Do you purchase for parties and get togethers rather than keep things in stock?
Usually just have one bottle of each of the following:

Liquor
Bourbon (Wish I had more of)
Single Malt Whisky (wish I had more of)
Vodka (sometimes 2 different kinds)
Gin (wish I had more of)
Tequila
Rum (also, sometimes 2 different kinds)
Brandy

Accoutrements
Cointreau
Vermouth (dry I believe)
Can't recall any others at the moment

Miscellaneous Crap
Dubbonet; for my wife's grandmother

Purchase for Parties
Sausage; LOTS of sausage! neener
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Re: Home Bar Question

#8 Post by Scott Butler » December 17th, 2010, 8:36 am

I can answer this better with a picture, so I will take one tonight. I have a liquor cabinet that I am very fond of.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#9 Post by Bob Wood » December 17th, 2010, 9:08 am

John Mc wrote:
on the shelfs behind the bar, i keep my premium liquor (about 20+ vodka, 5 or 6 differnt gin, 10+ tequila & rum - note: a good friend owns a bar and I get them at his cost)
Good thing you don't live in Oregon. Bars here pay the standard, state-determined and outrageous retail as the rest of us - which is anywhere from 40 to 80% more than what the same item costs at retail in California. There, bars pay wholesale which is, of course, lower yet.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#10 Post by John Liotta » December 17th, 2010, 10:54 am

John Mc wrote:my home bar is about 6 feet wide and has 3 bar stools in front ...more of an accessory than the centerpiece of the room due to size restrictions

I keep all the staple speed rack liquor and mixers that don't require refrigertation in it.

i keep the open bottle plus a full of each

I also get 1.75 bottles for specific guests

my MIL drinks grey goose like water and her husband drinks rum by the pint glass

on the shelfs behind the bar, i keep my premium liquor (about 20+ vodka, 5 or 6 differnt gin, 10+ tequila & rum - note: a good friend owns a bar and I get them at his cost)

in the cabinet to the left, l keep my private stash of scotch and bourbon (under lock)

20+ Vodkas! That seems like a lot! [neener.gif]
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Re: Home Bar Question

#11 Post by Scott Butler » December 17th, 2010, 8:10 pm

Got mine at World Market for I think $399 (was less on sale). I really like it because it is fairly small when all closed up. It can be opened easily for personal use, but then the flip top opens even wider if I am entertaining. I keep the liquor in there, and some beers I am going to drink in the next few months, and any cheaper, drink now wines.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#12 Post by Scott Butler » December 17th, 2010, 8:25 pm

He fits nicely, but I prefer to keep him secluded from the others...
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Re: Home Bar Question

#13 Post by Terence T-Bone Livingston » December 19th, 2010, 7:05 pm

Try to always have on hand one nice bottle and a handle of another for blended drinks.

Gin: one nice bottle and one handle of Tanqueray
Vodka: Ketel One and handle of Absolut
Tequila: top shelf bottle only
Bourbon Whiskey: Buffalo Trace/Eagle Rare and liter of Knob Creek
Scotch: 12/18 year olds variety
Campari
Small bottle of Absynthe
Grand Marnier
Bitters

And nice martini glasses (not too big) and low-ball glasses.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#14 Post by Andrew Hall » December 21st, 2010, 7:54 am

Mine is spread all over the place. About 2 dozen rums in a linen closest, most of the mixing agents in a cabinet off the kitchen, another cabinet with maybe a dozen gins and mixing whiskeys, a rack w/ other spirits in the dining room, all the non-cocktail spirits (like whisky) down in the wine cellar which also has the excess and stuff that is seldom used.

Like cooking, the secret to mixing is good mise-en-place. If I am going to make cocktails, all the needed stuff gets pulled and lined up so that I can go through it efficiently.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#15 Post by John Liotta » December 21st, 2010, 1:23 pm

Andrew Hall wrote:Mine is spread all over the place. About 2 dozen rums in a linen closest, most of the mixing agents in a cabinet off the kitchen, another cabinet with maybe a dozen gins and mixing whiskeys, a rack w/ other spirits in the dining room, all the non-cocktail spirits (like whisky) down in the wine cellar which also has the excess and stuff that is seldom used.

Like cooking, the secret to mixing is good mise-en-place. If I am going to make cocktails, all the needed stuff gets pulled and lined up so that I can go through it efficiently.

A.

I was wondering when you were going to check in.

What are your essentials right now?
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Re: Home Bar Question

#16 Post by Andrew Hall » December 21st, 2010, 6:52 pm

You know you will have better luck finding me on Twitter!

Here is what I am shaking currently :

Gin: Ransom Old Tom, Cadenhead Old Raj would be my ones for bespoke cocktails.
Rogue Pink Spruce (that + a little gomme syrup is really close to Old Tom), Whitley Neil, Brokers (house)
Death's Door makes my absolute fav American artisan gin.

Rye : Rittenhouse 100, (out of) Templeton, High Mountain Rendezvous (latter two bespoke)
Sazerac, Old Overholt

Bourbon : Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Tuthilltown Baby (no bespoke right now)

Cognac : Remy VSOP

Rum : Smith and Cross, Sea Wynde, Angoustura 1821 (bespoke),
Mount Gay Eclipse, Appleton XV, Ron Zacapa
St George Agua Libre Aged (out, unavailable) is an incredible agricole style
Lemon Hart 151 is the only 151 worth anything. No US distribution, down to a wee dram.

Whisky : Red Breast, Laphroig Quarter Cask

Other stuff in heavy rotation : Luxardo Maraschino, Chartreuse, Carpano Antica (vermouth), St. Elizabeth Allspice, Batavia Arrack, Velvet Falernum.

Loving Bittermen's Bitters, Trader Tiki Syrups

The other essential is proper ice cube trays to get small and large true cubes.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#17 Post by John Liotta » December 21st, 2010, 7:51 pm

Where did you find good ice cube trays?
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Re: Home Bar Question

#18 Post by Tyler Rico » December 21st, 2010, 8:17 pm

John Liotta wrote:Where did you find good ice cube trays?
oxo trays work well for large ice cubes

I am still searching for small ice cube trays, maybe 3/4"-1" cubes

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Re: Home Bar Question

#19 Post by Andrew Hall » December 22nd, 2010, 3:46 am

Tovolo is the brand.

Image

Sur la Table has:
http://www.surlatable.com/product/perfe ... y=ourPicks
Also other on line retailers.

Tovolo also has 2" cube trays which I love. I got them at Sur la Table, but don't see them on SlT's site.

Lastly, there is this http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/Pr ... 0001_57253 to make spherical ice.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#20 Post by John Liotta » December 22nd, 2010, 6:40 am

Thanks guys. I'll check them out.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#21 Post by John Liotta » January 23rd, 2011, 5:28 pm

Favorite Vermouths?
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Re: Home Bar Question

#22 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » January 23rd, 2011, 5:31 pm

John,

Have you tried Andrew Quady's stuff?
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Re: Home Bar Question

#23 Post by Andrew Hall » January 23rd, 2011, 5:41 pm

Carpano Antica is widely considered the last word in sweet vermouth. Punt y Mes a runner-up.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#24 Post by John Liotta » January 23rd, 2011, 7:05 pm

Brent Clayton wrote:John,

Have you tried Andrew Quady's stuff?

I haven't.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#25 Post by John Liotta » January 23rd, 2011, 7:06 pm

Andrew Hall wrote:Carpano Antica is widely considered the last word in sweet vermouth. Punt y Mes a runner-up.

A.

Punt y Mes is what I have. Not sure I have seen the other. I'll check it out though.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#26 Post by Chris Freemott » January 27th, 2011, 8:06 pm

John, try Vya vermouth. I make my martinis with it.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#27 Post by Andrew Hall » January 28th, 2011, 6:27 am

Relevant:
Dry Vermouth Blind Tasting http://www.undergrounddetroit.com/2011/01/477/

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Re: Home Bar Question

#28 Post by Michael Bowden » January 31st, 2011, 3:26 pm

I would like to thank everybody for their contributions to John's home bar.....I have thoroughly enjoyed drinking everything.
I'm taller than Zach Lang.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#29 Post by Jorge Henriquez » February 1st, 2011, 5:38 am

Michael Bowden wrote:I would like to thank everybody for their contributions to John's home bar.....I have thoroughly enjoyed drinking everything.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#30 Post by John Liotta » February 5th, 2011, 4:30 pm

Jorge Henriquez wrote:
Michael Bowden wrote:I would like to thank everybody for their contributions to John's home bar.....I have thoroughly enjoyed drinking everything.
Image

To be fair I am an enabler as well. [drinkers.gif]
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Re: Home Bar Question

#31 Post by John Liotta » April 20th, 2011, 10:49 am

Chris Freemott wrote:John, try Vya vermouth. I make my martinis with it.

Finally picked up a bottle of this. Will check it out soon.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#32 Post by Andrew Hall » April 21st, 2011, 6:28 pm

Now that you've upgraded your vermouth, you need this :

[urhttp://www.bokersbitters.co.uk/bokersbitters.html]Boker's Bitters[/url]

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Re: Home Bar Question

#33 Post by John Liotta » April 21st, 2011, 7:24 pm

Nice. How can you purchase these?
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Re: Home Bar Question

#34 Post by Michael Bowden » April 21st, 2011, 8:34 pm

John Liotta wrote:Nice. How can you purchase these?
Most likely with a credit card or cash.
I'm taller than Zach Lang.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#35 Post by Andrew Hall » April 22nd, 2011, 4:27 am

Michael Bowden wrote:
John Liotta wrote:Nice. How can you purchase these?
Most likely with a credit card or cash.
That made me LOL.

http://www.cocktailkingdom.com/

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Re: Home Bar Question

#36 Post by John Liotta » April 25th, 2011, 4:30 pm

BTW Andrew, do you use these in place of or along side of Reagan's, Angastura's, Fee Brother's, etc.?
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Re: Home Bar Question

#37 Post by Andrew Hall » April 25th, 2011, 5:17 pm

John Liotta wrote:BTW Andrew, do you use these in place of or along side of Reagan's, Angastura's, Fee Brother's, etc.?
Mostly in place. Boker's was mentioned by name in Jerry Thomas, so it is really good in truly classic cocktails. A gin-based Old Fashioned, for example.

I don't like Angostura.

It is fun to mix bitters sometimes in drinks like a regular Old-Fashioned, Manhattan or the like.

My current fav in a Manhattan is Bitter Cube's Cherry Bark-Vanilla.


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Re: Home Bar Question

#38 Post by John Liotta » May 8th, 2011, 7:44 am

Finally picked up some Death's Door Gin, Andrew. Wanted to make a classic to try it out so I made a Bronx Cocktail with it. Very nice stuff. Great recommendation.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#39 Post by John Liotta » May 26th, 2011, 1:30 pm

Does anyone use Pineau de Charentes or Chartreuse much (either)?
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Re: Home Bar Question

#40 Post by Andrew Hall » May 26th, 2011, 1:41 pm

John Liotta wrote:Does anyone use Pineau de Charentes or Chartreuse much (either)?
PdC - no. Tried a few mixings with it, but never got anywhere special. I like it tho.

Chartreuse is essential for a lot of cocktails. If you have not mixed a Tantris Sidecar ... well, I am not sure I should be speaking to you.

A.

eta :

1 1⁄4 oz. Courvoisier VS Cognac
1⁄2 oz. calvados (fine)
1⁄2 oz. Cointreau
1⁄2 oz. lemon juice
1⁄2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
1⁄4 oz. pineapple juice
1⁄4 oz. Green Chartreuse
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: glass is 1⁄2-rimmed with sugar & lemon twist sprayed on top
Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake, strain into glass and garnish.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#41 Post by David K o l i n » May 26th, 2011, 1:44 pm

We drink Chartreuse regularly in the winter as a digestif (straight)
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Re: Home Bar Question

#42 Post by Joe Dulworth » May 26th, 2011, 2:20 pm

Dang, not sure how I missed this thread.

My current home bar is an antique tea cart (don't laugh). I always keep in stock 2 different kinds of vodka, 2 different tequilas, 1 or 2 rums, at least 1 whiskey, 1 scotch, 1 gin, vermouth, bitters, Campari, amaretto, Baileys, Godiva, brandy, calvados, etc... I need to upgrade or supplement some of the current selections (my current stock whiskey is Jack Daniels and scotch is Glenlivet 12) with at least one higher end offering (Pappy's, Single Malt, etc...) but all of the basics are there now. Vodka is usually Three Olives and Tito's (Goose is a terrible QPR), higher end rum in Havana Club 20, higher end tequila is Don Julio 1492, etc...
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Re: Home Bar Question

#43 Post by Joe Dulworth » May 26th, 2011, 2:22 pm

Oh, by the way, when we start our remodel we'll be building an L shape bar in the front living room (rarely used, we spend all of our time in the den) for a proper setting. Besides the bar stools we'll place a cocktail table with four nice padded chairs around that. That's the room where our audio equipment is located. That should make for a proper meeting and greet venue since it is right off the entry way foyer.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#44 Post by John Liotta » May 26th, 2011, 2:32 pm

Andrew Hall wrote:
John Liotta wrote:Does anyone use Pineau de Charentes or Chartreuse much (either)?
PdC - no. Tried a few mixings with it, but never got anywhere special. I like it tho.

Chartreuse is essential for a lot of cocktails. If you have not mixed a Tantris Sidecar ... well, I am not sure I should be speaking to you.

A.

eta :

1 1⁄4 oz. Courvoisier VS Cognac
1⁄2 oz. calvados (fine)
1⁄2 oz. Cointreau
1⁄2 oz. lemon juice
1⁄2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
1⁄4 oz. pineapple juice
1⁄4 oz. Green Chartreuse
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: glass is 1⁄2-rimmed with sugar & lemon twist sprayed on top
Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake, strain into glass and garnish.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#45 Post by Richie Caplan » May 28th, 2011, 10:49 am

I got this bar from Target (of all places) that was like $399 retial that I ended up negotiating and taking the last floor model for like $70. I only keep spirits in there, but it holds 30-40 bottles.

Its amazing, folded-up, its measures 3' x 4', but you can fold-out the top and the body opens up to something thats more like 6' x 3' with a ton of storage and serving platforms. So yeah, #TargetFTW

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Re: Home Bar Question

#46 Post by John Liotta » May 29th, 2011, 12:49 pm

Made a Bijou the other night with Green Chartreuse to try and get back in Andrew's good graces. [neener.gif]
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Re: Home Bar Question

#47 Post by Michael Bowden » May 29th, 2011, 12:54 pm

John Liotta wrote:Made a Bijou the other night with Green Chartreuse to try and get back in Andrew's good graces. [neener.gif]
After being forced to drink it I Liotta is not in my good graces (made it up with a mag of 91 Chapoutier Pavillon last night)
I'm taller than Zach Lang.

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Re: Home Bar Question

#48 Post by Andrew Hall » May 29th, 2011, 6:35 pm

John Liotta wrote:Made a Bijou the other night with Green Chartreuse to try and get back in Andrew's good graces. [neener.gif]
Blah. Michael is right. The Bijou originated as a pousse-cafe. Not a good cocktail.

Tantris Sidecar too hard? [cry.gif]

A really easy one and one of the tiny few from Prohibition era that is good and with a fantastic backstory :

Last Word
* 3/4 ounce gin
* 3/4 ounce lime juice
* 3/4 ounce green Chartreuse
* 3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
Shake well with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass

For the harder core :

The Laphroaig Project

* 1 shot / 30 ml / 1 oz Green Chartreuse
* 1 shot / 30 ml / 1 oz lemon juice
* ½ shot / 15 ml / ½ oz Laphroaig Quarter Cask
* ½ shot / 15 ml / ½ oz maraschino
* ¼ shot / 7.5 ml / ¼ oz Yellow Chartreuse
* 2 dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters
* Shake all ingredients with ice and strain in to an ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon zest twist.
Created by Owen Westman of Bourbon & Branch



A.
Andrew Hall (itb)

andrew @ cellartracker dot com

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Re: Home Bar Question

#49 Post by John Liotta » May 31st, 2011, 10:31 am

Andrew, Michael is a delicate flower. I will try those out. Thanks.
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Re: Home Bar Question

#50 Post by John Liotta » December 16th, 2011, 3:05 pm

Andrew, Michael still hates Chartreuse, but likes the VEP enough to not turn his nose away in disgust. I've made a number of cocktails with both versions since our original discussion here.
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