DIY Home Bar: What Every Girl Needs

Photo by: Courtesy of Tito's Vodka
SPIRITS

There's no need to spend extra money on super-premium brands if you're using your spirits for mixing, not sipping.

Greg Seider, who has created

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Photo by: Courtesy of Tito's Vodka
SPIRITS

There's no need to spend extra money on super-premium brands if you're using your spirits for mixing, not sipping.

Greg Seider, who has created cocktail lists for Le Bernardin, Summit, Willow Road and the upcoming Cricket Club, says vodka is a "must" because "so many people consider it their drink of choice." He recommends Tito's handmade vodka from Texas. For gin, he recommends a "good, dry, English gin like Beefeater's" for retro cocktails. For a rounder, smoother gin, try Plymouth. As for whiskey, he'd opt for Yamazaki, a 12-year whiskey "that's a round, smooth hybrid between bourbon and scotch."

Kevin Brodeur, who tends bar at Gramercy Tavern, suggests the sweeter Maker's Mark, calling it a crowd-pleasing bourbon. He recommends Rittenhouse Rye for the more serious drinker.

Rum drinkers will "need a dark rum for winter cocktails like the Dark and Stormy and a light rum for summer daiquiris," says Brodeur. "You can't go wrong with Gosling or Cruzan."

For making margaritas, Brodeur and Seider favor Herradura Silver tequila mixed with Cointreau. Many popular cocktails, like the Negroni, require Campari. While this bitter liqueur is not for everyone, Brodeur says it's worth stocking to stretch your range of cocktail offerings. Ditto for Pernod, an anise-flavored liquer.


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Mon, Feb 11, 2013 3:26 PM EST
Pascale Le Draoulec, SELF

Ready to graduate from wine and beer? From select spirits to must-have mixers, these are industry experts' entertaining essentials.

Setting up a home bar can be daunting-and expensive-when starting from scratch. So we asked some New York City mixologists to help us pare down the bare necessities. Assuming you already have some requisite kitchen items like a zester, a tea strainer and maybe even a small herb garden with cocktail-friendly mint, thyme and basil (hey, we have faith in you!), here are the ten items you'll need to start mixing drinks for your next soiree.



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