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How to Stock a Home Bar

Ideas abound when it comes to how to stock a <a title="Home Bars" href="http://www.atgstores.com/home-bars_1068.html" target="_blank">home bar</a> (as opposed to a liquor cabinet), but at its core the issue can be boiled down to two philosophies: 1) stocking for personal use only, or 2) providing a robust selection for guests and entertaining. Obviously, idea #1 is out – scientists roundly agree that it’s not healthy to drink alone. So, by default, a full bar is really the only way to go. (Critics of circular logic take note: We are, after all, talking about stocking home bars.) So, what constitutes a “full bar,” so to speak? One has to draw the line somewhere, of course, but anyone can easily assemble a respectable cocktail selection without getting into weird, expensive liquors that will gather more dust than tasting requests. Let’s take a look: <strong>1. Vodka</strong> A common base for countless drinks, vodka is a liquor that mixes well with many sodas, spritzers and juices (including tomato, for bloody marys). It can also be enjoyed on the rocks and is also a feature in many milk-based and frozen concoctions. <strong>2. Whiskey / Bourbon / Scotch</strong> The smoky, woody flavor of whiskey makes it a popular drink straight up or on the rocks, but it also mixes well with some sodas. Whiskey’s Kentucky cousin – bourbon – is also popular and has a distinctly sweeter flavor than many whiskeys, especially when it comes to blended varieties. Scotch, technically a whisky (note the spelling difference) made in Scotland, is almost always enjoyed straight up or on the rocks, and stands apart in flavor from other whiskeys. <strong>3. Rum</strong> A liquor made of fermented sugar cane, rum is a staple in many tropical drinks like piña coladas, daiquiris, mojitos and hurricanes. Then, there is always the classic <em>cuba libre</em>, otherwise known as a rum &amp; Coke. Rums come in dark and light varieties, but a full bar requires only one type on hand. <strong>4. Tequila</strong> Tequila is a popular “shooter” in many corners of the tippling world, but its status as a bar necessity is cemented as the base for margaritas. Every once in a while you may get a call for a tequila sunrise or Mexican martini, but it’s the ‘rita that rules the cantina. <strong>5. Wines / Beer</strong> There are no rules here, really, and tastes will vary by region. It’s good enough to have a small selection for your guests. <strong>6. Mixers</strong> Sodas, spritzers, premade mixes and juices (orange, cranberry, etc.) are must-haves, but you’ll also need a few extra items to round things out. Garnishes like olives, cherries, lemons and limes are helpful, as are specialty items like bitters, grenadine and vermouth. <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx">ATGStores.com</a> hopes this helps give you an idea of how to fill out your home bar in a way that will ensure everyone at your next party gets their favorite drink.
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