Looking to upgrade your home bar? The first thing to do is make sure you have the basics to allow you to make a wide range of drinks you and your guests are going to love. We’ve put together a list of 10 must-have spirits for your home bar to make sure you’ll always have the perfect cocktail within easy reach.
1. White Rum
White rum is the perfect drink for summer. A spirit made from sugar cane molasses, white rum is the ultimate cocktail ingredient. Whether you want a mojito, a daiquiri or a pina colada, white rum’s notes of vanilla and fruit are sure to be a great addition to your collection. Smooth and light, white rum is an absolute essential. If you’re searching for top-quality rum for sale online, look no further than Illegal Tender's '1808 - Barely Legal' , made using only the best ingredients and techniques.
Whiskey is the most popular liquor in the world for a reason. This dark spirit has a lot of variety, and is another essential when building your home bar. Different whiskey varieties bring out a range of qualities, with some whiskeys having a strongly smokey flavour and others a cleaner, lighter taste. Trying different whiskeys, and deciding which flavour suits you best is a great idea. Whiskey can be enjoyed neat, or can be used to make a range of classic drinks, such as the manhattan, the old-fashioned or a simple whiskey sour.
3. Spiced Rum
Spiced spirits are a crucial part of any home bar, and spiced rum stands out for its versatility. Spiced rum can include a range of different spices, all adding complexity and nuanced flavour to an already brilliant spirit. Spiced rum is also great as part of a cocktail. Try a spiced palmer by mixing rum with lemonade and peach tea for a refreshing and intriguing drink.
Vodka’s neutral flavour makes it an absolute essential for cocktails. From screwdrivers and martinis to bloody marys and espresso martinis, vodka offers a subtle taste and an unsubtle heat that you’ll always be glad to have up your sleeve. Distilled from grain and potatoes, the spirit is a famous product of Russia and Eastern Europe. While there are now a wide range of flavoured vodkas available, from pineapple to salmon, we recommend you stick with a neutral vodka that can be used in a wide range of mixed drinks.
Like vodka, gin is distilled from wheat, but unlike vodka, gin is flavoured with a range of botanicals. Classically associated with the piney flavour of Juniper berries, gin is a great addition to any collection of spirits. As part of a martini, or as a central feature of the iconic gin and tonic, there are many ways gin can be enjoyed. If you’re looking for quality try ‘Stableviews Gin’ , an Australian gin that uses the best local ingredients.
There’s more to Tequila than shots. Tequila is made from the agave plant, and is produced only in a few areas of Mexico. Despite its regional origin, it has a universal appeal, and is a key ingredient in unforgettable cocktails like margaritas. There are many types of tequila, but the most versatile is silver tequila, which can be used in different cocktail recipes. Tequila is a brilliant addition to a home bar, excellent both in mixed drinks and sipped on the rocks.
7. Dark Rum
Dark rum is white rum’s cousin, with a richer flavour that can be enjoyed in many ways. Try dark rum neat for a molasses hit, or add ice, bitters and orange liqueur for a rum-based old fashioned. Look out for aged dark rums, which have had their flavour amplified even further by oak barrels. If you’re looking for something simple, dark rum can be fantastic mixed with cola, ginger beer or apple juice. In winter, hot buttered rum can be the perfect antidote to a cold day.
Brandy is a star liquor made from distilled wine. Whether drinking it from a renowned region like Cognac or Armagnac or a more niche one, brandy is an essential. It can be used to make classic cocktails such as metropolitans, a winning combination made from sweet vermouth, brandy and simple syrup. If you fancy something fruitier, why not try combining brandy, syrup, club soda and seasonal fruit for a brandy cobbler, a mix that brings out as much flavour as its edible inspiration.
9. Orange Liqueur
Orange liqueurs are the most popular liqueurs in the world. They are used in a wide range of cocktails, and provide a great complement to more neutral spirits, thus making orange liqueur key to a well-stocked bar. Classic brands including Aperol and Curacao are key to making sours, highballs, long island iced teas, and martinis, in addition to being ideal for shooters and hot alcoholic drinks in the winter. Fancy an aperitivo?
10. Coffee Liqueur
If you love white russians and espresso martinis, then a coffee liqueur is a must have. With their notes of roasted coffee, nuts and fruit, coffee liqueurs offer a complex and punchy addition to any collection. Smooth and versatile, you can either opt for a straightforward coffee flavour, as offered by Kahlua, or go for a more complex liqueur, such as Jagermeister. A great spiced spirit, this family of liqueurs is sure to make itself known on your shelves.