If you have an extra space at your place, why not set it up as a home bar? We believe that a proper home bar is one thing that every grown-up, liquor-loving AKA manginginom man should have. Whether you’re planning to learn how to mix your own cocktails someday or just want to have something to offer your guests when they crash your pad, this guide will provide everything you need to start setting up.
To help you out, we asked cocktail expert and Alcohol By Volume’s Patrick Cuartero to guide you with all the essential tools and bottles you need. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it may seem!
First, of course, you have to find a corner that can easily be transformed into a bar. If you don’t have a bar table available, you can use an old bookshelf as a replacement. For this one, we used an actual bar table and a bookshelf. Though for this guide, all the essentials are on the table.
The Base Spirits
These six bottles are the heart of your bar. Together, they are called base spirits. Base spirits are important because they are the foundation of most of your favorite cocktails such as Old Fashioned, Negroni, Manhattan, and Whiskey Sour. Cuartero suggests you start with the following:
1800 Reposado Premium Tequila (P1,700)
Bombay Sapphire Gin (P650)
Bacardi Superior White Rum (P392)
Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky (P995)
Stolichnaya Premium Vodka (P750)
Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky (990)
The Essential Liqueurs
The Essential Liqueurs are usually used in addition to the base spirits. They serve as flavoring agents for your cocktails. Here are Cuartero’s picks:
Gancia Rosso Vermouth (P495)
Martini Rosso Vermouth (P550)
Cointreau Liqueur (P1,150)
A home bar without bitters is like a kitchen without salt and pepper. Bitters do not just add flavor to your cocktail—it also intensifies the flavor of the other ingredients, adds a layer of complexity, and counteracts the harshness of acidic contents. Here are Cuartero’s favorites:
Angostura Aromatic Bitters Liquor (P980)
These four are the finishing touches to your home bar: simple syrup, lemon, lime, and orange (having these also makes you look like you’re an expert mixologist). Simple Syrup is an essential sweetener for cocktails such as Mojito and Daiquiri (you can make one by pouring equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan. Heat and stir until dissolved. Cool and store afterwards). On the other hand, lemon, lime, and orange serve as garnish and add that citrusy taste to your cocktails.
After stocking the bar with all the essential fixings, now’s the time to go to the other part: the tools. Cuartero recommends the following:
Jiggers (Around P900 each)
Bar Spoon (P1,699)
Mixing Glass (1,699)
Kosa Single Rocks Glass (P939)
Glass (Around P200)
Classic Julep Strainer (P499 to P899)
Ice Trays (P325)
All liquors and tools are available at Drinkka.
Learn how to make easy cocktails at home using these ingredients and tools, next Saturday, May 19, only here at FHM.com.ph.
Photography Eve Baswel