With Labor Day coming up, we're sharing the "Must-Have" list for the home bar, which is great for gifting (and using during your BBQs this weekend), from cocktail connoisseur Eben Freeman.
For this holiday give the budding cocktail enthusiast in your life more than just the typical bottle of whiskey. Give them some tools and ingredients to help build their home bar for some timeless cocktails. The following is a list of essentials for stocking a home bar, as suggested by PAMA Spokesperson and Master Mixologist Eben Freeman of the AltaMarea Group:
Speed Pour - Speed pours or pour spouts serve to streamline the flow of liquid from the bottle, helping to avoid spills and ensure accurate measuring; they come in both metal and plastic.
Recommended: The Spill Stop-brand tapered metal pour spout
Jigger - Jiggers help you follow the recipe accurately, and you're apt to make a better drink by taking the time to measure ingredients properly. Jiggers come in a variety of sizes and designs - AG Japanese Style, Multi Level Jigger, Double Jigger with a Handle.
Strainer - A cocktail strainer is an accessory used to remove ice from a shaker. There are many styles available for various uses - Hawthorne, Julep, Mesh Cone.
Recommended: Both the Hawthorne and Julep strainer since they allow for a variety of cocktails
Shaker - There are various styles of shakers available - Cobbler, Boston, Parisian. Mixing glasses are sold separately and are used for stirred drinks. Much like shakers, there are a variety of styles of mixing glasses - Yarai, Japanese Paddle, Stemmed Mixing Glass.
Barspoon - More than just a spoon, this handy tool can be used for stirring and layering a variety of drinks. Barspoons, like other bar tools, come in a variety of designs - Trident Barspoon, Barspoon with Muddler, Teardrop Barspoon.
Recommended: Teardrop 40cm Barspoon from CocktailKingdom.com
Hand Juicer - Great cocktails are made with great ingredients, so use only the freshest juices. A hand juicer allows you to squeeze lemons and limes directly into the mixing vessel.
Recommended: AMCO Juice Squeezer at BroadwayPanhandler.com
Base Spirits - All you need to get started is a great bottle of gin, rum, whiskey, vodka or tequila to make a variety of cocktails.
Recommended: Based on your drink preference, getting one bottle each of two base spirits, which will be enough to make a handful of drinks
Liqueurs- The measure of a good bar is the presence of an array of liqueurs used to mix and modify recipes. But since a home bar typically provides a limited space, choose one or two that are agreeable with most base spirits.
Recommended: PAMA Liqueur for its sweet-tart balance that brightens the flavors of even the most classic cocktails. It makes an exceptional partner with all base spirits. It can replace Sweet Vermouth in a classic Manhattan and jazz up the flavors of an ordinary Tom Collins
Bitters - There are an array of cocktail bitters to choose from, such as orange, celery and peach bitters.
Recommended: Angostura Bitters, Peychaud's Bitters and Bitter Truth Orange Bitters as the most essential bottles
Now that the bar is stocked, have a fun and relaxing Labor Day!
By Ashley Caputo
(Photo Courtesy of Dinner Series)