Posts Tagged ‘Liquor’

Building a Bar Without Breaking the Bank

April 25, 2009

Everyone loves a good home bar.  It’s a sign of class and success, the true display of one’s appreciation for the finer things in life.  Of course, if stocked with plastic bottles of hooch, it can also be a sign of depravity. I prefer to find the middle ground and stock my bar with the quality ingredients necessary for well-crafted cocktails, but without the overzealous cliches of the label-conscious crowd.

When stocking a home bar, one should consider the purpose of the spirit.  If sipping it straight, invest in a higher quality bottle.  If mixing into a cocktail, you can usually grab from the middle shelf without sacraficing taste.  Plus, it’s important to realize that certain spirits, like rye whiskey, for example, present many excellent choices around the $20 range, whereas one has to climb the ladder toward $40 for a solid reposado tequila or aged scotch.

But to get that liquor cabinet on it’s way toward a respectable bar (and trust us, building a home bar is one of the most rewarding things one can do), Imbibe Magazine, an authority on all things drinkable, suggests the following as economical choices that will spruce up anyone’s home bar:

Gin: Beefeater, Hendrick’s, Martin Miller’s, Plymouth 

Bourbon: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare 10 Yr., Evan Williams, Woodford Reserve 

Rye: Jim Beam, Old Overholt, Rittenhouse 100 

Vodka: Belvedere, Blue Ice, Skyy, Sobieski 

White rum: Bacardi, Flor de Caña 4 Yr., Mt. Gay Eclipse 

Aged rum: Appleton Estate, Bacardi 8, Flor de Caña 12 Yr. 

Reposado tequila: Cazadores, Jose Cuervo Tradicional, Milagro

Give those a shot to start.  Add liqueurs and bitters and more exotic spirits to the mix as you go, and you’ll soon have a bar that’s the envy of everyone on your block. Or your floor, depending on the parties you throw.


Booze as Medicine

April 23, 2009

Everyone has a different remedy for curing illness, whether it’s traditional medication, herbal supplements or even prayer. 

But the thirsty ones among us often attempt to cure what ails us (common cold, depression, hangnail) with alcohol. From straight scotch to hot toddys, alcohol is nature’s natural antiseptic and can trace its medicinal use back thousands of years.  Today we even drink for preventative measures.  A glass or two of red wine a day purportedly protects against everything from high blood pressure to certain cancers.

For me, it’s whiskey.  Specifically, whiskey with tea and lemon.  Tea for the antioxidants, lemon for the vitamins and whiskey for the whiskey. Whether science or placebo, it usually does the trick. It’s killed colds, sore throats and nausea. It helps me sleep and generally just raises my spirits. And you don’t even need a prescription, just proof of age.

Of course, as I write this, I think I’m getting sick.  Which means it’s time to break out the faithful concoction. After all, one can never be too careful with one’s health.