Bar Essentials Clockwise, from left: Hamilton Beach Hand Crank Citrus Juicer, Vollrath shaker tins, basic citrus, claret bottles, and, for reading, Dale Degroff's The Craft of the Cocktail.
Ryan Magarian (see earlier post) gave us some tips for expanding your cocktail horizons. Keep reading for more info on how to create your own killer "liquid kitchen." These pointers ensure that at the very least you'll drink quite well, and should help get your parties started, too.
For a well-stocked home bar, Magarian recommends:
· A foundation of great spirits.
· Bowl of basic citrus (lemon, limes, oranges).
· 3 bottles of simple syrup (1-to-1 ratio of cold water and granulated sugar, completely integrated. A teaspoon of vodka will stabilize it for up to a month).
According to Magarian, "the three books that everybody should own" are:
· Dave Wondrich, Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar ("The best book ever written about cocktails").
· Gary Regan, The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender's Craft ("Breaks things into templates and categories. A great learning book.").
· Dale Degroff, The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender.
· Ted Haigh, Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum Cocktail to the Zombie ("Outrageous book, outrageous guy").
· David Embury, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (this out of print book from the 1940s is "what many cocktail fanatics would say is the definitive work about cocktails").
· DrinkBoy, the website by Magarian's mentor, Robert Hess.