Home Bar 101

Home Bar 101

If you grew up in the ’70s, most homes had a bar often located in the basement, maybe in the den. A few classic cocktails could be made a moment’s notice because they were (and still are) comprised of only a few ingredients. Decades passed, restaurants and bars opened and people began going out for drinks instead of staying in. Now in 2019, and perhaps coinciding with the boom of local distilleries in the Twin Cities, the trend to stock a home bar is hot again. Classic drinks still reign, but the choices you have for your spirits is almost unlimited. Here’s our list for stocking a basic Home Bar as well as a few cocktails to have in your repertoire.


Base Spirits:             Traditional:                                Modern:
Vodka                             Stolichnaya                                      Norseman (Local)
Gin                                  Beefeater London Dry                   Vikre Spruce (Local)
Bourbon                         Maker’s Mark                                  J Carver Bourbon (Local)
Scotch                             Dewar’s Blended                            Hibiki Japanese
Rye Whiskey                  Old Overholt                                   High West Double Rye
Rum                                 Bacardi                                             11 Wells Boiler Room Barrel Aged
Tequila                            Patron Silver                                    Mezcal
Triple Sec                         DeKuyper                                        Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Vermouth Sweet and Dry, Tonic, Soda, Ginger Beer, Bitters, Maraschino Cherries, Olives, Lemons, Limes, and Sugar Cubes

With the above items and a few classic cocktail recipes below you can confidently ask “What can I make you?”

2 oz Vodka or Gin
½ oz Dry Vermouth
Place in a cocktail shaker and either stir or shake (you choose – we’re staying out of it) vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with 2 olives.

Old Fashioned
1 Sugar Cube
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 ½ oz Bourbon
Place sugar cube in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add 3 dashes of bitters directly on top to soak the cube. Using a bar spoon or muddling stick, smash down the sugar. Add ice and the bourbon and stir for 20 seconds. Strain into a low ball glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with orange peel and a cherry.

1 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
Dash of Bitters
In a cocktail glass add the above ingredients. Add ice, stir until well chilled. Strain into a low ball cocktail glass and either serve up (no ice) or on the rocks. Garnish with a cherry.

Moscow Mule
2 oz Vodka
3 oz Ginger Beer
Combine above in an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

Dark & Stormy
2 oz Rum
3 oz Ginger Beer
Combine above in an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

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