Now you’ve got all the tools, you need the essential ingredients for creating delicious cocktails. A well-stocked bar will give you the freedom of creativity when it comes to making drinks, but we understand that purchasing everything all at once can be an expensive undertaking. The good news is that spirits will last indefinitely, so as long as you have the core components, you can continue to add to your bar gradually.
There are so many spirits to choose from that it can be overwhelming to know where to start but if you opt for those that are found in the most popular cocktails, you won’t go far wrong. To begin with, whisky, vodka, gin, rum, and tequila are good options.
From there, you can then introduce different varieties to your bar stock. For example, you can make sure you have a blended scotch whisky as well as a bottle from Tennessee. You can pick up a bottle of pink gin to go alongside your dry gin and flavoured vodkas to help mix things up.
Liqueurs are made with a base spirit that then has additional sweetness and flavour added to them. They are a must-have for any bar to inject fun and novel tastes into cocktails. Like with straight spirits, you can start with a few and add to your collection over time. Coffee, mint, cream, nut, and orange-flavoured liqueurs are worth considering.
Mixers are just important as alcohol when it comes to creating cocktails. Carbonated mixers provide flavour and a delightful fizz to drinks. The types of mixers you’ll want will depend on the spirits you are using. For example, the best carbonated whisky mixers include lemonade, cola, and ginger beer, to name a few. Other carbonated mixers include soda water, tonic water, and flavoured soft drinks such as orange, cherry, and apple.
Juice is a common ingredient in many cocktails. Orange, cranberry, tomato, lemon, lime, and pineapple are all used in popular recipes. You can buy individual cans or bottles of these mixers, but you could even try making your own freshly squeezed juice if you’re feeling up to it!
Bitters are small bottles of spirits that are infused with herbs, spices and other botanicals. They can be used to balance out flavours or add a spin to a classic, such as is the case with our Orange Twist cocktail. The three most popular types of bitters are Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, and orange bitters.
Simple syrup is used in many cocktails to add sweetness evenly throughout the drink. As the name suggests, it’s easy to make yourself as it is just a mix of sugar and water. However, there are also premade varieties that you can find in most supermarkets.