Cocktail 101: How to Stock a Home Bar (A New Approach)

Knowing the basic recipes for a few classic cocktails, and the proper way to shake or stir them up, is a classic guy skill. But they rely, of course, on a first step: having the proper home bar staples around so you can show off your cocktail-making skills whenever you have guests over. Serious Eats columnist Michael Dietsch is about to embark on a new series that’ll help you with just that: stocking your home bar. But thankfully, he’s taking a different approach than the other guides you’ve seen.

Most articles about stocking a home bar go briefly over the major categories of spirits: vodka, gin, bourbon, scotch, tequila, and so on. And then they say, basically, buy one of each of those. And maybe some triple sec and vermouth and even perhaps a bottle of bitters. I’m not going about things that way…First, that approach doesn’t help you figure out why you’re buying this stuff in the first place. Is it just to have one of everything? It’s better, I think, to have a goal in mind—perhaps a specific drink you want to get good at making, or a spirit (for example, bourbon) that you want to explore in depth.

The series begin here, and I think it’s definitely something worth keeping an eye on.