The Cocktail Bar, Part IV

Friday, June 17, 2011

Photo by Tom Blachford.

In the final installment of our cocktail series, we'll talk about arguably the most fun bottles of all: the non-essentials for your favorite cocktails!

Let's start with the crèmes: cassis, menthe, cacao, framboise, pêche, violette and plenty others. If you adore your Kir Royales (and really, who doesn't?), make sure to pick up a bottle of crème de cassis. If you love the Aviation cocktail, you'll want a bottle of violette. And if grasshoppers sound delicious on a Friday night, don't forget the crème de menthe!

Luxardo is a classic cocktail ingredient; a maraschino liquor, it adds a cherry-almond flavor and a dash of cocktail pedigree. Be sure to pick up the bottle wrapped in straw-it's the best tasting, and looks terrific on your shelf! Similarly, kirsch, a cherry brandy, can be a good addition to your cocktail cabinet.

Chartreuse, both green and yellow, is a French liquor made by Carthusian monks in the Grande Chartreuse monastery; 130 herbal extracts combine to make something truly delicious, and impossible to describe. While there are inexpensive versions of this cocktail gem, Chartreuse VEP is worth the high price tag. And you can take comfort in the fact that you'll probably never need to replace the bottle.

Poire Williams, or pear brandy, makes the list for the wonderful autumnal cocktails you can whip up. Even just a dash of champagne and a bit of pear puree makes for a sensational cocktail, if you like all things pear.

Canton, a ginger liquor, and St. Germain, an elderflower spirit, are both popular. I will confess to never having tried either, but if you love your elderflower cocktails or bucks, pick up a bottle of these singular spirits!

So which ones do you chose? Start by taking stock of your favorite drinks; what ingredients do they feature that you don't already have? This is just a small list of a few of my picks to really round out your bar, but remember to pick up the things you like to sip on best! The truth is that even the essentials aren't bottles you simply must have; if you hate tequila, don't bother buying it! You won't miss what you don't drink, and your guests will understand that this is your home, not a full-service cocktail bar.

Cheers, darling!

26 comments:

  1. I've loved this series - definitely one to print out and keep!

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  2. And now I totally want a drink. Or two ;-)

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  3. I love this series!! so informative!! We need to grab drinks together Lena! Have a great w/e!!

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  4. Ok, we definitely need to work on having a fully stocked liquor cabinet!

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  5. Great information- we'll definitely be referencing this again {...and again} :) Thanks Lena!!

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  6. You are going to BLEED ME DRY at the liquor store, Lena!

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  7. oh now this sounds delish!!! perfect for friday, too (even though it's not even 10am yet) :) have a great weekend!

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  8. That pear cocktail sounds beyond amazing.

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  9. I am definitely taking notes, especially of the pear brandy, it would be so perfect on a cozy Fall night!

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  10. I promise you, once my dining room is painted I am going back through these posts and making a list of booze I need!

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  11. I'd have to pass on anything with elderflower -- I'm allergic! :( xo style, she wrote

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  12. girl if only I had your treasure trove of knowledge on this topic! I know who to call when in need! xo Happy weekend!

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  13. I am still waiting for you to come over and stock my bar and make me tons of drinks please :) Happy Weekend beautiful!! xoxo

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  14. what a helpful little series! i love :)
    oh, and i've spoken to my friend and she was wondering if she could have your email so it would be easier to speak with you. thank you so much for offering your wonderful advice! i so admire this blog :) always gives me inspiration

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  15. I've really enjoyed these posts!

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  16. Ooh, chartreuse always interests me!

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  17. It is always good to have several interesting liqueurs to offer as cordials or as part of a cocktail.

    Great suggestions Lena!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

    Come and join my Giveaway from the Novica Artisans!

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  18. Mmm yum I love champagne! =)

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  19. great post - hope you had a wonderful weekend!

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  20. See. I did not know that chartreuse was made by monks. Interesting. Great tips for the bar, I'm ready to stock up!
    xo
    Alexa

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  21. My coworker just brought me back some violette liqour from Paris. We've been mixing it with prosecco and it gives me the giggles.

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  22. Lovely and tasty post, my dear! I adore this series!

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  23. Thank you {again} for this series! You know how much I love it! But your last sentence is the best: "this is your home, not a full-service cocktail bar." yes, people. seriously. haha xo Samantha

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  24. oh wow. That was the most fun lesson I've ever had the pleasure of reading! Need those on my bar carts ;) Do you mind if i share on Society Social's facebook wall?

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