Cocktail Party Delusions (Or, How to Stock a Great Bar)

January 29, 2013


The other night I posted this on Facebook:

And it’s true: I’ve lost my mind.

This whole selling the house slash living simply ordeal is WEARING ON ME, PEOPLE. So in an attempt to offset the stress of wondering when things will finally get off the ground and get moving, I decided to picture myself already moved, in the Best House Ever and ready to throw a cocktail party for all our friends and family to come see why all the grey hairs were really worth it.

And so, like any delusional woman with time on her hands does, I went on Pinterest to finally pull all my cocktail recipes into a Cocktail Hour board. Then it occurred to me that I needed a plan to stock the amazing bar in the New-But-Unknown House. A mental tally of what was hanging out in my kitchen pantry right now told me this bar needed HELP. And off I went to create my future shopping list for the soiree (or any Wednesday night).

planning a cocktail party, what liquors to have for a cocktail party, what liquors to have for a bar

Here is what I choose to stock:

Beer: Tecate or Dos Equis, also Miller. Occasionally I’ll include a St. Arnold’s IPA depending on the guest list. (Yay, Texas!)

Vodka: Tito’s Handmade. Made in Texas.

Gin: Hendrick’s as well as Bombay Sapphire. Hendrick’s with a cucumber, Bombay with a lime. It matters.

Tequila: Chinaco. A little unknown, but good.

Rum: Appleton Estate. I’m not an enormous rum drinker, but I like this one for mixing. I also keep Malibu on hand for summery drinks or when I need a college flashback.

Bourbon: Garrison Brothers (the spring production) and Blanton’s because I like the tradition and the horsey.

Scotch: Balvenie because Bethanny told me so.

Vermouth: Dolin Dry Vermouth because somewhere along the way it was recommended to me.

Old School: Di Saronno Amaretto. Because I still love Amaretto Sours.

Fanciness: St. Germain. I’m recently smitten with this. It is FANTASTIC with champagne. Also? Such a great bottle.

Tonic Water
Soda Water
Sweet & Sour Mix
Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix
Gosling’s Ginger Beer (So many great ways to mix ginger beer. Try it!)
Angostura bitters (I hate them, but they are a necessity for some drinks)
Various juices depending on what you’re mixing and the season. For large parties I’ll have Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple. If it’s spring or summer I’ll also have Coco Lopez on hand for beachy drinks.

Ice bucket
Hawthorne cocktail strainer
Bar spoon
Pint sized glass
Cute bar towels

It’s going to be a super fun night. Someday.

Next up I’ll need to choose wines, champagnes, some new barware, napkins and swizzle sticks. It’s Mad Men up in here.

Got a favorite cocktail?

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3 Responses to “Cocktail Party Delusions (Or, How to Stock a Great Bar)”

  1. Knighton Says:

    Two thumbs up on St. Germain with Champagne. Try a splash in your Hendrick’s sometime. It’ll change your life.

    In other concerns, I’m a fan of Espolon Reposado for tequila. It’s slightly woody, which makes for an unconventional margarita. Also, the label is groovy. For bourbon, I’m old school with Old Forester, which makes a perfect, classic Manhattan. And for rum, it’s Tortuga all the way, smuggled in from Grand Cayman.

    Now, as for favorite cocktails – that’s a hard one, and it depends upon the day of the week. Mostly Sapphire and tonic, but Jack & Coke on a sweaty, yard-work kinda day.

    • Pam Says:

      I love a groovy label – need to check out that tequila. And I love Tortuga rum – especially that pretty bottle, I just don’t see it as a “working” rum, more a sipping one. Make sense? But delicioso for sure, mon. 🙂

      I’d not thought to put St. Germain in the Hendrick’s. You could be my favorite person today JUST FOR THAT TIDBIT.

  2. Amber Marlow, theAmberShow Says:

    Just coming to this now. I feel like you need a non-flavored gin.