Monday, August 25, 2014

The 12 Bottle Bar: Your Home Bar Cocktail Guide

     With some 260 plus rums on my bar and a few of everything else, it can be a daunting task just to figure out what I want to use to create a cocktail in the evening or afternoon.  here is a new bar guide that I think has brought the home bar back into perspective.   "The 12 Bottle Bar
, by David and Lesley Solmonson, advises consumers to stock seven spirits, one liqueur, two vermouths and two bitters to create the perfect home bar."  It offers a brief history of each spirit style, why it should be included in your bar, and several recipes.   There is also a guide at the back of the book on how to serve cocktails and a selection of virgin recipes.
    "The 12 Bottle Bar" really makes sense to me for a small house bar.  It includes a white and Amber rum, a brandy, dry gin, Genever,  rye whiskey, vodka, orange liqueur (triple Sec), dry vermouth, sweet vermouth aromatic bitters and orange bitters.   

     "Obviously the main spirits (vodka, gin, rum, brandy, whiskey) need to be included, the choice from there is the brand.   The accent liqueurs were a challenge within themselves. My decision was primarily founded in how often is a certain liqueur used in the greatest number of cocktails or cocktails where the liqueur can act as a substitute for another. After that list, it’s back to choosing a brand. With a well-stocked supply of essential mixers this list can make at least 100 different cocktails."
     The book retails around $10 and is a really nice guide to making cocktails at home with a very minimal space and outlay for the bar stock.   Which brands of spirits you choose can raise or lower the cost of stocking your bar, but even "well spirits" work out for mixed cocktails.  If your palate is tuned to the better spirits by all means put them in your bar.
     "Genever" threw up a question flag for me, but it does make sense once you know what it is.  Genever enables bartenders to work with the authentic flavours of the past to recreate the true classic cocktails the way they were meant to taste.   The whisky-like malt tones of Genever make it also perfect to drink it straight, on the rocks, or in ‘regular’ easy mixed cocktail.  It adds the malt flavor to cocktails with out using scotch.
     I think that this is a perfect starter book for someone to put together a small home bar, and it will surprise you all of the cocktails that you can create with just 12 bottles.  ;o)