I am an Alcoholic. my private mini bar.Watch
below is a list of the alcohols i currently own. my recommendations and such. I will be generously passing on to you my recommendations advice and experience.
I will be rating things on importance
A. Must have for your bar.
B. Good to have but not a must.
C. Special and obscure stuff relative to personal preference.
D. Stuff that isnt necessary at all.
E. Stuff to avoid.
I like to explore wines. so the below are just examples. as soon as i drink these I'm done and I'll buy something new. you can't go wrong with spanish, french, italian or australian wine. in terms of region. i favour italian. i tend to browse the supermarket for an expensive wine thats on sale. I won't go above £10 for a bottle of wine.
Red Wine (Poggio Teo Valiano Chianti Classico) B
not really a big fan of red. I'm partial and I have it for guests. and cooking.
I've been told Sangiovese is the best italian all-rounder. I've not had any issues with it.
White Wine (Tesco finest Pinot Grigio Trentino 75cl) A
I tend to favour Pinot Grigio. but im slightly a **** for white wine. i revolve around. im a bit sick of pinot lately so i've started to move to sweeter grape like chardonnay and a rarer grape known Gewürztraminer.
You can tell I'm a rum nut.
Koko Kanu (C) - with coconut essence its a sweet easy going white rum. a nice crowed pleaser almost feels like a liqueur. expensive though. so you might just wanna get a cheaper less high quality option for guests (assuming they're unsophisticated) like malibu. they won't even no the difference between a rum based liqueur and a rum with flavouring. at £18 its very cheap but not skimping on quality. a really nice special white rum. great for cocktails.
Wray and Nephew Overproof (B) - for the nutters who like strong stuff. I don't bother with absinth. nobody drinks it because they like the flavour they just want to get smashed. 63% is quite hefty and will hurt your liver. this rum isnt so much for tasting on its own. but it goes really nice in stronger mohitos. if you can buy "Ting" a grapefruit soda from Jamaica it goes really well with Wray & Nephew. Quite expensive for white rum if you can get it for under £20 then pick it up. great for cocktails
Havana Club Anejo Especial (A) - not my favourite aged(golden) rum. but the aged rums that are my favourites are obscure and can be difficult to get. Havana is quite easy to get a hold of in most places. great for cocktails as i wouldnt use more special stuff in cocktails.
Bajan Estate XO (C) - my favourite rum. spicy, fruity, lively. its 1 of the 2 fancy pants rums sold at marks n spencer. now considering rums average around £20 a bottle. this is a BARGIN at £22. if you have to get one fancy aged rum i would get this. drank on its own, too special for cocktails.
Cana Negra Guatemalan (C) - the 2nd of the 2 marks n sparks fancy rums. less spicy and fruity but smoother. a lot my guests prefer this one as its less harsh. £25 its more expensive than the Bajan. a good alternative if you the Bajan is too intense. drank on its own, too special for cocktails.
Sailor Jerry's - (A) My favourite spiced rum. much lighter and zesty than other thicker more syrupy spiced rums. great for cocktails
Papa's Pilar 24 Dark (D) - more of a novelty than anything. thick and sweet it gets its colour from molasses. rum thats dark without being aged is usually "blackstrap rum" which means its got its colour from molasses. expensive and rare and tbh not really worth all the effort. but it was a gift from a friend and it is very special to the eye. drank on its own, too special for cocktails.
Goslings Black Seal (A) - My favourite blackstrap rum. although a lot of my friends prefer. it often gets compared to Kraken Rum but Kraken is spiced whereas Gosling is spicy but not officially a spiced rum. a lot of my friends prefer kraken but I think Goslings is the best. great for cocktails
Pussers Blue Label (C) - Really nice. if you sip it and it blows your head off, its because its 54%. I was expecting the standard 40% so was quite surprised. very warming and flavoursome. its got lots of added ingredients such as caramel, molasses and spice. quite cool cause its navy rum. which was rationed to guys in the navy. so theres a quirky story behind it. £30. lil expensive. if your friends are into rum why not? its special. but don't waste it on people who don't know what they're drinking. Great for cocktails
Street Vybz Rum (D) - a gift from a friend. more of a novelty basically a variant of Wray and nephew. drank on its own, too special for cocktails.
Chase Vodka (D) - genuine potato vodka (vodka is traditionally made with potato). at £30 its not worth it. i do not understand why people pay so much for vodkas. vodka is almost not meant to be tasted. its just meant to be purified through coal over and over. thats why vodka is great as it doesnt give you as bad a hang over as other drinks due to its lack of impurities. yea not a worth while investment. drank on its own, too special for cocktails.
Russian Standard (A) - my favourite vodka. quality, not overpriced, available. does what it says on the tin. never done me wrong. great for cocktails and on its own for the tuff guys.
Absolut Vodka Citrus (B) - GREAT for cocktails. the citrus is lovely and really comes out through the cocktails. nice good quality a lil on the expensive side but i'd say if you had to get one more vodka this would be it.
Vecchia Romagna Black Label (C) - lovely italian brandy too special for cocktails or people who don't know their brandy. this is my standard and favourite "go to" brandy.
Courvoisier VS (B) - i have bought this, simply to give to people instead of vecchia. a lot of expensive drinks are just wasted on people with no taste. people will buy expensive drinks because they think its the best and have no idea why. it drives me completely insane when someone wants to put my special drinks in a shot glass to down or destroy with a hurricane of sugar in a glass of coke. Courvoisier is famous and people think its special. me personally i have no affection for it. its the more expensive courvoisier such as XO that is nice if you can afford £50 a bottle. courvoisier is a cognac. there is no difference between cognac and brandy other than where it is made. for brandy to become cognac it has to be made in the cognac region of france. thats all. meh... in cocktails. good to have a bout for people that like to think their fancy but have no taste. or to distract them away from your more special stuff with.
Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky (A) - I love Rye whiskey's. they've become more popular recently. they go great on their own and are FANTASTIC in cocktails of both the old and contemporary type. i would strongly recommend this whiskey. at £30 it is expensive but it is worth it
Jameson 12 year (D) - Irish aged whiskey. I have tried to get into irish whiskey but have not done well. Jameson is the most famous. its sour and sweet but not in a nice way (for me). I'm irish my self and have really tried to force myself to get into it. and i just can't. I thought maybe the aged whiskey would be different. its not. its just twice the price. obviously some people like their irish whiskeys and Jameson is known. it does go well in coke i grant u. but i wouldnt bother getting expensive jameson. just get the basic stuff. thats if you really want a broad whiskey selection though.
Connemara Peated Single Malt (D) - earthy. due to the peat. very earthy. £30 very expensive. not really into peaty whiskeys myself. this was my venturing into it. i gave away of bottle of ardbeg which was more expensive. not worth it. unless, that is, as i said, if you want a wide whiskey range.
Famous Grouse (A) - my go to whisky. great on its own or in cocktails. standard price for whiskey. around £20. really nice, reliable and available. quite a warming spicy whisky. great for winter days or hiking and camping in the colder months.
Kenmore (B) - Marks and sparks fancy whiskey. I like this whiskey as much as grouse. im never sure which one wins. my mind changes on it. a touch cheaper than grouse. but you can get grouse on sale cheaper if its reduced. kenmore never gets reduced really. and kenmore is only available at m&s. toss up between the two really.
Glenfiddich 12 (D) - never got it. standard scotch. people love it. me though? na. can't get rid of it fast enough.
Glenfiddich 15 (C) - it is amazing that in just 3 more years of ageing how much the taste changes. this is my favourite whiskey. however its expensive and hard to come across. round, smooth, fruity, lower flavours under the fruity ones that have sort of woody flavour. its awesome. what ever i say about it just give it a try. far too fancy for cocktails though. unless its something like a manhattan.
Glenfiddich 18 (D) - very nice. but not as nice as the 15 imo. and its more expensive. its a thicker more syrupy flavour. but i can't pick up as much flavour as the 15.
Jose Cuervo Especial Gold (D) - this is the only tequila i saw that was available in waitrose. i assumed it was good due to waitrose selection. it is not. its dyed to look aged. its cheap standard tequila. personally i have not tried "good quality" tequila. but so far every tequila i've had tastes like some sort of chemical to me. with a bit of research i've heard Jose Cuervo's 1800 range is supposed to be very good. however the fact that Jose Cuervo makes stuff like the Especial Gold has put me off the brand. a brand that makes bad quality as well as good quality makes me mistrust their good quality. if they can skimp on the cheap stuff they can con on the expensive stuff. i've heard of americans banging on about patron but all the rappers bigging it up puts me off. i mean they have not taste. for example the french laugh at americans drinking cristal. the french see cristal as crap but americans see it as the best most pricey classy stuff ever. so thats why patron being bigged up sells nothing to me. Gran Centenario is probably what I personally would give a try next. they provide good quality from the ground up apparently. and they make their sales off quiet reputation alone rather than celebrity endorsements.
Hendricks (B) - I was afraid of gin. i just never new anyone who was into it. i did a lil research and was not disappointed with my choice. hendricks gin is lovely. if i was to recommend a gin it would definitely be Hendricks. its worth the price. its nice on its own or in cocktails. very fragrant, flowery and delicate. a really elegant spirit.
Angostura Aromatic Bitters (A) - a must have for cocktails.
Martini Rosso (C)
Martini Extra Dry (C)
both of these are for more old school cocktails. such as manhattans. its a slightly wine based flavour. like a liqueur-ish fortified wine almost.
Mississippi Steamer (B) - cheap drink. so cheap, it doesnt even say whats in it. slightly rare but you can usually find it in shops that sell MD 20/20 (MD 20/20 is, traditionally, a drink for kids to get drunk to whilst loitering on the streets). its very popular with my guests, especially the females due to its sweetness. its great cuz its cheap and popular and people who don't know its cheap fall in love with it. not so great in cocktails as its ultra flavourings tend to cheapen and ruin the other ingredients.
Cherry B's (D) - again available in the same shops that Steamer is available in. comes in little bottles, really marketed for girls. very sweet and fruity and syrupy. not really all that cheap. considering how small the bottles are. you could use it in cocktails but its a bit of a waste and theres better plus cheaper things u could use too like grenadine.
Malibu (A) - great. its relatively cheap, popular and brings a great flavour to cocktails. must have.
Kahlua (A) - on its own? no. its a coffee liqueur. i dont like coffee. like, at all. but white russians are one of my favourite cocktails and kahlua is pretty much what makes a white russian other than cream and vodka. it can also cleverly be included in other cocktails. i won't say cuz i'd be giving away my secrets. but I think kahlua is a must have on the shelf.
Cointreau (B) - orange liqueur. there are loads. you have to be very careful with it. i found myself experimenting and crafting beautiful cocktails which i would then destroy by adding a touch of cointreau, which would ruin it by smashing it to bits with sugar and flavourings.
its a pretty standard liqueur and cointreau is one of the most popular liqueurs. if there are any of you out there that could suggest a more subtle orange liqueur i'd be interested to know. you will see it behind most bars.
Santa Marta Limoncello (C) - you can use it in cocktails and it works quite well. but its better drank on its own. traditionally you have it at the end of a meal in italy. oh yes and its a lemon liqueur just incase u can't tell from the name. very common in restaurants but rare behind bars and not often used in cocktails.
Pama (C) - pomegranate based liqueur, originally meant to be drank on its own. its gorgeous. its one of those drinks that men secretly like but are afraid of losing man points with. and a drink that girls LOVE. expensive though. but really i'd by this over a load of little cherry b bottles. really pretty bottle too. not necessary for cocktails though.
Jagermeister (A) - pretty sure you all know about Jagermeister its a must have.
Disaronno Ameretto (A) - any Ameretto will do. you can basically make ameretto yourself. all you need is vodka almond essence and sugar. all it is, is sugar, almonds and alcohol. Disaronno is the most common brand. although a lot of places do a cheaper alternative. very popular with the ladies. common in coke. careful in cocktails as it is so strong it can ruin your subtle flavour stacks.
Archers Peach Schnapps (A) - yes I know its schnapps, but whatever. cheap, popular, can have on its own and great in cocktails.
Benedictine - D.O.M. (C) - loads of recipes that have this or something like this. tbh it seems to me like its more of a boring slightly more chocolatey rather than fruity version of jager.
Baileys (B) - for the ladies. popular. not really common in cocktails but can creep up. i'd say if you were making a collection it'd be good to have a cream liqueur just to have that option.
Alize Rose (E) - a waste of money. marketing. people who listened to one to many tupac songs. and women. when it runs out. i wont buy it again. although actually, no. i might. but simply to see which guests are drawn to the alize. if i invite anyone round and they want alize. i'll no exactly how they are.
tesco did a really good range or cheap but well made cocktail ingredients i have two of them.
Tesco Finest Blue Curacao (A) - i didnt use this early on. but its one that i'm quite nifty with when your giving someone a blue coloured drink that tastes like orange. when you mix it with other things it changes the flavour and gets peoples taste buds guessing.
Tesco Finest Cherry brandy (D) - havent really used this that much. doesnt really taste like brandy or cherry. kinda like cherry b or pama. same stuff. although it is quite forgiving. it doesnt smash through drinks youve delicately constructed as soon as u add a drop.
i've found this range at tescos difficult to come across. i've since found out they are made by Gabriel Boudier Dijon who is doing the whole range and has called it "the bar tender range" so if you can't find them at tesco anymore then you can get them from Gabriel Boudier Dijon.
Monin Grenadine (A) - alcohol free cocktail flavouring syrup. this can be really handy. if you experiment with a cocktail and get it wrong, but u don't want to waste it and its already too strong to add more alcohol, Monin (the brand) can save the day. it covers up the bad mix with flavouring without adding more alcohol. Grenadine is the only flavour i have and its really nice. i would definitely recommend it.
Maraschino Cherries (B) - if you make a bad boy cocktail then you really need to finish it with the trimmings.
Pineapple Juice (A) - quite difficult to find. but very popular with most spirits. especially rum. pineapple juice is the most sought after juice by my guests and is also commonly used behind bars.
Lemon, Cola, Orange Sodas - coke, fanta, 7up, sprite etc... (A)
id highly recommend Schweppes.
2 of the above (mins syrup) make great garnishes on cocktails anyway. but all of the above are essential for making mojitos. one of my favourite cocktails. also one of everyone else's cocktails too. cubas national drink can't go wrong.
Muddler - this is blunt round thing meant to crush mint and lime in just the right way. if you crush them and squeeze them too much they become bitter. the blunt gentle clumsy squashing of muddlers brings out the perfect flavour.
Mixing Spoon - when you go from a regular spoon to this it makes so much sense and makes your life so much easier.
Hawthorn Strainer - some cocktail shakers come with like a shot glass lid top and s little strainer bit exposed when you take off the shotglass lid. but they don't work very well at straining. they often get blocked up with ice or what ever else is in there. a hawthorn strainer might take a little practice but they work so much better for straining your cocktails. plus they make you look more like a pro.
Cocktail Shaker - pretty self explanatory. i favour the steel cups which you stuff a strong glass into. rather than the ones with lids. also plastic ones tend to break and snap over time (i'd say plastic ones last a max of two years). you also don't want them breaking during the middle of a cocktail shake.
Double Sided Jigger - a jigger is just a shot measure. a double sided one is really useful. its usually a full shot on one side and a half shot on the other. the combination makes it quite easy to measure things out.
Mexican Elbow Lime Squeezer - think a garlic crusher for limes. makes life so much easier. also helps with your cooking life too outside of alcohol.
Ice Cube Tray - a good ice cube tray can help. avoid rubber ones. its easier to twist the trey of rigid plastic ones. you can also get special novelty ice cubes that make your drinks more visually interesting if your looking to make the cocktail more special.
Spheric Tumblers - if you have to get one glass get rounded tumblers. can't go wrong. great for cocktails or drinking spirits from.
Wine Glass - wine glasses effect how wine gets air to it and changes the flavour. they are quite important for drinking wine.
Pint Glass - for the bigger drinks or beer or what ever.
Champagne Flutes - drinking champagne out of anything else other than a flute glass just feels wrong.
Shot Glasses - feel free to get a load of plastic disposable shot glasses. your call. shots are shots. they're not meant for sophistication or appreciating what ever it is your drinking. they are simply there to measure and contain.
i actually don't have any beer right now cus i drank the last one but, in an ideal world i would have.
Ale I would pick Waitrose Purity Mad Goose Pale Ale (Old Speckled Hen or Hobgoblin are good too and easier to get.)
Light Beer Such as Sol
A Mid Beer such as Becks
A Strong beer such as Punk IPA
A Strong stout such as Guinness
A light stout such as Dragon Stout
As for a Cider, I recommend Old Mout Cider.
I dont have any sambuca either but i think that would be good to own. its quite a party drink when people take shots. almost everyones down for a sambuca.
in all the alcoholism try not forget those who don't drink. it sucks drinking juice when everyone else is having special cocktails. try n figure out making some non alcoholic cocktails that are nice.
Your private mini bar is useless. I suggest that you should lock it away. You're spreading love for a drug.
luxury isn't a pragmatically useful thing. its a luxury.
Except for cigars. Video games and ice cream don't damage the body as much as alcohol and other drugs. I've seen lower class people afford ice creams and video games. These two things aren't necessarily a part of luxury.
they are not a NEED they are a luxury.
I have always dreamed of having my own mini bar, with a nice selection of various alcohols, both for my own pleasure and for when I have guests round. Unfortunately it looks like it's going to be a while before I'm settled enough to do so, but I like the breadth and depth of your collection- it seems like you have a nice balance.
glad you appreciate it though!