Essential Spirits for Your Home Bar

By Alexandra Hall | Boston Magazine |
Consider the home bar raised: We surveyed some 20 local bartenders to concoct a list of spirits essential to a personal bar. The mixologists provided the genres; we did the tastings (and landed on our favorites). Toss in a few of your own quirky picks, and you’ve got a cabinet to be reckoned with. Add ice, a twist or two, and swig. Now that’s the spirit.  

1   A top-notch light rum  El Dorado three-year cask-aged white rum
2   A spicy mixer  Gosling’s Ginger Beer    
3   A sipping tequila  Patrón Silver    
4   A sweet mixer  Stirrings Simple Apple Martini    
5   Bitters  Locally made Bittermens    
6   A dependable white wine  2008 Cistercensi Coenobium    
7   A solid bourbon  Maker’s Mark    
8   A versatile aperitif   Campari    
9   A dependable red wine  2007 G. D. Vajra barbera    
10  A mixing tequila  Don Julio    
11  A single malt  Balvenie 17-year    
12  A clean-flavored vodka  Ketel One    
13  An easy-drinking whiskey  Jameson    
14  At least one kind of beer  Guinness    
15  An everyday sparkler  Frozza prosecco     
16  A dark rum  Gosling’s Black Seal  
All available at local wine and spirits stores at varying prices.
  • michael

    Three types of rum? Why? And where’s the gin?

    Apple Martini Mix over something like Tonic? Or Coke? Or club soda?

    Guinness? Choose something lighter if you’re only going with one beer.

    The rest of the suggestions are solid, but maybe rethink the ones above.