If you were on a deserted island, what 5 items would you need to keep you blissfully calm in such a predicament? See, you'd be surrounded by delicious ingredients like fresh mangoes, coconuts, and limes — but you'd be missing the crucial items to marry these ingredients together in an interesting way.
Adding alcohol always makes things more dynamic, but which core spirits are so invaluable you need them stocked for any party?
We're looking to acquire the most versatile, quality, and neutral brand in each category of the following 5 spirits:
You need one of each of these in your bar at all times, so you can make an unlimited number of cocktails. The trick is finding one type (of each) that can complement the flavor profiles across many traditional drinks.
We're also looking for items that won't break the bank, nor be too diluted (low proof).
Let's get started!
Chopin vodka is our adaptable vodka pick. It's a smooth wheat vodka, perfect for any cocktail and even for sipping on its own. It's gluten-free, 4x distilled, and it boasts a single-ingredient pure process, so you'll be able to please everyone. This makes it fake-free and a quality item in cocktails like the:
And any two-ingredient mixes like vodka cran, screwdrivers, or vodka tonics, etc. The possibilities are endless!
This vodka is under $30 and is 80 proof; not too shabby.
Our versatile tequila pick is the 123 Blanco Tequila. When choosing a tequila, we must recognize that Blanco is the most neutral out of its more aged counterparts (Añejo, Reposado, etc). This makes it easier to apply across a variety of cocktails.
We picked this tequila because of its quality ingredients (the agave plants are grown for almost ten years and then roasted for two days)! It's under $60, rated wonderfully, and over 80 proof. It'll work beautifully in:
It's a mixologist's heaven!
Our flexible rum pick is Rhum Barbancourt. Rum is a rich, molasses-y spirit, with varying degrees of character. White rum is going to be the most appealing to the largest group of people and cocktails.
Since rum is paired mostly with tropical flavors, we picked one that has a bit of character on the nose (notes of banana, mango, and spice), because it'll pair well with just about any traditional rum recipe. Things like:
are going to be delicious with this rum.
Our quality whiskey pick is Rittenhouse Rye. It packs a fantastic flavor that mixologists around the world have come to love. It's rated incredibly well and is a top fave in the industry. It'll work well with an:
It's only $27, 110 proof, and is balanced enough to sip straight or mix.
Our can't-live-without gin is Beefeater London Dry Gin. It's a quintessential component of any bar or gin drink. It's bold and flavourful, with forward notes of juniper-citrus that complement all its mixes. Try it in a:
We can't get enough of this award-winning gin!
So, before a party or as you start your own bar set-up, be sure to start with these critical spirits which make up the vital bases of any cocktail. Get them at a great price at Chip's Liquor!