Does your home bar just have a few random bottles left over from parties past? Or are you starting your spirits collection from scratch? A well-stocked bar is an essential for any good host or hostess, but building up a functional collection can be a little overwhelming; there are lots of items to pick out, and versatility is key if you want to be able to serve friends a wide range of mixed drinks. In the How to Build Your Cocktail Bar series, we’ll provide you with some easy tips on creating the best bar possible for your home. In each installment, we’ll also provide advanced items for the more seasoned cocktailian (or, of course, the adventurous amateur).
As for gin, it’s most essential to have a London Dry on hand. This is the workhorse of cocktail-making and the most common on the market. These gins tend to be strong on the juniper flavor, and are what you’d usually reach for when making a Martini or Gin & Tonic. Martin Miller's London Dry Gin is one of our favorites, as it’s balanced and versatile. We’d also suggest stocking a bottle of Plymouth English Gin, a brand that also defines its own subcategory. This is a softer, rounder, slightly sweeter style that adds variety to your repertoire. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, look to Hayman's Old Tom Gin. This yet-sweeter style was popular in the 18th century, and would have been the type that many older cocktail recipes would have been referring to when they called for gin. This uncommon variation begs for creative experimentation, but if you’re interested in a somewhat complicated cocktail with a killer payoff, we suggest a Ramos Gin Fizz.
Ramos Gin Fizz