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Stocking a Home Bar

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2007

A simple mix of standard and speciality liquors can create the perfect home bar.

Home Bar Liquors
1. Vodka is the workhorse of the liquor cabinet, used in basic drinks such as vodka tonics, screwdrivers, and the vodka martini.
2. Gin is the perfect clear spirit and is flavored with juniper berries. It is relatively dry when compared with other spirits and is often mixed with sweeter ingredients, such as tonic water or vermouth, to balance the dryness. The traditional martini is made with gin.
3. Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave plant, a succulent similar to the aloe plant. Tequila is used in margaritas and tequila sunrises, but it can also be enjoyed straight.
4. Rum, which is made from distilled sugarcane, is perfect for summer cocktails such as daiquiris and mojitos. It can also be served straight or on the rocks.
5. If you really enjoy Scotch or Irish whiskey, then invest in a good single malt.
6. Bourbon is basically the American version of whiskey, but the big difference is that it is made with 51 percent corn, which gives it a distinctive flavor.

Once your home bar is stocked with those essentials, add these speciality liquors:

1. A drop of white vermouth, along with gin or vodka, is what makes the martini. To make a manhattan, add red vermouth.
2. Cointreau is a distinctive orange-flavored liquor used in margaritas and Cosmopolitans.
3. Angostura bitters are concentrated bitters that help blend the flavors of many cocktails, including the old-fashioned and the manhattan.

Resources
All of these liquors are easy to find at your local liquor store.

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