Food & Drink

Essential spirits for home bar?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 27th, 2018 7:57 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2018
133 posts
7 upvotes
Mississauga, ON

Essential spirits for home bar?

Hey

I want to set up a little home bar just for guests of friends and family that come over for a quick hangout or whatever.

Im not knowledgeable about cocktails or drink cocktails religiously enough to know whats good or not.

I googled search on what bottles to buy ... Basically telling me to get one bottle for each type like vodka, gin, tequila etc but I don't know which one is the best and good enough value without getting ripped off because these sites are from the US and you know prices here in Canada is a bit more pricey

Can you guys help me out?
35 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 21, 2016
2563 posts
760 upvotes
Buy the cheapest thing you can in glass (not plastic) if you’re mixing it
If you’re not mixing it you might as well get the cheapest thing you can because anyone who drinks hard liquor plain probably has no taste buds anyways
Last edited by toronto19850 on Jul 11th, 2018 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nov 10, 2015
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Monte Creek, BC
It all depends on the quality of alcohol your friends expect, $30 bottles or $150 bottles of a particular type.
And if your friends want straight or mixed drinks. If they want straight then you'll want a better quality. If they like mixed drinks then you can get away with a lower quality.

For example, Jose Cuervo is popular with some groups of young people that like doing shots, but for most people it's absolute crap, aka rot gut. But a good quality tequila, for sipping, could run you $130 or more.

So it all depends on the class of your friends
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2018
133 posts
7 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
toronto19850 wrote:
Jul 11th, 2018 9:41 pm
Buy the cheapest thing you can in glass (not plastic) if you’re mixing it
If you’re not mixing it you might as well get the cheapest thing you can because anyone who drinks hard liquor plain probably has no taste buds anyways
poleman wrote:
Jul 11th, 2018 9:42 pm
It all depends on the quality of alcohol your friends expect, $30 bottles or $150 bottles of a particular type.
And if your friends want straight or mixed drinks. If they want straight then you'll want a better quality. If they like mixed drinks then you can get away with a lower quality.

For example, Jose Cuervo is popular with some groups of young people that like doing shots, but for most people it's absolute crap, aka rot gut. But a good quality tequila, for sipping, could run you $130 or more.

So it all depends on the class of your friends
pfft $150! ... they can go buy the bottle and drink it themselves lol... I'm not that generous

I don't want to buy so cheap alcohol, just enough that they can enjoy some quality when they come to my place and it memorable that "oh I had a nice drink at his place" while they were thinking back :)

I know some friends drink gin & tonic, rum and coke, jack daniels whiskey straight up (better bottle like rittenhouse?), moscow mule, amaretto sour, corona (gotta be better than corona out there)... that just from 4 people
Sr. Member
Aug 12, 2012
646 posts
159 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Usually if it's a home bar for entertaining, you're mixing and playing bartender. If you get into shots, it's usually later in the night when you're already too drunk to really notice much flavour. I'd say get a bunch of 750ml bottles from standard brands for each type of booze. You can't go wrong with Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray Gin, Crown Royal rye, Captain Morgan rum etc... they're usually around $25-30. That's just for starters and you can always try different brands as you like. Just make sure you've got soft drinks/juice on hand for mixing. In my own bar, I just have the 'basic' brands for most alcohols, but I'm a fan of rye so I've got a few different brands stocked for that.

If you want to impress your guests and have a signature cocktail, do some recipe searching online and play around with them. Sites like this http://bartenderapp.com/ can be helpful.
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Jan 9, 2011
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Grand Marnier for winter parties. Pour a shot in hot chocolate and top with whipped cream. Simple and so good. Actually, forget winter, I'm going to make one now
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2018
133 posts
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Mississauga, ON
Frank311 wrote:
Jul 11th, 2018 11:10 pm
Usually if it's a home bar for entertaining, you're mixing and playing bartender. If you get into shots, it's usually later in the night when you're already too drunk to really notice much flavour. I'd say get a bunch of 750ml bottles from standard brands for each type of booze. You can't go wrong with Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray Gin, Crown Royal rye, Captain Morgan rum etc... they're usually around $25-30. That's just for starters and you can always try different brands as you like. Just make sure you've got soft drinks/juice on hand for mixing. In my own bar, I just have the 'basic' brands for most alcohols, but I'm a fan of rye so I've got a few different brands stocked for that.

If you want to impress your guests and have a signature cocktail, do some recipe searching online and play around with them. Sites like this http://bartenderapp.com/ can be helpful.
I'm not getting into shots, not that type of person... just enjoy a cocktail or two with a few friends and family and hangout on my condo balcony, socialize or watch a game.

I'm in the food service profession, I know most times, good quality ingredients produce good quality products and not cut corner... it would be cool to create a few cocktails
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Jan 27, 2004
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T.O. Lotto Captain
Honestly... you can just stock the cheapest version of each. Or the main brand. Like a smirnoff and bombay.
Because if my buddy invited me over for drinks and had all these bottles i’m in no right to complain!

Unless theyre really Douchey!
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Mar 23, 2008
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For gin, we keep a bottle of The Botanist Gin on hand for "tasting" drinks, like gin and tonic. And then a bottle of cheaper stuff for drinks where you're not really going to notice the specific flavors of the gin, like a Long Island Ice Tea. Same for tequila... A bottle of good stuff for sipping, a bottle of cheaper stuff for everything else. Vodka is usually whatever's on sale, since it's usually mixed with stuff in caesars, etc. Same for rum.

When we know someone is coming over for dinner or whatever, I'll ask what they drink, and if we don't have it, I ask for specifics if I need it. Like, when it comes to whiskey... Most people won't mention something horribly expensive in that case, and you'll have something you can keep around for the next person. Assuming they don't finish it that night... :)

C
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Dec 3, 2009
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Toronto
If your "bar" is just a cupboard in your kitchen and you want to go minimal, I suggest to get a bottle of Jameson and a bottle of Absolut...you pick 750ml, 1.14L, or 1.75L sizes.

If you have a bar to fill and looking to get 10 or more bottles, varying mixers and sippers of different spirits and want value in your sippers, I can make you a shopping list.

But for basic things, you won't really be getting "ripped off" as most provinces have price floors.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 23, 2004
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Toronto
For Vodka and Rum mixed drinks I'd recommend Stolichnaya and Havana Club Anejo. Both are much better than the cheap stuff while not being much more expensive

Ballentines is also an excellent scotch for the price
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Jun 21, 2016
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raptors87 wrote:
Jul 11th, 2018 10:39 pm
pfft $150! ... they can go buy the bottle and drink it themselves lol... I'm not that generous

I don't want to buy so cheap alcohol, just enough that they can enjoy some quality when they come to my place and it memorable that "oh I had a nice drink at his place" while they were thinking back :)

I know some friends drink gin & tonic, rum and coke, jack daniels whiskey straight up (better bottle like rittenhouse?), moscow mule, amaretto sour, corona (gotta be better than corona out there)... that just from 4 people
Buy some empty bottles of expensive liquor and fill them with cheap stuff
They won’t be able to tell the difference
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Jul 4, 2018
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Vancouver
for a "good enough" bar...I would say load up with:

- Vodka (Absolut)
- Bombay Gin
- Sailor Jerry spiced rum
- Tequila


Popular mixers to have on hand:
- tonic water
- 7/up
-coca cola
-club soda
- ginger ale
-cranberry juice
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2018
133 posts
7 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
UrbanPoet wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 2:25 am
Honestly... you can just stock the cheapest version of each. Or the main brand. Like a smirnoff and bombay.
Because if my buddy invited me over for drinks and had all these bottles i’m in no right to complain!

Unless theyre really Douchey!
i will research on what is the cheapest/main brand for each spirit
CNeufeld wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 11:16 am
For gin, we keep a bottle of The Botanist Gin on hand for "tasting" drinks, like gin and tonic. And then a bottle of cheaper stuff for drinks where you're not really going to notice the specific flavors of the gin, like a Long Island Ice Tea. Same for tequila... A bottle of good stuff for sipping, a bottle of cheaper stuff for everything else. Vodka is usually whatever's on sale, since it's usually mixed with stuff in caesars, etc. Same for rum.

When we know someone is coming over for dinner or whatever, I'll ask what they drink, and if we don't have it, I ask for specifics if I need it. Like, when it comes to whiskey... Most people won't mention something horribly expensive in that case, and you'll have something you can keep around for the next person. Assuming they don't finish it that night... :)

C
I like the tasting and mixing versions.... but not every spirit tho right? just gin, tequila, scotch/whisky type and rum (my family from the caribbean, so I gotta have rum) for sipping?

lcbo have things on sale?! i see the site have things on sale like a buck or two cheaper than regular price :rolleyes:
No Frills wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 1:33 pm
If your "bar" is just a cupboard in your kitchen and you want to go minimal, I suggest to get a bottle of Jameson and a bottle of Absolut...you pick 750ml, 1.14L, or 1.75L sizes.

If you have a bar to fill and looking to get 10 or more bottles, varying mixers and sippers of different spirits and want value in your sippers, I can make you a shopping list.

But for basic things, you won't really be getting "ripped off" as most provinces have price floors.
I want the shopping list

I don't mean most provinces and price floors... I meant certain brands that is good for price or good quality for the price and not paying for the name because of high marketing or brand power
ReeGee wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 2:36 pm
For Vodka and Rum mixed drinks I'd recommend Stolichnaya and Havana Club Anejo. Both are much better than the cheap stuff while not being much more expensive

Ballentines is also an excellent scotch for the price
alright great! thanks for the suggestions
toronto19850 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 4:02 pm
Buy some empty bottles of expensive liquor and fill them with cheap stuff
They won’t be able to tell the difference
lol did you do that?

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