#1  
Old 11-24-2004, 03:40 PM
snorlax snorlax is offline
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Liquor Cabinet on a budget

I'm about to stock up on booze for Christmas and want to buy the smallest number of spirits and mixers to deliver the greatest variety of drinks.

At a guess, I think I need:

Spirits:
vodka
rum
gin
blended whisky

mixers:
cola
orange juice
tonic water

I'll also get single malt whisky and port.

Am I missing any essentials? Any useful oddities?
  #2  
Old 11-24-2004, 04:54 PM
Metacom Metacom is offline
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Perhaps some dry vermouth, triple sec, and some bitters? A coffee liqueur?
  #3  
Old 11-24-2004, 05:04 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Maybe some lime juice or actual limes?

Also, cranberry juice with a liberal squeeze of lime makes a nice non-alcoholic cocktail. For those who don't use alcohol, it's nice to have something besides water and soda.
  #4  
Old 11-24-2004, 05:28 PM
Stillsmiling Stillsmiling is offline
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May I suggest not going off-brand (well) for your liquors? Get some decent, but not expensive, call brands.

Vodka: Absolut, Finlandia or Kettel One.
Rum: Baccardi for white and Captain Morgan for spiced.
Gin: Beefeaters, Tanqueray, Bombay
Tequila: Jose Cuervo, Corazon
Bourbon: Jim Beam or Jack Daniels
Whiskey: Seagrams or Crown Royal
Scotch: Dewars

I agree with Metacom about the Dry Vermouth and Triple Sec for martinis and margaritas repectively. Also, you will need Sweet Vermouth for manhattans. You'll need tonic, coke, 7 up, club soda, OJ, cranberry juice, sweet & sour mix (surefine is a good brand) bitters and Aunt Rose's lime juice. With these ingredients, you will be able to make most drinks you could order at a bar.

You should also get olives, cocktail onions, sliced limes and lemons (about 2 or 3 of each) and marachino cherries.

I might also get a bottle of Kaluha or Tia Maria (I prefer Tia Maria), a bottle of Bailey's and a bottle of Grand Mariner for your cordials.

Don't forget your beer drinkers. Get one case of "regular" beer and one case of "light". Don't get Michelob Ultra, that stuff is crap IMNSHO.

And ice. Lots of ice.
  #5  
Old 11-24-2004, 08:50 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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For margaritas, you'll need salt. I can't remember if it's coarser (Kosher) or fine (popcorn) salt.

A few drinks use sugar, too; a whiskey sour, for example.
  #6  
Old 11-24-2004, 09:28 PM
Tentacle Monster Tentacle Monster is offline
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AskNott: I'm pretty sure that it's kosher salt. The best margaritas I've had had flat, flaky salt on the rim; and that's what I understand kosher salt is. (Note: I've never actually seen kosher salt).

If it comes down to it, though, you can get "margarita salt" that comes in a flat, wide tub for easy rimming.
  #7  
Old 11-24-2004, 10:14 PM
TheInterruptingCow TheInterruptingCow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tentacle Monster
AskNott: I'm pretty sure that it's kosher salt. The best margaritas I've had had flat, flaky salt on the rim; and that's what I understand kosher salt is. (Note: I've never actually seen kosher salt).

If it comes down to it, though, you can get "margarita salt" that comes in a flat, wide tub for easy rimming.
Okay , I know you were waiting for this but..."easy rimming"?

BWAAAAhaaahhaaaaaaaaa!

seriously, Kosher salt is a little coarse for margaritas...spring for the "margarita salt"; it's the right granular consistency and it usually comes in a convenient flat container.
  #8  
Old 11-25-2004, 04:12 AM
snorlax snorlax is offline
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Thanks for the tips, folks. Some good suggestions here. Hadn't thought about cranberry and lime juice.

Also agree with the advice about decent brands.
  #9  
Old 11-25-2004, 06:00 AM
Barbarian Barbarian is offline
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If you're on a budget, skip the spiced rum (blech) and white rum-- get a dark rum (Appleton Estate's what I drink), since you can throw that in a coke or a mojito, and some people will drink it neat.

If you don't know anyone who drinks Manhattans, skip the sweet vermouth, and a teeny bottle of dry vermouth will easily last you through the holidays unless you get a heavy martini imbiber.

Regular table salt will do in a pinch for any drink that needs it. And making simple syrup is, well, simple-- just mix a bit of sugar in warm water as needed.

Don't forget wine! Some really good boxed stuff is now coming out of Australia (like Yellowtail, which I've been drinking bottles of for years).
  #10  
Old 11-25-2004, 06:16 AM
Johnny Bravo Johnny Bravo is online now
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Don't forget a shaker and a few stirring sticks, if you haven't got them already.
  #11  
Old 11-25-2004, 11:53 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillsmiling
May I suggest not going off-brand (well) for your liquors? .
Is that what they mean by "well" drinks? I thought well drinks were what bars and restaurants give you if you don't specify the brand, and are usually on the level of, say, Beefeaters, Cutty, Gilbeys, etc. I don't know, though, because I usually don't order liquor, and when I do, I always ask for a brand.
  #12  
Old 11-25-2004, 12:38 PM
FordPrefect FordPrefect is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillsmiling
... Aunt Rose's lime juice. ...
Is this the same as Rose's Lime Cordial? Cause the inventor is/was Lauchlin Rose. Is Aunt Rose's a knockoff?

But I agree with your list entirely. Make sure the olives are stuffed, large and in juice for those who like their martinis dirty... Hint, hint.
  #13  
Old 11-25-2004, 01:21 PM
Metacom Metacom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
I thought well drinks were what bars and restaurants give you if you don't specify the brand, and are usually on the level of, say, Beefeaters, Cutty, Gilbeys, etc.
It probably depends on the bar, but usually well drinks are on the level of "Old Skeevy Uncle's Genuine Kentucky 'Bourbon'," "Igor's Single-Filtered Vodka--Now With Less Methanol!," and "Baffleby's Fancy Dry Gin-Flavored Liquor."

Not that it usually matters, because you're getting them in a cocktail, but still...
  #14  
Old 11-25-2004, 01:30 PM
Elret Elret is offline
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I definitely second the club soda. You can easily mix that with a less expensive wine that you might not normally serve to make spritzers, thereby making your wine last longer, too.

Club soda's also nice to fancy up juice for kids, especially if it comes with a plastic sword or umbrella and a cherry.

So what time should I be there? I'm thirsty already!
  #15  
Old 11-25-2004, 03:01 PM
Stillsmiling Stillsmiling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Is that what they mean by "well" drinks? I thought well drinks were what bars and restaurants give you if you don't specify the brand, and are usually on the level of, say, Beefeaters, Cutty, Gilbeys, etc.
If you don't ask for a brand by name, you do get what's in the well. If you say the name, it's a call brand. Metacom is right. It depends on the restaurant/bar. The more upscale the place is, the more likely they use call brands in the well. When I worked at the resort, we used Jack Daniels as our well bourbon. At the sports bar where I currently work, we use Old Crow (we call it Old Socks). I wouldn't drink it on a bet.

FordPrefect, I don't know why I always put the "Aunt" before "Rose's lime juice". It doesn't belong there. You take your martinis just like I like 'em.
  #16  
Old 11-25-2004, 03:37 PM
sj2 sj2 is offline
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Sweet and Sour mix and Bloody Mary mix. And don't be afraid of getting a buncho little bottles (airline sized) works well on the cheap.

My FAV shot is Frangelico and vanilla vodka. 1-1 parts in a glass. I normally make a small pitcher. Serve with lemons surrounding sugar in the middle. Dip lemon in sugar first, take it then the shot. Tastes like Chocolate cake. hmmmm...
  #17  
Old 11-26-2004, 09:32 AM
FordPrefect FordPrefect is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillsmiling
FordPrefect, I don't know why I always put the "Aunt" before "Rose's lime juice". It doesn't belong there. You take your martinis just like I like 'em.
I do stuff like that too

Cold, damp, dirty, and bruised. The only thing differentiating a good martini and a homeless person is the stuffed olives and the pointy stick.
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