If you’re a born entertainer or a lover of vibrant flavours, why not set up a customised cocktail bar in the comfort of your own home? Impress and entertain your friends, family or dinner party guests with a fully stocked home bar to show off your shaky shaky face or treat yourself to a perfectly mixed concoction whenever you feel like it. We’ve gathered together some spirit recommendations from the mastermind behind all things Smith & Sinclair, Emile, our Innovation Director. We don’t do standard over here in London, we want to blow your mind with the most unique spirits to place on your bar.
Let’s take a moment to think about what cocktails we love and swear by. Whether it’s the traditional favourites or the elaborate colourful creations, we have given you the go-to shopping list to stock up the perfect home bar. We understand that you may want to save a few pennies or even splash the cash, so here is a mixologist’s money-saving and cash-flowing home bar essentials. Get ready to give your best cocktail shaking moves and be crowned a self-confessed cocktail connoisseur.
1. Vodka – the spirit animal
This clear, clean-cut, pure spirit is the no.1 bar essential. It is used in a wide variety of cocktails across the world and is home to some of the favourites. Create a classic Cosmopolitan or have a go at the Smith & Sinclair Summer Brunch Cocktail – ruffle some feathers and get experimental. Kew Organic Horseradish Vodka is one of Emile’s favourites, this vodka is distilled in London and intelligently crafted with British Horseradish and specially selected botanicals. He recommends using this vodka to make a pretty damn good Bloody Mary.
2. Gin – a rising star
The world is going gin crazy and we know exactly why, it’s bloody lovely, that’s why! This versatile spirit is in popular demand and a necessity when becoming a cocktail connoisseur. Get your shaky shaky face on and mix up a cheerful Smith & Sinclair Summer Cocktail with any desired gin. Introduce your dinner party guests to a gin that is slightly bonkers – Crazy Gin by The Crazy Singh. This gin is the world’s first clear Lassi gin, it is vacuum distilled to give a cooling creamy taste to any crafted cocktail. You can find this gem in premium department stores such as Harvey Nichols.
3. Rum – a splash of exotic
Rum plays a very important part in our lives when creating our Berry Daquiri and Spiced Rum Alcoholic Cocktail Gummies, so it should play an important part in your cocktail creating journey. Place a light and dark rum in your bar to transport your guests to a boozy tropical island and create the ultimate beach cocktail. Time flies when you’re having rum right? Emile Sinclair, our Welsh icon, swears by this spiced rum made with Pembrokeshire Seaweed (maybe slightly biased but oh well). Barti Ddu Rum (Welsh for Black Bart Rum, a famous pirate) has a special place in the S&S bar and is a token of Welsh goodness.
There are two types of bartenders in this world: “did someone say tequila shots?” and the “who fancies a fresh margarita?”. Whether you enjoy the satisfying tartness of the classic Margarita or a pinch of salt, slice of lime and a hefty tequila shot tickles your fancy, this zingy and refreshing spirit is a must when bringing Mexico to your living room. Branch out from your mainstream, branded tequila and try out it’s tasty cousin – Mezcal. Both Mezcal and Tequila are part of the same spirit family and made from agave plants. Del Maguey Vida Mexcal is perfect three ways: on ice, crafted in a cocktail or straight down the hatch.
A rye whiskey is a traditional all-rounder to help you explore the avenues of the whiskey cocktail. We know the long-lived conception of whiskey sometimes scares a few people, we want to help ease you into loving this versatile and smooth spirit. Try our Kikori Whiskey – a single grain Japanese whiskey, made entirely from rice and an easy going, gentle pick for someone willing to test the whiskey waters.
- Amaretto Liqueur- the popular but easy-peasy Amaretto sours is an all-time favourite. Have this statement piece at hand to create a simple but tasty cocktail.
- Coffee Liqueur – pair with a premium vodka and a shot of espresso to wake up and excite your taste buds with the classic Espresso Martini. Dead simple and deadly delicious.
- Orange Liqueur – an essential favourite, used in tens of cocktails to bring that zesty zing. Why not shake up a showstopper with an Appletini – a tart martini perfect for all the party guests.
In order to be the master of the cocktail making scene, the obvious and all-important component of a home bar are the essential mixers. We can’t have a straight alcoholic cocktail… or can we? All jokes a side, however strong or weak you like your drink, these are the essential mixers to have by your side:
- Fresh lemon & lime to bring the zing out.
- Orange juice, a fresh bottle of vitamin C, the goodness is needed in a lot of cocktails to top of your fantastic creation, we recommend squeeze the oranges yourself for the freshest of tastes.
- A range of tonics to create the perfect G&T.
- A range of sodas such as Karma Cola, Fairtrade and made from real cola nut is the perfect mixer to fizz the pallet into action. You can find this cola in Waitrose.