Beneficiaries of my cocktail hobby often ask what spirits they can bring over to help stock the bar. The answer is: I appreciate everything. So, bring a bottle you enjoy, and we’ll make something delicious.
That said, if you’d like some additional direction, what follows are the bottles that get used most often—I’d keep these in my speed rack, if I had one. There should be at least one of these at any liquor store.
Whiskey: Johnny Drum Private Stock Bourbon, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Rittenhouse 100 Proof Rye
Gin: Plymouth, Tanqueray, Beefeater
Brandy: Pierre Ferrand Cognac 1840, Laird’s 100 Proof Apple Brandy
Rum: Plantation 5 Year Rum, Flor De Cana 4 Year Rum Extra Seco
Agave: El Tesoro Reposado Tequila, Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal
Fortified wine: Punt e Mes, Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Lillet Blanc, Cocchi Americano
Amaro: St. George Bruto Americano, Campari, Aperol
Other: Luxardo Maraschino, Chartreuse (any kind), La Marca Prosecco