How To Stock The Perfect Bar

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to prep for poolside parties and backyard barbecues. Let’s not forget the ultimate party favor — refreshing cocktails! We asked seasoned Los Angeles bartender/musician Brent David Puls for tips on setting up a well-stocked starter bar that won’t break the bank. Cheers!

Booze 101
You need one of each basic spirit: vodka, gin, rum and tequila — plus at least one whiskey. For many cocktail recipes, you’ll need a smaller bottle each of dry and sweet vermouth (for martinis and manhattans), a bottle of Angostura bitters (for old fashioneds and the like) and a container of simple syrup (which you can make yourself by heating equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves).

Once you have the basics, think specifically about what cocktails you’ll want to make for what occasion, as a lot of your mixers can go bad or flat. If you want to make Moscow Mules, you’ll have to pick up fresh lime juice and ginger beer. If you want to make Pimms cups, you’ll need cucumbers (and Pimms, for that matter).

There are basically six types of glasses: the lowball, the highball, the rocks glass, the martini glass, the wine glass and the pint. You should at least have a lowball glass for mixed drinks, martini glasses for anything up, and pint and wine glasses for beer and wine.

The basic set-up includes a shaker, a strainer, a peeler (for twists) and a muddler. While you can use any old cutting board and any small knife for prepping garnishes, use the wrong thing to muddle garnishes and you’re likely to break your glass. If you’re planning to play barkeep for a lively party, you may also want to get a few pour spouts. They help ensure that you get all of that precious booze into the glass.

Read it on LA Times' Hangar 1 Microsite, Quintessential CA


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