Raising the Bar: Part 2

When I wrote about stocking your own at-home bar, I listed some of the basics that form the foundation of any good personal watering hole. Crazy thing is, I actually don’t have a bar to keep all my stuff…it’s in random places throughout my apartment (sad, but true). I store my liquor in my TV stand, my barware in the kitchen, and I have half a case of wine under the dining room table! My goal is to have a legit bar by the end of the year.

Living in New York, space is obviously a premium and I don’t have the room for some ridiculously remarkable home bar like this:

However, there are a ton of options for space saving bars that have both form and function. Here are a few that I like:

Storage will be key since I tend to accumulate various spirits and hold on to things for a while (I have a bottle of Haitian Rum I can’t drink but won’t get rid of…actually it makes a good rum cake). The good thing is liquor has a great shelf life – no need to worry about Tequila going bad the way white wine does. I’m like a kid at Disney World when I go to a well stocked Liquor Store or visit the barware section of Crate & Barrel.

My mom and I literally go into supermarket sweep mode when we visit Total Wine in River Edge! As I mentioned before, I like to try to recreate cocktails I’ve had out at home and so I end up buying random bottles of liquor to “recipe test.” I probably have more flavored brandy than anyone should.

This weekend, I will be buying a bottle of St. Germaine because I love it and it keeps popping up in all these amazingly mouth-watering cocktails around the city! I’m also coveting a few other bar goodies–so if I have any friends out there who are wondering what to buy me for my b-day or Christmas please refer back to this post in November.

My Top 5 Most Wanted Bar Items

1. King Cube Ice Tray. I love giant ice cubes!!! They look amazing, cool your drink fast, and don’t melt as quickly as smaller cubes do. If you’ve never experienced these remarkable hexahedrons pay attention the next time you are out at a good bar.

2. Whiskey Stones. I know, I just said I love ice but sometimes you need to keep a drink cool for an extended period of time- like when sipping cognac or whiskey and you don’t want it watered down. Just pop these babies in the freezer and you are all set for a slow-sipping-strong-scotch (say that three times fast).

3. Wine Decanter. Some argue that they don’t really enhance the flavor of wine, but they look cool and I want one. Nough’ said!

4. Small Bar. It’s about all I have room for.

5. Vintage Cocktail Books. I envision my living room having a lovely little bar in the corner and above it I will have a bookshelf filled with vintage cocktail books. Books, which I will reference as I lounge around said living room wearing a long caftan and a turban sipping a fine crafted vodka gimlet that doesn’t melt because I have really large ice cubes in it.

And of course, here are the recipes for the cocktails I will be trying this weekend. I will do a full post on St. Germain soon. Cheers!

ST Rita

2 oz. Tequila Blanco

1 oz St Germain

¾ oz Fresh Lime Juice

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and mix. Strain into a salt- rimmed rocks glass (I’ll be skipping the salt) and garnish with a lime wedge.

French Gimlet

2 oz Gin

1 oz St Germain

½ oz Fresh Lime Juice

Splash Simple Syrup

Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker and shake well. Strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

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