“I want to start stocking a bar at home. To make a few rudimentary cocktails (slightly more complicated than a Jack and Coke), what are the bare essentials that every man should have?” —Rick S., Tampa, FL
Tobin Ellis, a bar consultant and award-winning bartender, suggests buying these basic spirits: gin, vodka, bourbon, rye, rum (both light and dark), vermouth (sweet and dry), tequila, and Campari. For mixers, pick up some sugar, agave nectar, Angostura bitters, and ginger beer. And finally, keep handy some lemons, limes, and oranges. “Believe it or not, with this small setup you can mix up most of the classics,” says Ellis, “including the martini, Manhattan, old-fashioned, daiquiri, margarita, negroni, and maybe a Moscow mule or two for your less-adventurous friends. Learn to master a simple daiquiri and an old-fashioned and you can satisfy just about anybody, from that smoking-hot brunette down the hall to your grandmother paying you a visit.”
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