There are so many products, ingredients, tools, and kitchen staples that I love and want to share with you. I plan on doing so every now and again in a category I will call: My Favorite Things. Here you will find the items that I like to keep in my home be it spices and seasonings, kitchen tools, products or in this post’s case: things I stock my home bar with that I love. (I have no affiliation with any of the product brands that I am sharing, I truly just love them.)
My Favorite Things: HOME BAR.
Spirits, books and mixers I recommend
(Yup, that’s really our home bar seen above in the pic!)
TODAYS HIGHLIGHTED SPIRITS
There are so many spirits that are amazing mixers. Too many for one post so today I am going to highlight two very different ones that I love: Domaine De Canton and St-Germain.
Domaine De Canton was an obvious must for eatdrinkginger’s first favorites post because well, it is a delicious French GINGER liquor. (wink) I love it’s spicy-sweetness. It is made with eau-de-vie and VSOP and XO Grande Champagne Cognacs. The ginger comes from fresh, baby Vietnamese ginger. The flavor profile of Domaine de Canton is described as having an aroma of ginger and honey on the nose.
For a very simple and refreshing cocktail pour Domain de Canton into the bottom of a champagne flute filling about 1/3 the way and then top it off with a dry prosecco or a dry sparkling wine. If you want to get fancy add some berries on the bottom. If you care to be more creative use this liquor in old favorites to add a gingery-twist such as making a ginger mojito. Replace the sugar or simple syrup in the recipe you find with some Domaine de Canton and then muddle it together with your mint and lime juice. Add in your rum, shake well and serve over ice. YUM!
St-Germain is an elderflower liquor. It is sweet but light, not super-syrupy. The bottle states: “Neither peach nor pear, lychee nor citrus, the sublime taste of St-Germain hints at each of these and yet none of them exactly. It is a flavor as subtle and delicate as it is captivating. A little like asking a hummingbird to describe the flavor of its favorite nectar. Trés curieux indeed, n’est-ce pas?” You will find it in every well-stocked bar because it truly compliments just about every drink.
I love making creative cocktails but have a long way to go in learning about true mixology. Having a book or two of recipes to get ideas from never hurts. There are a gazillion great cocktail books out there. The three I am sharing are ones I have found that I tend to go back to for various reasons explained below.
Shake, Stir, Sip.
I love this book because the ingredients for each cocktail in here are all added in equal amounts. I like knowing that once you have the required ingredients all you need to do is add the very same amount of each one, mix them together and enjoy. That makes it so much easier, especially if you are making drinks for a larger group. There are a handful of cocktails in here I have made and enjoyed. (I love The Paper Plane made with equal parts of: Bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino and fresh lemon juice and also love The Morning Star made with equal parts of: sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, rye whiskey, apple cider and orange liquor.) This book has also inspired some drink creations I’ve made on my own.
This book breaks down cocktails by the four seasons. It has some really unique ingredients (like strawberry jam in the Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz.) I love that it shows photos of everything you need including what kinds of alcohol. My fave in here is the Indian Summer. YUMMMM. (3 shots gin, 1 shot St-Germain, 1 shot fresh lemon juice and 8 muddled Concord grapes.)
American Whisky Bourbon & Rye:
My husband loves rye and bourbon so I bought this book and asked him to flag all of the ones he wanted to try. (There are over 300 listed with descriptions and photos. SO MANY FLAGGED, haha!) Often when I go to the liquor store I bring this book so I can find the ones he has yet to try. It not only makes it easy to shop but more than once it has gotten the attention of another customer or sales person who then recommends their favorites and I have yet to be steered wrong. The ones Ive tried so far and love the most are Buffalo Trace, Angels Envy (Smoothest one), Willett, and Elijah Craig.
MIXERS & COMPLIMENTARY SPIRITS:
There are many things that are great to always have on hand for making cocktails. Depending on what your base spirit is (vodka, rum, bourbon, gin, etc,…) you want to have things that compliment them. A few things I have found that universally compliment most spirits are the following. (Photos of many of these are included.)
- simple syrups (I make my own and infuse them with herbs such as rosemary or basil but plain simple syrup is easy to find at most grocery stores.) To learn how to make an herb-infused simple syrup check out the recipe here on the blog for my cocktail Rosie 1:2:3. Simple syrup is so easy to make even with an infusion.
- Club soda, seltzer and tonic water
- lemon-lime soda (Sprite/7-up, etc,…)
- bitters (Peychauds and Agusturas are well known brands but there are so many great ones.)
- fresh juice (orange, pineapple, apple cider, etc,…)
- lime and/or lemon juice (Fresh is always best but I keep the bottled ones in my fridge just incase I run out.)
- Berries: blueberries and blackberries are my go-to’s but others like strawberries and raspberries work great as well. (I muddle them at the bottom of cocktails as seen in the picture below.)
- Dry prosecco or a dry sparkling wine which I love to add to many cocktails simply for the bubbles but often to cut the sweetness as well. I buy the mini sized bottles when I can since typically I am only using these to top off a drink with some carbonation and therefore don’t need a lot.