January 28, 2024

The 12 Bottle Bar

An essential spirits guide for the budding mixologist.

The 12 Bottle Bar

So you want to start a home bar.

And you want to spend as little as possible to do so. What to buy?
This one's for you. 12 great bottles, all under $40, totalling less than $300.

  1. Espolon Tequila Blanco - $25 - Made from 100% agave, Espolòn blanco (white) is a great entry to the world of tequila. When you're ready, branch out to Reposado (aged) & Anejo (extra-aged).
  2. Citadelle Gin - $22 - The first "modern french" gin, Citadelle is a great introduction to the London-Dry style of gin (there are 4 main gin categories).
  3. Tito's Handmade Vodka - $20 - America's first craft vodka, it's corn based, affordably priced & makes a great option for mixing.
  4. Plantation 3 Stars Artisanal Rum - $22 - Distilled from fermented sugarcane molasses, this white rum will elevate your mojito game and put Bacardi to shame.
  5. Redemption High Righ Bourbon - $30 - With bourbon & rye being the two most commonly used types of whiskey in cocktails, Redemption High Rye Bourbon is the perfect 2-for-1 for your beginner bar.
  6. Cointreau - $34 - An orange flavored liqueur, triple sec is one of the most versatile liqueurs used in cocktails, with Cointreau being regarded of the highest quality (certified: KF).
  7. Disaronno Originale - $27 - A fruity & nutty liqueur famously known as a delicious cake additive, it can be used in many drinks to add a rich taste and velvety texture (certified: OU).
  8. Del Maguey Vida Mezcal - $36 - One of the most popular mezcal brands and a great entry into the world of smoky spirits. Use it to make a killer Mezcal Mule or Smoky Paloma.
  9. Imported / Kedem - $10 - With kosher vermouth options being very limited, your best option is to have Martini & Rossi brand brought from Israel, where they have a few kosher versions (certified: Euro Kosher). Otherwise, Kedem will work when needed (Certified: OU).
  10. Misceo Coffee Liqueur - $28 - With the revival of the espresso martini & other coffee cocktails, it should definitely be part of your home bar. Misceo is an outstanding award-winning coffee liqueur (certified: OU).
  11. Luxardo Bitter Rosso - $26 - An excellent kosher alternative to the world-famous Campari, this bitter liqueur is essential in drinks such as the Negroni & Jungle Bird  (certified: KLBD).
  12. Angostura Aromatic Bitters - $8 - Probably the most underrated category on this list, think of bitters as the spices that will make your cocktail shine, with Angostura being the most popular (certified: OU).
Now THAT is bang for your buck.