Even if you don’t drink much -like me- having a proper liquor stock at home (not necessarily a bar) is an obligation of every gentleman. Being able to treat your guests to the best quality spirits is always the brand of a gentleman. However, this doesn’t mean you just need to “dress to impress”. Knowing your spirits will go a long way when it comes to completing a successful dinner, whether is a date or just with friends. So, here are some basic rules I dug from the web but also from asking a couple of friends who are bartenders.
Rule #1 Having a minimum offer at home is a sign of class and maturity
You should at least have a few things you like. This if you don’t drink at all then go to rule number two immediately. But, if you do like an occasional sip of something, then that’s the first thing you should invest in. Now, let’s be blunt here. Liquor -good liquor- is pricey. You don’t have to go crazy about the price but don’t be a cheap bastard and learn how to appreciate maturity, aging process, origin denomination and other qualities of high end distillates. Know them! Don’t just buy because it is expensive because you will be asked when offering it and you risk coming across like a total douche if you don’t know why you selected that particular bottle. Plus, the story behind a bottle is always an interesting topic to conversate.
Rule #2 Start small. Repeat after me: start small.
It is ways better to have the best from the basics than having a bunch of low tier products. Invest wisely, care for what you buy and serve accordingly. These are not to get people wasted but rather to give them a taste of something precious.
The very basics to have are:
I’m a wine lover and I always keep in between 60 to 80 bottles on stock. I know the winemaker history and a bit of information on the terroir where the grapes come from. I do not take many blends because I like my wine to be pure but, if this is what you prefer id always good to have a few just to suit every taste. I will go into wine later.
Rule #3 You don’t need a bottle display
Although many guys out there like to display their bottles, I’m not a big fan of it. I believe it looks a bit cheap unless you have a proper bar setup at your place. In my case I do display wine because I have a significant amount of different bottles and I do know my wines so, if you are just starting. Find yourself a nice cabinet at home around the living area and keep your stash there, where you have ease of access but you’re not showing a slim amount. However, this ruled can be suppressed if you have a spectacular piece of furniture that fits just a few bottles.
Rule #4 Wine is a separate matter
Most will argue here that spirits are also a separate matter and, of course, they are. However, wine is an ample world and a true topic of conversation, especially when is intimately related to what you’re eating. The knowledge of over your wine will only enhance your capability to stun people with what you offer as a meal but, also, wine is a perfect drink to enjoy in a light manner for a quick date or a meeting with a friend. You’ll find yourself serving wine more often than what you do with spirits. A few things about wine are:
Sauvignon Blanc is a must for people enjoying a good glass of white, however, you should either keep it cooled or be ready to put it in the refrigerator in advance.
A sweet late harvest will do wonders at the time of dessert and will bring that pinch of sophistication needed at the end of the meal, before going into a harder drink.
Rule #5 If you can’t mix cocktails, stay away from them.
Cocktails are tricky. You can always keep a cheat sheet somewhere around your stash but I would recommend learning a few or even one for each spirit you keep and be careful about what you offer. The other downside of cocktails is that you will need proper glassware and ingredients to prepare them. Keep it simple and offer what you can really master. Here are some ingredients you should have around plus a good mixer and some other bar tools:
Rule #6 The simplest is the better. Have beers
Beer is the archenemy from wine when competing for that place on the table. Many gents enjoy a cold one while having dinner or even before. In Bavaria -where I live- Beer is a must-have. This does not mean you need to stock on the cheap beer and let it be the end of it. No! We are gentlemen and we are connoisseurs of what we serve. Apply the same rules as when it comes to wine. Select a few craft beers to have at hand, something with character and that you can perfectly pair to a tasty meal. You can also have them sorted by country or even rarity. There is a lot of room to play when it comes to brews.
As a final note, here are a few online sites where I purchase liquor for the above. Enjoy!
If you have anything to add, make sure you leave a comment :)
Slyrs Bavarian Whisky