How To Stock Your Bar For Winter
Baby, it’s cold outside! Time to trade light, summery salads for hearty, serious comfort food, and swap cooling cocktails for bone-warming bevvies.
This time of year also requires extra supplies on hand, to be ready for unexpected guests as the holidays loom.
Is your bar ready? Check our tips below and warm-up that drink list for winter.
Beat the chill with Bourbon & Whisky
No winter bar is complete without some brown spirits — including whisky, bourbon, brandy and cognac. Not all browns are created equal: brandy is distilled from wine while whiskies come from grains such as wheat, barley and corn. But whatever their origins, brown spirits are imbued with rich taste and incredible mixability, blending beautifully with sodas and juices. They are a staple for any winter bar so be sure to stock classics such as Makers Mark, Jack Daniels, Jameson’s and Glenfiddich.
Beyond the hot toddy
You may think Caribbean warmth and sunshine when you think of rum, but this sugar-cane spirit is perfect for winter cocktails. It’s gorgeous served warm and buttered, and completes that holiday eggnog. And seriously: is delish rum punch ever a bad idea? This time of year, go for the dark, like Bacardi Dark, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum or Appleton Estate, rather than a clear rum. And hey, leftovers will still serve you well come daiquiri season.
Don’t overlook Vodka and Gin
Sure, vodka and gin may seem synonymous with summer cocktails, but if it’s okay to wear white after Labor Day, it’s fine and dandy to enjoy clear spirits all year — and they go so well with so many combinations. Smooth, colorless vodka is everybody’s baby — you can even put it in hot chocolate! Keep a classic, such as Grey Goose or Pinnacle Vodka on hand, and if you want to mix it up, there’s a world of flavored vodkas out there, such as Ciroc Pineapple Vodka, that are worth a shot. And don’t forget the gin — a little Tanqueray or Beefeater is key to these gin-based cold-weather cocktails.
Cool Weather Confections
This time of year, everyone loves a liquer. Strong, thick and sweet, these powerful treats hit the spot, especially after a good meal. Have a few varieties on hand to suit everyone’s tastes — classics, such as Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlua, and the offbeat, such as Carolan’s Creama. Straight, mixed with coffee or compatible spirits, liqueurs are always a warm, sweet ending.
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