Every year I do this exercise to see whats needed to fill out a “well-rounded” bar that can suit most needs for the folks that come over and want to mix drinks. Most of the books for bartenders list way too much, or are so outdated that they still think drinks from the 60’s are en vogue. Since we generally don’t drink too much hard liquor at home, this is, to some extent, an attempt to match our bar up to the tastes of the people who will visit.

I do enjoy Scotch (single malt), and good tequila, so there are several types of each. Beyond that, its mostly an attempt to have a good solid set of mixers so people can play around and try something new if they want.

Invariably, the things we end up using the most of are shots (tequila, jaeger, rumple, goldschlagger, etc) and the ingredients in the most common party drinks, like margueritas. There is usually a least one instance of scotch tasting for the expert and uninitiated. After reading this, it sounds like we’re a bunch of alcoholics. That isn’t really accurate. There are a few people who maybe go a bit too far, and they are invariably labelled as the year’s party victims (there’s always at least one), but most people keep it under control.

I don’t consider myself a heavy drinker. I drink socially (never alone), and usually about once or twice a week. I occasionally have a beer with a meal as well, but not normally. For all that though, when I do drink, I’m sort of a snob about it, and want very fine tasting stuff. Single malt scotches, never blends. Anejo tequilas, small batch beers that tend towards the very hoppy (IPA, ESB, etc). I’d sooner die than have to stomach a mass produced beer (the Bud, Coors and Millers of the world). I’d rather spend that very small amount of time I am drinking enjoying it. Just like life.