Our favorite cocktail service serves up three steps for building your own booze station.
The best way to avoid the hectic holiday bar scene? Invite friends over for fireside cocktails at home. But with so little free time on your hands, how do you spruce things up in a snap? We asked the experts at Cocktail Courier, a drink delivery service, for help. Their service allows you to order a cocktail based on recipes from top bartenders nationwide, and they’ll deliver a box packed with all of the ingredients—spirits, mixers, garnishes and fresh fruit—for 4-12 people right to your door. So to stock a home bar similar to your favorite watering hole—and earn a home mixology degree in the process—here’s what they recommend:
1. Browse Cocktail Courier’s list of signature drinks from the country’s top bartenders to learn what cocktail(s) you like.
Before stocking your home bar with a myriad of expensive bottles of alcohol, browse Cocktail Courier’s list to find 1-2 cocktail(s) you love. You might quickly find that despite having a bad experience with gin in college, you now appreciate the botanicals than gin offers in cocktails. The fact that Cocktail Courier provides you with cocktail kits that contains smaller format bottles of spirits, allows you to play around with different spirit(s) and cocktail(s) without breaking the bank.
2. Once you’ve identified 1-2 cocktail(s) that you appreciate, it’s time to start building your home bar.
Alcohol: Purchase larger format bottles of each of the ingredients that make up for favorite cocktail(s) (i.e. 750ml tequila, 750ml orange liqueur, bitters etc). Being that Cocktail Courier works with the country’s top bartenders to create the recipes featured on the site, it’s safe to say that the brands mentioned on Cocktail Courier are of high quality. Feel free however to do your own research or consult a trusty bartender at a local bar/restaurant.
Non-Alcohol: Depending on what non-alcoholic mixers (i.e. club soda, tonic water, etc) that your favorite drink(s) call for, they recommend having on hand 5-7oz bottles or cans, instead of larger format ones, so you don’t have to worry about mixers going flat. In regards to fresh citrus, you’ll want to have whole fruits on hand to be able to freshly squeeze those juices into your drink.
Glassware: Glassware is all personal preference. Specific drinks will call for specific glasses, but you should select a style that reflects your personality. These are the standard glasses that you’ll see behind most cocktail bars today: champagne flutes, coupes, Collins, and rocks glasses. You’ll want to stock up on 4-8 of each.
Bar Tools: The tools you use to create your favorite drink are all relative. To properly mix your drinks like a bartender, you’ll want to have bar tools on hand like the ones shown below.
3. Expand your home bar.
Once you’ve conquered those 1-2 cocktail(s) and created a foundation for your home bar, we’d recommend identifying 1-2 more cocktails from Cocktail Courier that you like and replicate the process above.
Before you know it, you’ll be growing a long mustache, wearing a vest, and inviting all your friends over for happy hour specials.
Buying for fellow DIY mixologists this holiday season? Check out our unique bar gifts.