Key to the Liquor Cabinet

You’ve got the basic repertoire down and are ready to embellish. You learned how to wield your muddler making mojitos in Level 1, so now try buying fresh fruit and muddling it into your favorite spirit. This level adds a few unexpected crowd pleasers: a kir royale champagne cocktail, a homemade Bloody Mary, a Negroni, a Sidecar. We’ve also included recipes for some simple homemade bar snacks. And a few tools you don’t need but will find plenty of use for. How did you live this long without fancy ice tongs?

Liquors

A fruit or nut cordial, such as cassis, framboise, amaretto, Drambuie, or Frangelico
A premium sippin’ version of your favorite liquor(s)—for example, Scotch, tequila, vodka, cognac, rum, gin (think artisanal, drink it plain, and enjoy)

1 bottle Brandy
1 bottle Campari
1 bottle dark rum
1 bottle dry sherry
MYO

Rich Simple Syrup, a solution of sugar and water, is common in professional bars—it mixes right into cold drinks, eliminating those annoying undissolved sugar particles. (You should be able to find it in specialty groceries if you don’t feel like turning on the stove.)

Tools

A citrus channel knife for making perfect lemon or orange twists

Some nice ice traysthese silicone ones from Crate & Barrel make perfect cubes that are easy to remove.

Ice bucket

Fancy ice tongs

Ice crusher

Wine bucket

Jug or pitcher

Speed pourers to help prevent spills and heavy-handed pours

Fancy decorative toothpicks like these tulip picks

Drink tags to help keep straight who’s drinking out of which glass

Paper napkins with a nice print or design

Mixers and Garnish
Bottle or can of tomato juice
Fancier juices, such as passion fruit, pomegranate, or guava

Unsweetened versions of common juice (so that you can control the sugar content), such as Knudsen’s Just Cranberry, Just Concord Grape, or Just Cherry

Interesting purchased pickled things, such as green beans, okra, jalapeños, or asparagus

Candied fruit, such as ginger, pineapple, or kumquats

Dried vegetables or fruit, such as dried apple rings or dried chiles

Horseradish

Hot sauce, such as Tabasco

Worcestershire sauce
Fresh Stuff to Buy Last Minute
Seasonal fresh fruit, vegetables, or herbs for muddling or for garnishes
NOW YOU CAN ADD THESE DRINKS TO YOUR REPERTOIRE

TO GET TO LEVEL 2, START WITH LEVEL 1