Must-Have Spirits For the Home Bar

People's Voice Awards: Spirits Edition


As a child growing up, I learned a lot about what I should and should not like to drink at a very young age. No, my parents were not filling my sippy cup with Scotch instead of juice, but my father was certainly educating me on the basic principles of a “must-have.” As you’re about to see, his list was pretty straight-forward:

“Bourbon, Scotch, Rum.”

“But dad, what about all the other liquors you can drink?”

“What other liquors?”

Needless to say, my father is a pretty easy-going drinker. His must-have spirit essentials are the ones he grew up with, and from him I learned I should have a few must-haves of my own as well. Having a collection of essential spirits at your disposal is more important than you think. Coming home from a long day at the office, I want nothing more than a dry, dirty gin martini. What happens if I don’t have my favorite brand of gin on hand? Devastation, that’s what.
Today, we are officially kicking off the People’s Voice Awards: Spirits Edition, mainly focusing on the must-have spirits for the home bar. After carefully researching and scanning the shelves at many a fine spirit retailer, we’ve come up with a list of spirits that satisfy two important elements of the home bar: spirits for cocktails and spirits for sipping.

So how do we differentiate between cocktail spirits and sipping spirits, you ask? Beyond palate, there’s also a pretty reliable economic rule of thumb, which we came upon during our research: more often than not, spirits at a lower price point tend to be better for mixing in cocktails, while spirits at a higher price point are more attractive to sip. This doesn’t say anything about the quality of the spirit per se, rather it speaks to how we view price in terms of weight: I would much rather sip on a single malt Scotch—a good one will usually cost a pretty penny—then mix it in a cocktail.

Now that we’ve provided you with all of these fine spirits, the tables are turned—in your direction. In the spirit of democracy, we want your votes on which spirits are the must-haves for your household bar. Vote once, vote twice, vote 10 times if you want (you can only vote 10 times per week, you eager beavers, but be sure to get those votes in every week). We want to hear your voice!

Cheers to you all, and let the voting begin!

Mentioned in this article


  • You are missing High West Whiskey. I would not make a manhatten without their double rye.

    Jan 28, 2013 at 6:34 PM

  • Snooth User: Rich Tomko
    Hand of Snooth
    103444 2,868

    what about Balcones Brimstone Whiskey for the Sipping Whiskeys category?

    Jan 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

  • Disappointed to see mostly the big industrial brands represented when there are so many high quality artisanal spirit brands becoming available. Some great examples can be found here:

    Jan 29, 2013 at 11:03 AM

  • Snooth User: Jean Taylor
    1174159 43

    It sounds cheesy and cheap, but Black Stallion Russion Vodka is one of the best and smoothest Vodkas out there for sipping, and half the price of Grey Goose!

    Also, How did you miss Johnnie Walker Blue Label for sipping??! I know it's blended, but Really?! BEST SCOTCH EVER!

    Jan 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM

  • For a blended scotch Black Bottle, gin Brokers, rum Pyrat for sipping Cockspur for a rum and tonic.

    Jan 29, 2013 at 1:38 PM

  • Snooth User: rnorth
    814485 4

    ice cold from the freezer Belvedere vodka, for sipping or very dry vodka martini. Also nice Irish Whiskey for sipping on rocks or straight up

    Jan 29, 2013 at 3:54 PM

  • Snooth User: jdgrog
    110501 7

    You can go to 10 different sites and come up with 100 totally different results for the "best of". My suggestion is to try them all and decide for yourself!

    Jan 29, 2013 at 4:39 PM

  • Snooth User: tgl88
    1139280 28

    Blanton single barrel bourbon on the rocks

    Jan 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM

  • Snooth User: fmrees
    554522 89

    for true favorites I'd have added Brinley's Gold vanilla rum for both mixing and sipping, Death's Door gin, modern I suppose, and Exclusiv Vodka for mixing

    Feb 28, 2013 at 4:33 PM

  • Snooth User: diheath926
    1216669 42

    Johnnie Walker Blue and Tres Generaciones Tequila are missing!

    Mar 01, 2013 at 4:11 PM

  • I agree with the Russian stallion vodka for either catagory
    and also with the Blantons single barrel bourbon either of their 2 labels.

    Mar 02, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Add a Comment

Search Articles

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Snooth Media Network