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!

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