At our house, the bar isn’t stocked with every liqueur imaginable. If a friend has a favorite (like Sambuco or Amaretto — you know who you are!), we’ll keep a bottle on hand to make him smile. Otherwise, here are the ones we mix up frequently:
Orange flavored and sweet liqueurs come in handy to brighten up all sorts of drinks, from Journalists to Margaritas. I just peeked behind the bar, and this is what we have:
- Triple sec (homemade Triple sec in the refrigerator)
- Cointreau (sometimes it’s Grand Marnier, depending on what’s on sale)
A bottle of white creme de menthe or peppermint schnapps will provide
you with some interesting flavors for those inspired moments of
mixology during the winter months.
Great for dessert drinks and guests who have a sweet tooth:
- Irish cream (here’s how to make Irish cream at home), like Bailey’s
- coffee liqueur
- creme de cacao
Bitters adds complexity — both to the flavor and scent — to mixed drinks. One of our favorite drinks, The Journalist, has a a couple dashes of bitters. We have three kinds of bitters in our bar (one in the refrigerator):
- Angostura aromatic bitters — floral, bitter, and slightly sweet, a traditional bitters good for most drinks; you can make bitters at home, if you’re resourceful. Here’s the recipe.
- Peychaud’s aromatic bitters — more bitter than angostura
- Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters — the one that tastes and smells the most orange of all, like orange peels, slightly sweet
- Cherry Vanilla Bitters — great for whiskey drinks. Here’s how to make Cherry Vanilla Bitters.
You can get bitters at BevMo or even order it from Amazon.