Stock up your bar with these 12 ingredients and brands in 2017
YYour home bar should be like your calling card; it should speak about you, your travels, and how clued in you are to what’s trending in the upper echelons of global society. It should be stocked with surprises, but it must not miss out on the must-haves. So, what must you have in your bar this year to show, without bragging, that you are well-heeled and well-travelled? Here’s our list.
This summer has been unrelenting, so let’s start with the aperitif (Aperol) whose popularity graph is rising along with the refreshing cocktail (Spritz) that it goes into. Manchester United’s Global Spirits Partner, Aperol was born in Galileo Galilee’s city, Padua, in 1919, but is now produced and distributed by Campari.
Hibiki 21 YO from Suntory (Whisky)
Of course, we are living in whisky nation, so our bars must have a lot of them, but let’s resolve to go boutique this year. Stock Hibiki 21 YO from Suntory, which won the World’s Best Blended Whisky title at the World Whiskies Awards 2017.
This single malt is from a young Taiwanese label named after indigenous people living in the north-east of the island nation, Kavalan produced its first spirit in 2005 and continues to wow.
There’s also our own Amrut Fusion Single Malt, rated as the third best in the world. Greedy Angels, an eightyear-old, limited-edition single malt, of which only 144 bottles were released worldwide is a must-buy.
The alcoholic beverage of choice of hip and happening people is gin, and infusions are ruling the bar counters. The way to get your infusion right is to ensure that you keep your herb or fruit peel for two to 24 hours.
Can we just have a good old G&T (gin and tonic)? The new rage is Sipsmith, which brought back copper pot distilling and small batch production to London when it opened in 2009.
Ayselbury Duck (Vodka)
And vodkas? Don’t ever forget them. Surprise your guests, and show them that you know what’s trending in the world, with such as-yet-unknown gems as the New York-based 86 Co’s Ayselbury Duck.
Zacapa XO (Rum)
On your foreign travels, pick up the Guatemalan Zacapa XO, a blend of dark rums blended for six to 25 years, the Mexican El Ron Prohibido, the Trinidadian Caroni, and the Venezuelan Diplomatico.
Among the whites, a Chardonnay (Chablis), Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand), Riesling (Alsace, France, or Germany of course), and a Pinot Grigio or a Gavi de Gavi. For the reds, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend (a Grand Vin from Bordeaux, naturally), a luscious Burgundy (a Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru or one from Pommard), a Super Tuscan or an Amarone from Italy.
In the sparkling category, you must have a Prosecco for everyday drinking, but also keep a couple of bottles of champagne (a bottle each of Krug, Dom Perignon and Cristal Rose).
Bitters and Liqueurs
A selection of bitters from Bitter Truth, a much-awarded German company that entered the business in 2006; a selection of liqueurs like Bailey’s, Cointreau, Kahlua and my personal favourite, the hazelnut-flavoured Frangelico
If you can’t afford a Louis XIII, go for a duty-free special, especially the Cellar No. 16 or the Coupe Shanghai. That’s how you get your bar to talk to the world.
HIGH SPIRITS Stock up your bar with exclusive, less-known brands