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So, now that cocktails are mixed at home for now, what items do those of you who are really borderline professional at making them suggest having on hand. I don't mean the usual stuff we all are familiar with vodkas, bourbons etc. I mean things like yellow and green charteuse, mezcals, esoteric rums (rhums), oddball bitters (like Bittermens' Hellfire Bitters), cordials etc. Things that appear more/most often in cocktail recipes. 


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I left out Peychaud’s, Angostura, and Campari because I thought they were included in the “basic” stuff Evelyn excluded from her question.  But since it isn’t obvious what’s “basic” (I mean, I’d

It's really hard to say because there is a huge amount of stuff out there and I get a sense a lot of new cocktails are simply built around a new amaro/liqueur/bitters. It really is such a personal pre

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Green Chartreuse

Yellow Chartreuse

Cointreau or Combier (Triple Sec)


Regan's No. 6 Orange Bitters

Del Maguey Vida Mezcal (best Mezcal for mixing -- others are better for sipping) (Mezcal doesn't seem very unbasic to me)

Barsol Pisco (I personally use Quierolo Pisco, but mainly for sentimental reasons) (I don't even know if you can get it here)

Edited by Sneakeater
Left out the designation "Vida". Look like a moron.
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47 minutes ago, Wilfrid said:

And now I have the Luxardo Maraschino (and can make a Last Word sans creme de violette), I realize I am out of sweet vermouth, with which I could make a Martinez.


Last Word doesn't take creme de violette. Are you thinking of an Aviation? 

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1 hour ago, Wilfrid said:

And now I have the Luxardo Maraschino (and can make a Last Word sans creme de violette), I realize I am out of sweet vermouth, with which I could make a Martinez.


Um. Never creme de violette in a Last Word. But if you mean Aviation, you can definitely still have a very drinkable Aviation without creme de violette. To use enough of it to make your drink blue makes it wayyyyy too floral for my tastes anyway.

I always have a hard time making suggestions about building out a bar collection with more esoteric ingredients. For me, the collection accretes as I figure out what I want/need to suit my (always evolving) tastes.

I mean, there are base spirits alone that can expand wildly -- sure, you can do an American whiskey (bourbon? rye? both, of course!), a blended scotch, and oh, yeah, let's throw in some Irish whiskey; tequila (blanco of course, oh wait, sometimes I could use a reposado, and good to have an anejo for sipping), gin (London dry, but hey wait, what's all this about Old Tom, and I think maybe this Navy Strength stuff sounds interesting, and a Plymouth for softer gin use, and wait, what about the one that has that crazy pea blossom and turns purple?). Rum alone spins out into a rabbit hole you'll never dig out from once you go that way.

And yeah, Sneakeater lists a good set of "extras", but some people are not big fans of Chartreuse for instance (though I always stock both yellow and green). And Suze is certainly a "love it/hate it" thing that I'd put on the bubble.

Benedictine, though, I find indispensible. I could drink a Vieux Carre every day and not get tired of it.

Oh, and the mezcal he suggests, you specifically want Del Maguey Vida. There are all kinds of different offerings they have, but Vida is the one that's priced for general cocktail usage! Which I mention only because I know it's what Sneakeater meant and just trying to be helpful.

Edited by plattetude
To come across as less of a jerk. :-)
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