This is the 13th in a series of posts on building a home bar, five bottles and one drink at a time. I’ve listed bottles 56-60 below (see also 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50, 51-55, 56-60). Depending on how much you drink at home, or how many deadbeat roommates you have, a home bar can either take a long time to build or be done in a few trips to the liquor store. The bottles I choose aren’t necessarily the best in their respective categories, I’m just trying to use unique, readily available, and cost efficient brands. If you want to share thoughts or photos or ask any questions, fire away via Twitter (@shaunlayton).
61. Ancho Reyes Verde | From the folks who brought us Ancho Reyes chilli liqueur, comes Verde, which is made with green chilis. The heat is still there, but this beauty is more vegetal and less smokey; also brighter and more vibrant. Verde is just waiting to be shaken into Daiquiri- and Margarita-style cocktails. Half an ounce goes a long way, making it a good purchase. Find it at specialty liquor stores. | $41.49
62. Long Table Cucumber Gin | Move over Hendrick’s, we have a local distillery making cucumber gin. Cucumber notes aren’t overpowering here; a mighty juniper backbone is still present. LT Cucumber is complimented best by cramming a glass full of ice, adding a good measure of gin and finishing with a dry artisanal tonic. Cracking some black pepper on top is an easy way to add some punch. Now listed! Find it at your local LDB store. | $43.49
63. Montelobos Mezcal | Another mezcal has come on the market at a reasonable price. This one is 100% Espadin agave from the highlands of Oaxaca. Mezcal of this calibre usually weighs in at a much higher price point, so this is a great addition to the home bar or cocktail bar for drinks or sipping neat. Add a dash to stirred drinks for some smoke and subtle spice, or add a healthy measure to citrus-forward shaken drinks. Find at specialty stores. | $54.99
64. Giffard Caribbean Pineapple Liqueur | The family-owned company in the Loire is still putting out the best liqueurs and syrups on the market. The steeped-in-tradition brand is still managing to come out with innovative new SKUS. In this one, fresh and candied pineapples are macerated with seven year old Caribbean rum, resulting in a fresh and aromatic nectar nuanced with a little winter spice. This will taste fantastic in almost anything. I could see it making its way to the back of house for pastries as well. Available as at specialty stores. | $36.99
65. Miss Betters Green Strawberry bitters | A local bitters brand is taking the category by storm. These guys are coming out with some really cool new flavours, and green strawberry is a hit! A truly unique type of bitters; expect bright fruit up front with a herbaceous bitterness to finish. I want this with gin or tequila. Find your bottle at The Modern Bartender store in Chinatown.
Al Pastor Cocktail
This one reminds me of street tacos in Oaxaca…
45 ml Montelobos Espadin mezcal
15 ml Ancho Reyes Verde
15 ml Giffard Charred Pineapple liqueur
30 ml fresh lime juice
Method – Add Ingredients to a shaker, add ice, shake for 15 seconds, strain into a child coupe