by Shaun Layton | This is the ninth in a series of posts on building a home bar, five bottles and one drink at a time. I’ve listed bottles 46-50 below (see also 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45). 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).
46. Luxardo Bitter Bianco | A specialty item available at private stores for around $24. The clear bitter fits right into any bars speed rail. A great balance of bitter, herbaceousness, sweetness and viscosity with no aggressive colour. It’s like the Crystal Pepsi of the bitter world. Brand new on the global cocktail market.
47. Suntory Toki | Japanese whisky has been tearing up the charts for a few years now, and only a few have made it to BC. None have come in at a price approachable enough for bars to use in mixed drinks, however. Enter Toki from Suntory, a blended malt designed for the North American market. At $54.99 on LDB shelves, try it in your favourite stirred whisky classic; mine’s a Rob Roy (Malt whisky, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters).
48. Bitterhouse Rubato | Made by the fellows at G&W Distillery in Delta (who make Sid’s Vodka among a few other products). It’s distiller Stephen Goodridge’s carefully aimed swing at the bitter market. Think Campari only a little less bitter with a bright kick of rhubarb (I put it between Campari and Aperol). At $23 bucks it’s a steal. Pick yours up at Legacy.
49. Giffard Orgeat Syrup | This almond based syrup with a touch of orange blossom water is a staple in many tiki cocktails. If you see a Mai Tai on a menu that doesn’t contain orgeat, stay away! A very difficult syrup for the home bartender to make, stay consistent and keep affordable. The Giffard version will keep for months and cost around $14 per litre. Bonus: it’s delicious. (This story by bar legend Jeffrey Morgenthaler is a great reference if you’re are wondering to DIY or not.)
50. Ancho Reyes | A fairly new product out of Mexico City that blew up on the world’s cocktail scene a few years back. This ancho chilli-infused liqueur is now a listed product at the LDB ($43.49), and a little goes a long way. What I love about it is the spiciness and smokiness it imparts to cocktails, shaken or stirred. A very versatile product, for all types of drinks.
Cocktail | Dusty Nail
A two ingredient take on the often under appreciated Rusty Nail
60 ml Suntory Toki
20 ml Ancho reyes
Add ingredients to mixing glass, add ice, stir for 15 seconds to taste and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.