How to Stock a Party-Worthy Cocktail Bar
Entertaining expert A.J. Rathbun picks the liquors and mixers to splurge (or save) on.
Try: Absolut, $25 for 750 milliliters, or Rain Organics, $20 for 750 milliliters.
Try: Gordon’s, $10 for 750 milliliters.
Try: Knob Creek, $30 for 750 milliliters. To really wow bourbon types, try Booker’s Bourbon; $60 for 750 milliliters.
Try: Mount Gay Eclipse Silver, $18 for 750 milliliters, or Flor de Caña Rum Centenario 12-Year-Old, $34 for 750 milliliters.
Tequila: Save or Splurge
Try: Patrón Silver, $45 for 750 milliliters.
Whiskey and Scotch: Splurge
Try: Glenmorangie Single Malt, $40 for 750 milliliters.
Club Soda and Tonic: Splurge
Try: Canada Dry or Schweppes, $1.60 to $1.90 for one liter.
Fruit Juices: Splurge
Why? Rathbun insists that home-squeezed juices make all the difference. (Buy 25 lemons, 25 limes, and 15 oranges for every 50 guests.) Otherwise, try the half-gallon jugs of fresh juice at Whole Foods ($3.50 to $4) and ReaLemon Juice ($3 for 15 ounces).
And when it comes to garnishes, splurge.
Try: Frutto d’Italia olives, $12 for 13 ounces, amazon.com. Tillen Farms Merry Maraschino Cherries, $7 for 14 ounces, worldpantry.com.