An Intelligent Man…

“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools”
– Ernest Hemmingway

“Work is the curse of the drinking class”
– Oscar Wilde

I know what you are thinking…a post about how I drink too much wine followed up by an impromptu “home bar” post, this young lady drinks waaaaay too much. Truth be told I am not a heavy drinker…more of a wine enthusiast who likes to entertain. So here is what I (as in just little old me) think every at home entertainer should acquire to have a well stocked bar, capable of throwing out the odd martini or signature cocktail. My bar is petite. Fits on top of my hutch, is not cluttered and all the fixins’ are tucked away from plain sight.

My bar…

Let us start with the basics.

Stemware -wine glasses, rocks glasses, martini glasses, champagne flutes and aperitif glasses. Simple enough, mine are collected from winners, antique stores and some are even hand-me-downs (aka bright blue champagne flutes from UJ). These are basics, nothing fancy, and remember lots of these can double as dessert bowls.  My little antique aperitif glasses are short, fat and wide…beautiful for a sorbet! Champagne flutes make wonderful single serving trifle vessels. Think outside the box!

Vintage brandy sniffer! A house warming gift from Ang!
Fun Details from Chantal!    

Tools– One must have a decent wine corker…this is very valuable in my house (HA). A simple no fuss shot glass, mortar and pestle (or a muddler, you can make do with a glass and wooden spoon if you have to), a martini shaker and a cute wine corker (not a must have.. but fun!).

Beautiful granite m and p from Sinead!
Tools tucked away…

Liquor-  It is smart to have a bottle of red or white (or both) on hand, one never knows when they will have company, or have a last minute invite to dinner at a friends place (never arrive empty handed!). Then basics, vermouth, bitters and a liquor or two. I always have cassis on hand. Then baileys, rum, gin, vodka and a scotch. Not a lot but the basics for many different drinks (your company will be amazed!).

Garnish– Lemons and limes generally reside in my fridge anyway as do green olives. Fun straws can also serve as a garnish. Don’t forget about ice cubes. Tip: Boil the water to make your ice, you will have crystal clear ice cubes. Freeze berries in cubes for summer drinks or slice blood oranges, grapefruits and lemons, freeze on cookie sheet and you have an ice cube substitute that works as a garnish without watering down your drink, think sangria!

Mixes– Soda water ,clamato, cranberry juice and lime cordial are what I keep on hand (sometimes ginger ale!). They can be mixed and matched into a frenzy.

Now here are some simple recipes. I bar tended for years but no one wants to have forty types of liquors they may use once a year. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time or the storage space, I would be running under my bed to find stupid things like southern comfort (small house no space!).

Dirty Martini
In a martini shaker, combine ice, two ounces of gin or vodka, one tablespoon of dry vermouth, two tablespoons of olive juice. Shake, shake, shake, strain into glass and toss in a few olives. Good to go, my personal, all-time favorite martini!

A french cocktail that has only two ingredients but it sounds so fancy! Have chilled white wine (preferably dry) or chilled champagne. Add one ounce of cassis liquor to the bottom of your wine glass or champagne flute. Top with the chilled wine/champagne and garnish with a raspberry or blackberry!  Deliciously simple!

This recipe I have posted before but it is the perfect summer bevy and makes use of that beautiful mortar and pestle you have just hanging around. Skip the soda and simple syrup and opt for a less convoluted and lazy summer mojito that is equally as refreshing . Beat the snot out of your mint (a few good sized fresh leaves) in a mortar and pestle (or in the bottom of the drinking glass with a wooden spoon). Add a wedge of lime and continue to beat. Pour contents into tall rocks glass. Add one or two ounces of white rum. Squeeze in more lime, smother with ice and then drown with g.ale. Mix well and serve, preferably on a deck in the sun!

Basic Cosmo
Ice, two ounces of vodka, a squeeze of lime, an ounce or two of cranberry juice and a cap full (or 1/2 ounce) of triple sec if you have it (but it is not crucial). Slap all in your trusty martini shaker and shake, shake, shake. Strain into martini glass and garnish with what you have on hand.

Happy mixing!

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