With so many options and so many price points, many people resist creating a glittering spectacle of liquid goodness on a bar cart. I’m here to tell you, it’s easier than you think. Your main categories are whiskey, tequila, rum, gin and vodka. Opt for one of each, and an extra in your favorite variety. For whiskey, spending around $35 can get a solid bottle. Neat or in cocktails, Buffalo Trace bourbon or Russell’s 10-year bourbon hold up well in this category. For tequila, always make sure you’re buying something that’s 100 percent pure agave. I recommend the Espolon brand. For around $25, the quality far outpaces Jose Cuervo. Rum can be a very diverse spirit. White for lighter cocktails, dark for the colder months. Plantation’s 5-year rum is a perfect middle ground. For around $20, you get the best of both, along with a beautiful Caribbean looking bottle. Gin will run around $20-$40 depending on how you drink it. Beefeater will do just fine for a G&T on the patio, and Dampfwerk’s London Dry Gin will up your martini game by more than you could imagine. To me, vodka is vodka. It isn’t expensive to produce, so I like to stay in the middle. If it’s in a plastic bottle, stay away. Likewise with the $50 and up bottles. Tito’s and Stoli get the job done, as do some of the local vodka brands like Bet, who makes its version with sugar beets. All in all, around $150 can get you started with a home bar to satisfy any guest or party. Stop by Edina Liquor’s Grandview location to chat with me about your specific needs.
Graham Luterbach is a liquor specialist with Edina Liquor.