OT: Cocktail Versatility Advice

Submitted by JeepinBen on May 13th, 2016 at 12:09 PM

TL;DR - What's your most versatile mixer/ingredient?

Full story: The wife and I are headed to a "Stock the Bar" couples shower this weekend and I'm more of a "beer & wine" guy than a liquor drinker. As is the groom-to-be (we're good friends). He mentioned that part of what he's excited for with the Stock the Bar thing is getting more things to use when hosting, the ability to make cocktails when entertaining, etc. I plan to buy a bottle of Koval Whiskey (not sure what kind yet) http://www.koval-distillery.com/newsite/ as it's local and fancy enough, but I was hoping to get a couple of ingredients/etc. to go with it. Do I do a fancy bottle of simple syrup and some bitters? Or are there better suggestions out there?



May 13th, 2016 at 12:11 PM ^

I typically keep one bottle of vodka (titos) one bottle of rum (sailor jerry) and one bottle of bourbon (Jeffersons). I also always have on hand angostura bitters, vermouth and one bottle of flavored vodka (I like pineapple). That usually gets the job done for hosting for others along with any mixers you can think of (grape juice, cranberry juice, Coke)

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


May 13th, 2016 at 12:47 PM ^

Not a huge vodka guy but Tito's did used to be THE vodka for those in the know. I've heard the quality has gone down as they have grown. My suggestion is Galliano. No bar is complete without a 3/4 full bottle of Galliano that has been sitting there since the bar opened 20 years ago. It's tradition.


May 13th, 2016 at 1:13 PM ^

Gotta throw my vote in for Valentine. Local, and some of the most delicious I've ever had. As far as rum is concerned I also can't say enough about the quality of Brugal. Even their entry level rum is barrel aged and blended in spent JD casks, which is how it gets its spice, but it's a light aged rum so it doesn't get overpowering. 1888 reserve is extremely smooth and complex.


May 13th, 2016 at 5:51 PM ^

You want to cut back on your hangover? Cut back on the sugar. Whenever I gift liqour I give Crown Royal, the half-gallon size, then you don't have to mess with mixers. If your a morning after Bloody Mary kind of guy and I am then every bar should have Bartenders Choice. Once you try it you'll never go back to your old mix.


Darker Blue

May 13th, 2016 at 12:15 PM ^

Skip the booze, and go straight to meth.

Think of all the energy you and your guests will have. Plus you won't have to spend time cleaning up as somebody else will be sure to take up that task. 

you're welcome


May 13th, 2016 at 1:09 PM ^

I'm as square as they come and serious about health and fitness. Though, I used to work on a trading desk on Wall St and saw, first hand, some really cool, sick stuff. Drug stuff, girl stuff, etc... I've been to a few lesbian lemon party shows at bachelor parties that were insane to see but tame compared to the other stuff I saw. I'm still friends with most of thees animals and they're still doing crazy shit. It's still fun to hang out and still crazy as ever to see some of the things they still do.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


May 13th, 2016 at 1:43 PM ^

I finished at M in '96 and blew off law school for a job on the Nasdaq desk at GS. It was insane. After we went public at the end of '98, the pay structure changed so I cashed out and got a job trading with one of Stevie Cohen's funds. I lucked into that as my dad used to run the Gruntal desk with him in the 80's. Those jobs were not real world experiences. Insane to see so many kids making that kind of money doing stupid shit.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


May 13th, 2016 at 12:22 PM ^

You can make simple syrup in about 5 minutes so maybe not that. Bitters is a good idea though. Tonic water mixes with anything. Perhaps some "microbrew" cola or ginger ale?


May 13th, 2016 at 12:23 PM ^

Good call on getting some Koval. As for bitters, Angostura bitters are by far the most versatile and widely used. You could throw in some raw demerara sugar cubes and an orange, and basically gift them an Old Fashioned kit. Simple syrup isnt really worth buying and can be easily made at home. Dolin sweet vermouth is also a nice option if he's more a Manhattan drinker but with whiskey and the bitters youll be fine. 


May 13th, 2016 at 12:25 PM ^

Good drink is best enjoyed straight! Scotch, Bourbon, various whiskeys are all excellent choices. Women seem to enjoy flavored vodka and sweet mixes from my experience. Keep a bottle of cheap shit for your lush in laws


May 13th, 2016 at 12:31 PM ^


Angostura Bitters

Dry Vermouth

Sweet Vermouth

Agave Syrup


Trendier things:


Flavored bitters (orange, chocolate, spicy, etc)


Last piece of advice: DO NOT BUY KOVAL WHISKEY.  It's gross.  Just trust me.  Don't.  Get a bottle of Jefferson Reserve.  Or the Four Roses small batch (the curved, sorta heart-shaped bottle.  Or (a little more pricey) a bottle of High West Rendezvous Rye.  Or Rowan's Creek (if you can't find it... it's not expensive, just not sure if it's available everywhere).  


Do.  Not.  Buy.  Koval.  Whiskey.  It's gross.