Home-Bar Cocktail List

When faced with a full bar, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when choosing a cocktail. This is just as true whether visiting a high-end club lounge or a friend’s home bar.

But the solution to this dilemma is the same. Cocktail lists help to highlight house specialties that might otherwise fall out of the customer’s comfort zone.

Anyone who has built a home bar knows that they require discipline – and tons of money. But building it is a fruitless endeavor unless you get to share it with friends. This weekend I’m hosting a couple for dinner and drinks. So, instead of having to tease out cocktail suggestions from them, I have created a custom cocktail list for to help make their decisions a bit easier.

Click to enlarge. Wilma is my puppy and a Shebeen is an Irish speakeasy.

As you can see, this list is gin-heavy. Although Mark is a whiskey fan, his girlfriend (and mine) are not. All of my whiskies are laid out prominently in my bar – organized by region and region and mashbill, of course – but the other spirits might have a harder time to catch the eye.

I’m not going to take credit for thinking of this. The idea was seeded in my mind a few months ago when I read an article (link here) about a true American hero who built a speakeasy in his basement. It germinated this week when I was going over what I needed to pick up this weekend while also working on a cocktail project for work. Going with the speakeasy theme, I used an art deco border and Gatsby-inspired fonts.

Next time you have a cocktail party, consider creating a cocktail list. It may help introduce your guests to some spirits they might not have tried otherwise – and it will keep you from having to think of off-the-wall suggestions after you’ve had a few of your own creations!


Article by akendeall

Aaron is a whiskey writer, brand ambassador and distiller based in Pittsburgh, Pa., who has been working in the spirits industry since 2013.