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Setting up a full bar and looking for advice

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Well, we've bought our first place and I'd like to be able to offer people more than my current stash of whiskies. I've asked on the Ontario board for recommendations for liquor stores in my area (government monopoly here) and am asking here for recommendations on other potables.

I don't really know anything about rum for example, or cognac. Or any of the liqueurs really so thought I'd throw it out there: if you were setting up a bar what bottle (or more) would you definitely buy?

Thanks

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  1. I'd start with vodka, gin, rum, tequila, scotch, and bourbon and start filling in after that. How big do you want to go (amount of bottles)? Are you looking for high end stuff? Budget? Middle of the road?

    I tend to use a lot of Cointreau so you might want to add that or some other type of triple sec.

    3 Replies
    1. re: white light

      Well, I've got the scotch covered. And my dear husband is in charge of red wines and port (neither of which I drink).

      I've read a bit on here (and online generally) about bourbons and other mashes so I know a couple of brands I'd like to try but what I'd really like to know is what I should be looking at for some of the others. I.e. what's a good rum generally, or for a specific brand?

      Price wise, best value I guess. Some of the vodkas for example are insanely overpriced. I have a good Polish potato vodka that's quite reasonably priced. But I think good tequila is just expensive.

      And thanks for the Cointreau tip!

      1. re: redleaf55

        You might want to check out The Beverage Tasting Institute's "spirit search":

        http://tastings.com/search_spirits.lasso

        There is a checkbox all the way at the bottom of the form, "Best Buys". Select that option, then click the "Search" button and you'll have an excellent starting point.

        1. re: davis_sq_pro

          Thanks for the link. I think I might spend tons of time there.

    2. For bourbon try the Evan Williams vintage series. Its comparable to bottles at twice the price.