Great liquor store - help me take advantage
This is a tough request, but I'm spending the weekend in Hudson, NY and stumbled upon Hudson Wine Merchants, which has a fantastic liquor selection. Tons of obscure stuff. So good that I got a little paralyzed by the selection.
My home bar is pretty good but if feels criminal not to take advantage of this place. Help me round out my bar with something that I might be missing. Versatility for cocktails or a great value sipper would be ideal and ideally something less than $50. Here's what I currently own:
Gin: Beefeater, Hayman's Old Tom, Bols Genever
Bourbon: Four Roses Single Barrel, EWSB, OGD 114
Rye: High West Rendezvous, Rittenhouse, WT101
Scotch: Ardbeg Uigedail
Rum: J Wray & Nephew, El Dorado 3, Barbancourt 5*, Depaz
Cognac: Ferrand Ambre
Tequila: Milagro Reposado
Amaro: Punt e Mes, Campari, Cynar, Averna, Aperol, Fernet Branca
Liqueurs: St. Germain, R&W Apricot, R&W Violette, Daron Calvados, Herbsaint, Green Chartreuse, Cherry Heering, Luxardo Maraschino, Benedictine
If it is a really great store call in advance and see if one of the associates can spend some time with you. We have a great one near me and whenever I host a special dinner or cocktail party I give one of the owners a call and they are happy to work me come up with great things to round out the meal or party. I have well stocked bar but for every day we tend to stick to the basics.
Here's an article on that precise subject from a couple of days ago on SeriousEats: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2014/04...
From that list and looking at your current setup, I'd recommend, in order, a good mezcal, another, more vegetal tequila (I like Fortalleza Resposado) and a more rustic dark rum than your current selections -- maybe a Dominican one. Tell the guy what you like and don't about your Barbancourt and he can probably recommend another one.
Smith & Cross rum.
More Scotch choices, if you like Scotch
What's your orange liqueur? I didn't see one, but you must have something. Ferrand Dry or Cointreau
If you like Scotch, a mixing-grade mescal, such as Vida.
A peppery blanco tequila, if you like tequila
Other aromatized wines: Bonal Gentiane Quina, Cocchi Americano, etc.
Vermouths, especially if not readily available locally. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino?
Fantastic advice. I have Smith and Cross and Cocchi available at a nearby store so I went with the Ferrand Dry (I just ran out of Contreau) and the Vida Mezcal.
Unfortunately, they didn't have Bonal. They had an amaro I had never seen before - Varnelli Amaro Dell'Erborista - but it was $65/liter so I passed on it.
If you like amari, Dell'Erborista is fantastic. Extremely bitter finish, quite dry for an amaro, and a bit smokey. Worth the price. It is a large bottle and it lasts a long, long time. I have not mixed with it much, but it is fantastic on its own. Really, it (and it cousin Sibilia) are the only amari that I would sip as a digestif.
Del Maguey Mezcal, Demarraa Rum from Guyana, Groult Clavados,. the Mezcal and Calva are not under 50 but worth a splurge
How about an Armagnac like Marie Duffau - excellent and inexpensive. Also you could use a much cheaper scotch like Black Bottle or Famous Grouse for mixing.