Home Bar Essentials


Now against urban myth Gin isn’t all about tears and teacups, once you’ve used it a couple of times you’ll begin to recognise how flavourful this spirit is and how versatile it can be with a wide range of ingredients. For quality Hayman’s London Dry Gin is our go-to. Combining ten premium botanicals to create a crisp and elegant flavour Hayman’s is a premium classic style designed to be used with both the traditional and contemporary gin drinks like the Martini and the Tom Collins



Again running against the running belief, Tequila isn’t just for the hard man or for the blender.  Real tequila is made from a small region in Mexico from 100% Blue Agave, and has a delicious earthy element to it.  Tequila is the base spirit for many of the popular drinks you may want to serve the most well-known being the Margarita. When purchasing a bottle you can’t go wrong with the choice of the home country - Mexico’s top-selling tequila el Jimador (pronounced el-heem-ah-door) is a premium authentic tequila crafted from a natural production process using 100% agave, the result is a smooth and balanced taste that is easy to enjoy - Salud!



Made from a base of molasses, Rum has an inherent sweetness which is moderated by spice to create one of the most versatile mixing spirits. White rums are either unaged, or aged and then filtered, whereas darker rums are aged in barrels, giving them their characteristic colour.

When it comes to Rum you can’t go past the Carribean, and when it comes to award winning blends you can’t go past Stolen with their Aged White Rum blending centuries of Trinidadian rum history to meet the discerning palate for your perfect Espresso Martini, or the Old Fashioned



Is a brandy that has been produced in the Cognac region of France and is the result of distilling fermented wine. Good brandy should have a pleasant nose, butterscotch and toasty flavours and be somewhat smooth going down. With more than 50 million bottles a year sold worldwide Hennessy is the must-have for your home bar whether to enjoy with a cigar, combined with Amaretto for a French Connection , or even a Cafe Amor’



Made from starch (e.g., wheat, potatoes) and sugar (sugar beet, sugar cane, grapes) Vodka is a neutral spirit and is why it's the base in many popular cocktails like White Russians through to Bloody Marys. Produced in Åhus, Sweden, ABSOLUT is the world’s leading premium vodka, with a reputation of creating exceptional drinks for any occasion.



From that base of spirits, now we turn to the essential liqueurs, click through to read on...

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  • Wice says
    I looked through your list and discovered that I had ticked all the boxes except for Tequila - not in the drinks cabinet, which is almost non-existent, but in my "booze panty" – a secret place under the food shelves where I keep all my R18 bottles of goodies for cooking.

    Each one of the ‘essentials’ you listed can also be used as a magic ingredient in both savoury and sweet dishes. Give me a page and I could give you taste sensations using any of them. A dash of or dribble can utterly transform a dish. Some of my favourites using the spirits and liqueurs listed–Magdelen Venison (gin and port), Flambéed pineapple (rum), Steak Diane (Cognac), Tipsy Jelly (vodka), Almond crusted lamb (Amaretto), Irish Mousse (Irish Cream), Chocolate Cheesecake (Crème de Cacao), Coffee Sponge (Kahula), Veal Scaloppini (Vermouth), Crepes Suzette (Cointreau).

    I noticed that whiskey was missing from the list. I would consider this both a bar and a kitchen essential. Whiskey is superb added to a mustard crème sauce with pork. Another of my pantry essentials is Marsala, which enhances chicken and mushroom dishes especially well.
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