|Setting up a home bar can be an expensive proposition. Plan ahead and start building over the course of several months so you don't blow you budget all at once. We have even suggested a "Stock Your Bar" Party where guests are asked to bring one bottle of liquor and you provide all of the mixers. It may sound a little pushy, but when you think about it, it is no different than bringing a bottle of wine as a host gift. Right?
Print out some of your favorite cocktail recipes on cards and have them near the bar area. For Mardi Gras we suggest some standards from the Crescent City like hurricane, caipirinha, sazerac and milk punch. (click here for those cocktail recipes) Keeping "Mr. Boston" close at hand is a great way to experiment with some new and exotic cocktails.
Along with beer and wine, here are the ingredients for a well-stocked bar.
|A Big Slice is proud to present our very own wine tasting kit, the Bacchus Box, a complete evening of fun in one rosewood box! Challenge your friends to a taste off. May the best wine win! No one, not even the host, knows the identities of the selections. Observe, smell, taste, rank, vote. Was yours the nectar ...or the salad dressing? A relaxed and fun way to discover new favorites. And remember, there is always a next time with the Bacchus Box. Includes everything you need (except wine and glasses) and a free 12 minute instructional DVD. Great gift! To check out the Bacchus Box, click on the bar above.||A Big Slice is a very large website (including over 200 recipes!) that is organized thematically. But if you know what you are looking for, just click on the bar above and it will take you to our search page. Type in the term, or recipe in the space provided and it will take you directly to that page. If any links appear to be broken, please let us know at:
|Click above to return to the A Big Slice homepage. From there you will be able to visit our wine and international dinners sections. Plus we have a recipe and craft archive so you can quickly find what you are looking for. If it is contact information that you seek, that is also on the homepage - near the bottom.||Thousands have already signed up for our newsletter. In 2009 we are focusing on the monthly holidays in a different way. How about a Mardi Gras Fais Do Do? Or a hearty St. Patrick's Day Irish Breakfast. We include holiday trivia and history, table settings, napkin folds and of course recipes. All we need is your email address. Click on the bar above to sign up. Thank you!|
|Click on the above link to return to the main entertaining page. There you will find complete menu, decorating and craft ideas for every month of the year.||For everything Mardi Gras including recipes, information about the Krewes and how to make the World's First Cocktail, click the above link.|
|1. Vodka - This is the workhorse of the home bar. It is used in many basic drinks like screw drivers, vodka tonics and martinis. Don't buy the cheapest or you and your guests will live to regret it. But on the other hand, you don't have to go super premium either unless you can really afford it. Mid-priced brands such as Absolut, Smirnoff Red and Finlandia are perfect.
2. Gin - A clear spirit that is flavored with juniper berries. You will find that, compared to other spirits, gin is relatively dry. Therefore, it is often mixed with with sweeter ingredients like tonic water or vermouth. The traditional martini is made with gin. For reliable brands look at Gordon's or Gilbey's.
3. Scotch or Irish Whiskey - Invest in a good blended whiskey. They tend to be the most flexible. Try Johnny Walker Red or Grants.
4. Bourbon - This is the American version of whiskey. The distinctive flavor comes from the fact that it is made with 51% corn. Jack Daniels or Jim Beam.
5. Tequila - Made from the blue agave plant which is a relative of the aloe. It can be enjoyed straight, but is most commonly found in margaritas and tequila sunrises. Cuervo Gold.
6. Rum - This liquor, made from distilled sugarcane can also be enjoyed straight, but it is in those summer fruity drinks like daiquiries and pina coladas. Choose a light rum over a dark or spiced style as it offer more flexibility. Bacardi.e!
|1. Vermouth - white and red. Add a drop of dry white vermouth for a martini. Sweet red vermouth is found in a manhattan. Noilly Prat (dry), Cinzano (sweet).
2. Cointreau - This is a sweet, orange flavored liquor added to margaritas and cosmopolitans. You can also use Triple Sec.
3. Angostura Bitters - These are concentrated bitters included in an old-fashioned and a manhattan.
4. Campari - not everyone likes this anise flavored liquor, but some absolutely swear by it. Mix it with gin to make the potent negroni.
5. Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and grenadine.
mineral water, cola, club soda, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, tonic water, still water, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice, coconut cream
olives, cocktail onions, lemons, limes, oranges, maraschino cherries, strawberries, celery, pineapple, bananas, cucumber, mint, salt, pepper, sugar
|cocktail shaker and strainer, ice-cube trays and ice bucket, spirit measure (also called a jigger), tongs, small sharp knife (a sharp serrated steak knife with a thin blade is excellent), corkscrew, bottle opener, cutting board, straws, cocktail napkins, toothpicks, cocktail umbrellas and swizzle sticks (if you are in the mood), large pitcher, measuring spoons|