Top five home bar ingredients
You could get utterly lost in the back bars of the best cocktail joints in Australia, with the sheer number of spirits and ingredients going into the drinks.
The diversity of ingredients out there is fantastic for the industry, and great for a night out, but slightly overwhelming for the home bar enthusiast. So, here is a versatile list which allows for a good range of gin-based drinks (excluding Four Pillars Gin, of course, because you’ll have that already).
A fortified wine flavoured with robust botanicals, this aperitif provides the herbaceous element in many of our much loved classic cocktails such as the Martini and the Negroni. Pick up a nice bottle of both a dry and a sweet (or red) – and make sure to store it in the fridge.
Yep, you got it. Cherries. Maraschino Liqueur is made from the fruit and pits of Marasca cherries. One of the few liqueurs made through distillation, you need only a touch to infuse its sweet, bitter-almond characters into your cocktails.
No gin lover’s bar is complete without a bottle of this infamous, bright red, bitter orange Italian aperitif. A key ingredient in the Negroni, Campari is described by some as the harmonizer in many drinks, giving a beautiful length of flavour that lingers with a tart spiciness.
Nothing amplifies the citrus and herbal notes of a gin cocktail like a dash of bitters. A classic bottle of Angostura will do the job perfectly. From here you can experiment with the different varieties that are popping up on the market (you can get everything from rhubarb to almond to celery flavours).
So we’ve got the herbs and the spices and the bitters covered, but you can’t create the full cocktail repertoire without a touch of sweetness. Made from equal parts sugar and water, you can easily whip up your own batch of sugar syrup – it’s a good use for an empty Four Pillars bottle – or alternatively there are a number of store-bought varieties to choose from too.
Thanks to Ebony Schmidt, our resident ‘home bar expert’, for these words.