Earlier this month we and a group of friends took a quick and entertaining course in spirit tasting. While intended to be just a fun thing to do to help celebrate Chad’s birthday, we actually came home with some pretty great suggestions for what liquors to use when stocking your bar – without breaking your bank. If you’re a beginner at home bartending this list will get you started on the right foot.
Vodka – Our expert suggested skipping it altogether and opt for Gin, but if you’ve got to buy some try Tito’s Vodka for your mixed drinks. A North Carolina moonshine is also a great substitute with a local slant.
Gin - If you’re on a budget, opt for Brokers. If you’re looking local and are OK with spending a bit more, go for Cardinal.
Tequila – Herradura is a great option here, in any of their three offerings: silver, reposado or anejo. The tip: Be sure to buy 100 percent agave.
Rum – Goslings. This is what our notes say: “Do self a solid and go for Goslings.” How can you argue with that?
Bourbon – Wow, there are so many choices, and it would be extremely rude of us to suggest that you reject your go-to Bourbon. However, at the head of our tasting class were Corner Creek, Buffalo Trace, Pappy Van Winkle (duh), Wild Turkey and Bulleit.
Scotch – Again, far too many choices to attempt to convert you all, but if you’re in the ABC store and totally lost, go for the 12-year Glenlivet and call it a day.