When it comes to entertaining, a well-prepped bar is key. Stock your bar with these must-haves — then test out these festive recipes at your next gathering.
With the holidays in full swing, having your bar stocked and ready is a no-brainer. Tony Piraino, co-owner of downtown Detroit’s Firebird Tavern, has a fully-stocked bar at his Troy home (not surprising for someone who’s been in the restaurant industry for nearly 20 years). He offers tips for getting your own bar party-ready this holiday season.
The basics of a good bar start with the key spirits, including bourbon, tequila, vodka, and gin. Aim for mid-shelf to top-shelf brands – the flavor is worth it, and your guests will appreciate it. We’re big fans of Woodford Reserve bourbon, and for tequila, you can’t go wrong with Herradura. Of course, a classic bottle of red and white is always good to have on hand.
A good home bar should have the basic bartending tools, including a jigger for measuring/pouring, a shaker, a stir spoon, cutting board, etc. Some other tools I really recommend: a fine mesh strainer and a mixing glass, which is great for stirred cocktails. If you’re just getting started, a good route is to find a bartending tool set, and build your personal toolkit from there.
Prep is key! A great home bar is stocked and ready for you or your guest to pour a drink. For parties, that means garnishes, mixers, bitters, etc. are readily available. Have plenty of lemons and limes sliced and sprigs of mint and rosemary trimmed. The more preparation you do, the more you’ll be able to enjoy the party!
A cold-weather twist on the classic paloma, with pomegranate liqueur and a sprig of rosemary.
- 1.5 oz Firebird Herradura
- 1 oz Pama Liqueur
- .25 oz Domain De Canton
- .25 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- Splash Soda
- Glass: Silver Mug
- Garnish: Rosemary Sprig
‘Firebird’ Shrub Down
A refreshing cocktail with seasonal flavors of cranberry and black pepper.
- 1.5 oz Firebird Woodford Reserve
- .25 oz St. Elizabeth All Spice Dram
- 3 Soup Spoons Cranberry/Black Pepper Shrub
- Splash Ginger Ale
- Glass: Rocks
- Garnish: Speared Whole Cranberry
A classic hot spiked cider, elevated, with our homemade spiced apple syrup.
- 1 oz Floodwall Apple Brandy
- 1.5 oz Spiced Apple Syrup
- 4 oz Hot Apple Cider
- Glass: Coffee
- Garnish: Orange wedge, cinnamon stick and star anise