If you are a gin & tonic fan, have a range of bottles with different flavour profiles on hand to suit every mood such as a classic juniper-forward London Dry gin, one with more unusual botanicals, and a barrel-aged gin.
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Gin & Tonic, Martini, Negroni, Gimlet, Tom Collins, White Lady
BRAND(S) TO TRY: Two Moons Signature Dry Gin (HK Brand), Perfume Tree (HK Brand)
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Asia is full of fascinating local rums these days, and it's a spirit that's always ready for tropical cocktails and at-home holiday vibes. Try muddling some basil into your daiquiri or ginger into your mojito.
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Daiquiri, Mojito, Pina Colada
BRAND(S) TO TRY: Diplomatico Planas
Not only for tiki cocktails. A good dark rum can easily substitute whisky both in recipes and for sipping.
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Dark & Stormy, Rum Old Fashioned, Jungle Bird
BRAND(S) TO TRY: Plantation Single Island Series
Be sure to look for the 100 per cent agave indication on the label. This will ensure you are getting sipping quality (not shooting quality!) tequila!
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Margarita, Paloma
BRAND(S) TO TRY: Ocho Blanco
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Whisk(e)y lovers may have personal preferences on the regions they prefer – Scotland, American, Japanese etc. Each have their own merits. As a generalisation, for lighter and more delicate flavours, Japanese; for more smokiness, an Islay Scotch; for more sweetness and full-bodied, an American Bourbon. If you are a beginner, blended Scotches and bourbons are a versatile way to start for cocktails.
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Whisky Highball, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, Boulevardier, Mint Julep
BRAND(S) TO TRY: Michter’s Bourbon
A necessary component for a few classics. Also works beautifully on its own on the rocks or with a splash of soda or tonic water. Be sure to refrigerate once opened to preserve its freshness.
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Negroni, Manhattan, Boulevardier, Americano, Vermouth & Tonic/Soda
BRAND(S) TO TRY: La Quintinye Vermouth Rouge
This comes in most handy if you like a classic martini. Less of a home bar must-have if you don’t. Be sure to refrigerate once opened to preserve its freshness.
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Martini
BRAND(S) TO TRY: Mancino Secco Vermouth
This is an orange flavoured liqueur that is most popularly seen in Margaritas and Cosmopolitans. It is by no means a bar essential (a Tommy’s Margarita is made without it) but comes down to personal Marg-preferences.
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Margarita, White Lady
The bitter flavour profile may be an acquired taste, but there is no arguing its starring role in a classic Negroni.
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Americano, Negroni, Garibaldi
This is a concentrated solution of infused herbs and spices – big flavours in a tiny drop. A few dashes can be used to elevate a variety of cocktails, but most notably the classic Old Fashioned.
CLASSIC COCKTAILS: Old Fashioned