– Nikhil Agarwal
Tells you how to stock up your bar for the party season.
All right folks, its time to roll up your sleeves, put on that vinyl and start prioritising and organising December requirements. There is a slight chill in the air and by the time its 4pm we are all thinking just one thing – partayy. This time of the year does something and if you’re going to entertain via a spontaneous party or a big soiree you gots to get your bar going on so that you can full fill every need.
Lets get the booze first. You got to have a range of malts showcasing different styles. From the peaty to the floral and spice. You got to also have a couple of new un heard of whiskies to bring out the James Bond vibe. I love keeping a bottle of top end bourbon as well.
Since gin is clearly trending right now, even your most ardent whisky enthusiast friend may ask you for a gin. Stock up atleast 2 to 3 different kinds including the new one made in Inda called Stranger & Sons and ensure that you have the right tonic water and mixers.
For vodka, I’m a big fan of Beluga, Ketel One and Tito’s these days so those are what I would receommend, however the Grey Goose/Belvedere’s of the world are just as fine too.
I take Cognac seriously. The make fantastic cocktails and there is still nothing finer than pouring a glass for your guest posts a dinner party so definitely have a bottle on stand by.
No party is complete without Tequila and I see a growing interest in top end rum as well. If you are doing an afternoon soiree then you should have brands like Aperol in your booze arsenal too.
You got to have heavier dinner wines and cocktail party wines including bubbly. What really is exciting at a party is when you offer 2 to 3 choices of whites and reds rather than just 1 of each.
For beer, I leave it to you but there are plenty of choices. All you need to do is ensure that they are served cold. In my house we use the bathroom with the bathtub and fill it with ice and stock our beer in there. No mess. Keep your ice guy on standby and ensure that you get enough ice to chill your beers and wine or for drinking as well.
Now that the booze is out of the way lets get into the bar infrastructure.
Get your glasses right. Enough numbers of the same kind of glass depending on the party size you usually have and the right kind of glass for wines, beer, spirits and cocktails. No one size fits all, we need to do it right. In fact I would invest in great glassware and bring it out for intimate parties.
You need to get mixers, bitters etc in place to make cocktails. I would research and practice 5 cocktails that you can make without too much trouble and ensure that you have the ingredients for them like a cocktail shaker, bar spoons, muddlers, strainers etc.
It’s best to keep more than you need in terms of all above ready so that there are no last minute runs on party day.
Last but not least do you have a permanent bar? If yes, super. If not, don’t stress. Find a space that you can convert into a bar for the evening. One that allows easy access to btls and glasses and provides enough space to make drinks and have glassware etc. More importantly, the bar will be the centre of activity if you can create space where people can come around.
Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year folks and if you are throwing a party or two feel free to invite me!