Staple alcohols

In order to prepare a wide variety of cocktails, you need a minimum number of bottles; I suggest you start with the following products. You'll then be able to add lesser-known products according to your own tastes.

  • Gin : Tom Collins, Gin & Tonic, Negroni. Gin is versatile and a classic to always have on hand. I suggest you begin with a London dry gin.
  • Vodka : Vodka is an all-purpose alcohol, which makes it a bartender’s best friend. It lends a subtle touch to fruity cocktails and is easy for aspiring mixologists to use. Try it in a Cosmopolitan or Bloody Mary. I recommend PUR vodka, a Quebec-made product that will work wonderfully in all your cocktails.
  • Bourbon whiskey: Bourbon epitomizes old-fashioned glamour. Simply add a little tonic water and orange zest, and you’ve got the perfect digestive. Look for Wild Turkey or Maker’s Mark.
  • Tequila: A margarita anyone? Tequila is as essential as vodka and gin. Ideally, you would choose one made of 100% agave. You won’t go wrong with Sauza tequila – it is good quality and reasonably priced.
  • White rum: A key ingredient in an authentic mojito. For your punches, opt for a dark rum, as white rum is milder, more subtle. You can find the line of Bacardi products at the SAQ. For a spicy version, try Sailor Jerry. It’s delicious in a punch!

    Once you've purchased your starter bottles, you can then think about buying 3 other products: Cointreau, Vermouth and Campari. These alcohols will provide you with plenty of latitude when preparing your cocktails.
  • Cointreau: You'll finally be able to make the perfect Cosmopolitan and heighten your punches thanks to this exceptional liqueur.
  • Vermouth: Mix it with gin and Campari, and you have the recipe for a Negroni. Pair vermouth with rum and bourbon and you've got a Henry. It's also a delicious digestif - offer it to only your most privileged guests!
  • Campari: You can use it to make a Spritz or Americano according to the traditional method. Campari is a delicious asset when making cocktails.

In the fridge

You're receiving guests and want to create a large variety of cocktails? Here is a list of ingredients that will give you plenty of options when it comes to creating your drinks:

The essential liquids :

  • Soda
  • Tonic
  • Cola
  • Sprite
  • Ginger Ale
  • Orange juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Angostura bitters

Staples:

  • Olives
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Tabasco
  • Sugar
  • Simple syrup

— A few ideas —

Why not use your leftovers to serve a punch?  Don't be afraid to incorporate the unexpected!

Suggested cocktails:

  • Your favourite fruits
  • Your favourite alcohol
  • Your favourite glassware

Cheers!

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Dark and spicy
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The sweetheart