The pandemic will be over soon enough, and that means it’s time to once again get together with friends and family. If you’re dedicated to whipping up the best cocktails for cocktail parties, it’s a must that you have the right ingredients, and that means certain liquors. Here are five that you won’t be able to do without.
Wine is most often made from the fermented juice of grapes, though wine can be made from other fruits such as elderberries. Red wine is produced when the skin of red or black grapes is part of the fermentation process, while white wine is produced from green grapes or red grapes whose skin has been removed. Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala are types of fortified wines.
Whiskey, or whisky is distilled from sugar, yeast and malt grains such as wheat, barley, rye, or corn. Since beer is made of the same ingredients, whiskey can also be made through the distillation of beer. Whiskey is almost always aged in oak casks, which contribute to its flavor.
A good liquor store will have a selection of whiskeys and other types of liquor. Some larger and high-end liquor stores have one section for wines and another section for other spirits. Sometimes these sections have different operating hours. In some liquor stores, you can buy wine on Sunday, but the section containing other kinds of alcoholic beverages is closed.
Triple sec is a liqueur invented in France but associated with the West Indies. It’s mostly made from dried orange peels. The oranges can be sweet or bitter. Triple sec is a must when it comes to mixing cocktails such as s Margaritas and Long Island Iced Tea.
Gin is a usually colorless liqueur traditionally made from juniper berries, though it can be flavored with other herbs and spices. It is one of the major ingredients in the refreshing gin n’ tonic, with the other ingredient being tonic or quinine water. Gin is used to produce yet another liqueur called sloe gin, which is made with gin and the juice of a type of plum called the sloe.
Vodka is a clear liquor made from the distillation of grains and even potatoes. It is often drunk without mixers or even ice. Along with being clear, vodka is really flavorless though distillers can add flavoring. The beverage’s lack of color and flavors means that it is low on congeners, which give other liquors their color and taste. The upside of this is that it’s harder to have a hangover after enjoying vodka. Vodka is famously used to make the Bloody Mary and martinis.
There are dozens of other liquors that can be enjoyed and mixed with other spirits for enjoyable drinks, but these five are preeminent. If you enjoy alcoholic beverages once in a while, make sure to keep your bar stocked with them.