The 9-Bottle Bar: A Guide to the Small Yet Mighty Home Bar

The 9-Bottle Bar

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Note from the Editor: During the holidays we're rerunning our 2014 cocktail column, The 9-Bottle Bar, which was our column designed for those of us with limited space and budget but a thirst for great cocktails. What can you shake or stir with just nine bottles and a repertoire of classic drinks? Revisit Roger's smart posts and recipes — all here just in time for New Year's Eve. — Faith

Brace yourself for the following: you can craft a dizzying array of cocktails from a surprisingly small number of spirits and mixers. It's just a matter of owning the right bottles (that, and a little know-how).

Welcome to The 9-Bottle Bar, a new column dedicated to helping you amass an efficient, versatile, reliable-in-a-pinch home bar, without spending a fortune and ending up saddled with ingredients you'll seldom use. Here's a look at what we're going to bring you over the next nine months.

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Over the coming weeks, I'll cover each of the nine recommended bottles in detail, offer some advice on which brands to consider stocking depending on your budget, and arm you with a solid repertoire of classic-cocktail recipes that derive almost entirely from those nine bottles. (Here and there you'll need additional ingredients like sugar and fresh-squeezed citrus juice. We'll talk about those too.)

Here's a peek at the line-up.

The 9-Bottle Bar

1. Rye Whiskey

2. London Dry Gin

3. Light Rum

4. Sweet Vermouth

5. Dry Vermouth

6. Maraschino Liqueur

7. Orange Liqueur

8. Aromatic Bitters

9. Orange Bitters

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Stay tuned for future installments The 9-Bottle Bar. Next week, I'll be diving right in with an introduction to the ultimate second-act spirit, rye whiskey. Before you know it, you'll be slinging drinks like a pro.

More posts in this series

The 9-Bottle Bar: The Complete Series

(Image credits: Roger Kamholz)