Late Spring Cleaning and a Liquor Cabinet Facelift.

"In our binge drinking culture, homemade cocktails have become a lost art. It is time to re-discover it." Emily speaks with Raymonds bartender on how to stock a proper liquor cabinet.

“Remember, nobody smiles doing housework but those ladies you see on TV. Your mommy hates housework, your daddy hates housework, I hate housework too.And when you grow up, so will you.” -MARLO THOMAS (Free to Be You and Me)

c7f623d93b0aec033c0075f7999a6374Yes. We do not love housework. But there are ways to make it better. Doing it together (as suggested by Marlo Thomas) helps. Doing it with soapy sponges tied to your feet like skates while eating the fresh fried french fries that were responsible for the greasy mess to begin with (as demonstrated in 1982 by our exchange student from the Ivory Coast) helps too. Costumes help a lot. Mowing the lawn vs mowing the lawn wearing a Daisy Duke denim shorts suit, platform sandals and a silk kerchief around your hair is, or should be, an obvious choice. Stepford wives may have been robotic replicas of murdered women but they were right about two things: clothes make the chore and cocktails. Cocktails make the everything. Mow a strip of lawn (careful! Those platforms are high!), bend over, pick up your highball from the grass, take a sip. Mow the next strip. Repeat. An afternoon of this is an afternoon of theatrical glory.Make your cocktail correctly and by the time you are finished you will be just on the edge of drunk and so require zero transition time between gross chore and glamorous (if sweaty) happy hour. Wipe your brow with your kerchief and invite the neighbour-over-the-fence to mix your second drink and admire your lawn.

Of course, to get to this stage you must first be in a position to casually mix yourself a cocktail. This requires having booze on hand. In our binge drinking culture this has become a lost art. It is time to re-discover it. Fully stocking a liquor cabinet all at once can be prohibitively expensive. In an effort to determine what is the wheat and what is the chaff, I have indexed one of my favourite cocktail guides. I now know, categorically, what booze is best. I also asked Ryan Osgood (bartender at Raymond’s) to vet and improve my list. Here it is, your totally (un)scientific and only slightly biased list of home bar essentials, as amended and approved by a professional:

TOP 5 HARD LIQUORS FOR COCKTAILS, IN DESCENDING ORDER OF “ESSENTIALNESS”

1. GIN (always #1)
2. RUM
3. BOURBON/RYE
4. ABSINTHE (the warp, if not the woof,
of weaving mixed drink magic)
5. VODKA (not actually as important as you may think for cocktail making, but a crowd pleaser with a low profile)

TOP 5 LIQUEURS FOR COCKTAILS, IN DESCENDING ORDER OF “ESSENTIALNESS”

1. DRY VERMOUTH
2. BITTERS (Angostura/Pechaud’s/
Orange… whatever you can get)
3. SWEET VERMOUTH (I don’t have this.
It has been a problem.)
4. TRIPLESEC/COINTREAU
5. CAMPARI

ESSENTIAL MIXERS/GARNISH

SODA – TONIC
LEMONS (most versatileof the citrus fruits)
OLIVES (not too oily)

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