Photograph by Raina + Wilson
1 Elit by Stolichnaya
Most liquor pundits indict vodka for lacking character. The real crime is to mix one this silky-smooth and citrusy with anything but ice.
2 Los Azulejos silver tequila
A tasty, crisp sipper, though the sweet agave and playful citrus also make for a vibrant margarita.
3 Anchor Distilling Junipero gin
Nearly 100-proof with a wallop of, yes, juniper. It’s strong enough to stand up to tonic but works best over a single king cube.
4 George T. Stagg bourbon
Marginally easier to find than its elusive cousin, Pappy Van Winkle, and just as rich in caramel and
5 Nikka single-malt Miyagikyo 15-year-old
Finely crafted whiskies like this one are what put Japanese distillers on the radar in the first place.
6 Angostura 1824 aged rum
Better known for its legendary bitters, Angostura also makes a damn fine rum, the key ingredient to a legendary daiquiri.
7 Dolin vermouth
Upgrade your Noilly Prat. Dolin’s Chambéry rouge makes a dry, herbal sweet aperitif; Dolin blanc has a nice honey-citrus kick.
8 Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s bitters
Zealously bitter, with cardamom and orange flavours, it perks up a dry martini and makes 19th-century cocktails like the Japanese come to life.
9 Luxardo Maraschino cherries
Those glow-in-the-dark red orbs from the grocery store should stay there.
$18, www thecraftybartender.com
10 Pro-Crush muddler by Über
Because it’s heavy, and mean looking, and it even crushes ice.
11 Yarai mixing glass
Bond was wrong. Straight liquor drinks should be stirred, not shaken.
12 Cirrus ice ball press
Is crafting a giant sphere of ice ever “essential?” Nope. Just cool.
13 Tovolo King Cube tray
The standard upon which all two-inch cubes are measured.
14 Cuisinart SmartPower blender
A must-have for a good, evenly mixed piña colada. And yes, we’d love one, if you’re making.