14 essential drinks and tools for your bar

Curate your bar

 
Photograph by Raina + Wilson
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.

$70, www.lcbo.com

2 Los Azulejos silver tequila

A tasty, crisp sipper, though the sweet agave and playful citrus also make for a vibrant margarita.

$68, www.lcbo.com

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.

$90, www.vintagespirits.ca

4 George T. Stagg bourbon

Marginally easier to find than its elusive cousin, Pappy Van Winkle, and just as rich in caramel and
spice.

$185, www.devinewines.ca

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.

$189, www.lcbo.com

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.

$76, www.lcbo.com

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.

$18–$19, www.bwwines.com

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.

$21, www.thecraftybartender.com

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.

$60, www.thecraftybartender.com

11 Yarai mixing glass

Bond was wrong. Straight liquor drinks should be stirred, not shaken.

$65, www.thecraftybartender.com

12 Cirrus ice ball press

Is crafting a giant sphere of ice ever “essential?” Nope. Just cool.

$855, www.williams-sonoma.ca

13 Tovolo King Cube tray

The standard upon which all two-inch cubes are measured.

$10, www.thecraftybartender.com

14 Cuisinart SmartPower blender

A must-have for a good, evenly mixed piña colada. And yes, we’d love one, if you’re making.

$120, www.thebay.com

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