Bar Talk with Shaun Daugherty

Welcome to Bar Talk with Shaun Daugherty
Welcome to Bar Talk with Shaun Daugherty

Linda Valentine-Dean:  What is the right set up for a home bar liquor, mixers, everything.  This is for the person who occasionally entertains and does not want to rush to the store to stock up each time but instead keep the home bar stocked with standards for most tastes.

Shaun Daugherty:  Hi Linda! First, let me congratulate you on being the first question we have had the pleasure of answering for the “Bar Talk” segment.  We appreciate the time you took to write to us.

In my opinion, it is always nice to have the basic bar essentials handy.  By bar essentials, I mean the liquors and liqueurs you would find in any speed rack that is behind any commercial bar in the United States.  This typically includes, vodka, rum, gin, triple sec, tequila, amaretto and bourbon whiskey.  It may also be good to have good mixing whiskey, such as a Canadian, and a flavored schnapps of some sort.  Price ranges vary and if you purchase the less expensive  “well” liquors, which are the off brands, I do advise you to purchase the normal proof and not the watered down variety.  Normal proof ranges from 70 proof to 90 proof, depending on the type of liquor.  Keep in mind when choosing the liqueurs, these will typically be a much lower proof due to the items that are added to recipe of that particular liqueur.

Here is a link to an article I wrote on this subject.

In regards to washes, here is my typical list for a party:

  • water ( tap water is fine )
  • club soda
  • tonic water
  • cola
  • diet cola
  • lemon-lime soda
  • ginger ale
  • orange juice
  • pineapple juice
  • grapefruit juice
  • cranberry juice

Secondary Ingredients

  • Grenadine
  • lime juice
  • Angostura bitters
  • dry vermouth
  • sweet vermouth


  • lemon wedges and twists
  • lime wedges
  • pimento stuffed green olives
  • maraschino cherries
  • orange half-wheels ( optional )

Keep me updated on the progress of your home bar Linda.  Good Luck!!

Do you have a question for Bar Talk?  Shaun Daugherty’s Q & A appears on the site each Tuesday.  If you have a query, please comment below or send us an email:  We would love to hear from you!


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