The Challenge of Stocking a Bar - Part I

"How can I most efficiently stock my bar?" I am asked this question more than any other here at MySideOfTheBar so I thought it would be a good multi-part  blog.

When you stock your bar you are looking at six major categories (not counting of course bar paraphernalia.)


So for the first segment I will focus on Vodka.

When adding Vodka to your bar stock there are two areas to consider.

1. Vodka for mixing
2. Vodka for Classic Martinis

Vodka for Mixing

One of my favorite quotes in this area is:

"Don't spend a ton of money on a Vodka that you're going to mix with. As soon as  you start adding other ingredients all those expensive nuances disappear." - Jamie Boudreau Canon, Seattle

This is a great rule to live by and one I learned the hard, or should I say the expensive way. For years the only Vodka I would have in my bar was Grey Goose.

I am fortunate that I learned (other that expensive ways) by attending few Blind Vodka Tastings which are great fun and adventure.

Over time I learned that when creating a mixed drink such as Vodka and Tonic or Vodka and Diet Green Tea, etc. you really did not notice the taste of the Vodka at all . So with much experimentation I have chosen Burnett's Vodka as my Vodka of choice when creating a mixed drink. The price is excellent on Brunett's (about twelve dollars for a 1.5 liter if you look for sales) and the taste is not bad straight and as I am pointing out non-existent when mixing. Burnett's also offers one of the most extensive collection of flavored Vodkas on the market.

Vodka for Classic Martinis

I also learned this lesson over time that when creating a Classic (Perfect) Martini you need to spend more in order to, well, have Perfection.

For my Martini's I have a few choices that will not break the bank and as you are only using them in Martini's (or on the rocks) you do not use a lot at once.

Svedka - An excellent Vodka and price for Martinis. You can generally find a 1.5 liter bottle for around eighteen dollars U.S.

Grey Goose - Yes I know it is expensive but worth the cost for a Perfect Martini

Titos - This is one of Central Patti's and my favorites and will probably be the preferred Martin Vodkas for the year here at MySideOfTheBar. Great taste and great price.

The last is Shpilka Vodka which has won the coveted Preferred Vodka of the year here at MySideOfTheBar a few times and has a hint of citrus in it thus making an excellent Martini.

So there you have it now go and sample and start stocking that bar! Also send me some of your favorites and I will give them a whirl.

The Professor


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