Food, Home & Lifestyle

Get Behind the Bar

Lynnette and Ryan discuss the essentials for a home bar. Ryan encourages you to work with the spirits you love, Lynnette covers which spirits are the most versatile, and they agree that it’s best to make use of what you have.

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Topics include: An Introduction to Spirits · The Basics: Choose Spirits You Love · Get Creative: Multifunctional Spirits · Essential Tools · Use What You Have


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:13.20] - You don't need tons of spirits. You don't need a massive repertoire of stuff that you're never going to use. The first lesson I'd always say to people is, choose the spirits you love. Those are going to be the ones that you're going to serve the most. They're going to be the ones that you can talk a bit more in an authentic manner to your friends about. Find the ones that you know work for your palate. [00:00:32.65] But there's a couple of things I would always suggest having to hand. So keeping some vermouths. Now, these are wines, so keeping them in small bottles is ideal. It means that you turn them over and they're kept fresh. But keep them in the fridge, as well. You want them out of light. You want them to be able to retain their freshness and their delicacy, like a great wine will do. [00:00:50.85] In a similar bracket, I'll always keep a little bit of sherry. This is something that it comes in a bigger bottle. You can get small ones, but I drink this by itself, so I turn it over enough that it doesn't tend to lose its finesse. [00:01:03.36] Some other elements that work really nicely just to be able to add accents to your drinks are our bitters. These come in a variety, but keeping things like an Angostura bitters, a Peychaud and orange bitters-- these are the seasoning of your drink. They help bridge together those other flavors, and just having them to hand-- they're stable. Use a couple of dashes. A little goes a long way. It's worth investing in these. [00:01:25.02] In a similar manner is some absinthe. This gives you a lot of crux points to be able to make a ton of different drinks. What we want to make sure is within a small group of things, we can make a variety of different serves. And having absinthe is a bit of a secret weapon. It's like salt in your cooking. And I'll also use a little bit of salt in the cocktails, but it adds this little finesse in the background that means that it just brings a different dimension to some familiar serves. [00:01:49.44] And then a few different spirits gives you a lot of breathing room. I go towards some of the classics in this, a kind of more juniper-forward gin that's got a little bit more of that richness to it. It means you can make a ton of different serves without having one of those ones that's a little more lent in a particular direction. [00:02:05.79] Sticking with the white spirits, I'm always a big fan of the ones that are true to an origin, something that's got a real kind of character to it without any of those additional sweeteners or anything else that hides from it. So something like a great vodka that's got a real base of flavor, kind of really contrast the idea that it's just about a neutral blank canvas. To me, vodka is about character. [00:02:27.75] We want to be able to have a little bit of flexibility, so sticking in the white spirits, things like a mezcal. It's got a savory note to it. It's a contrast to your classic t...

About the Instructor

James Beard honoree Lynnette Marrero has been at the forefront of the NYC craft cocktail movement. Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) is the founder of Dandelyan, named the world’s best bar. They will teach you the essentials of cocktail making, from developing your palate to building your home bar. Learn how to mix a perfectly balanced drink for every occasion and mood—and become your friends’ new favorite bartender.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Lynnette Marrero & Ryan Chetiyawardana

World-class bartenders Lynnette and Ryan (aka Mr Lyan) teach you how to make perfect cocktails at home for any mood or occasion.

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