What’s in your glass? A list of my favorite and must have booze for your home bar.

Hard day at work? Lost in the desert? Rollin’ down the street smokin’ indo? Sometimes life just calls for a cocktail. There are so many choices out there, and different situations demand different poisons.

While I’m certainly no sommelier, I do have extensive consumption experience. Here are a few of my tried and true favorites that won’t leave you high and dry.

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Vodka:

Whether you’re shooting straight with your Russian neighbor, mixing with tonic or having a martini shaken not stirred, a good vodka is key. Don’t settle for well, look for these options:

Tito’s – A great everyday drinker easy on the head in the morning.

Ketel One – My Bloody Mary mixer.

Belvedere – My #1 go-to vodka. A bit pricey, but worth it.

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Rum:

I can go on forever with this…I’m a rum-drinker and can tell you, you need to be picky. That said, here are my top three choices.

Cruzan #9 or white – Not so common mixing rum from St. Crox B.V.I. Nice change from Captain Morgan or Bacardi.

Koloa White – Once lived on Kauai Island Hawaii and fell in love with this mixer.

Havana Club – Another great distillery that you can not go wrong with anything they have to offer. A little tricky to get from Cuba though.

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Scotch:

If you’re channeling your inner Anchorman, you need to know what Scotch to choose. (Selections based on reliable recommendations).

Balvinie Double Wood – Aged in traditional and sherry oak this single malt burst with a multitude of flavors while staying smooth and mellow.

Macallan – With a variety of styles you can not go wrong with anything this distiller has to offer. The most mature pallet will be pleased.

Glenmorangie 18 – Top of the prestige collection this is a single malt scotch whiskey of serious distinction. Another must have.

Whiskey:

On the rocks, mixed with coke, or neat, you want a a whiskey that will complement the hair on your chest, not one that burns the esophagus.

Jameson Casemates – A unique experiment that came out delicious.

Lead Slingers Whiskey – Nice daily drinker and uber-patriotic.. ‘Merica

Mekhong Whiskey – From the deep jungles of Thailand this is mak mak ling. Taste like a rum but labeled a whiskey. Proceed with caution.

Bourbon:

Like scotch and whiskey, even if it’s not your drink, it never hurts to have a nice bourbon in the home bar. Pick up one of these stand-bys. (Based on reliable recommendations).

Jim Beam Single Barrel – Masterfully made by america’s finest Jim Beam has a spread any bourbon lover can enjoy.

Widow Jane 8yr – Hailing from New York City this craft bourbon is aged to perfection and worth the hunt to find.

Woodford Reserve 1838 Syle White Corn – The use of white corn instead of traditional yellow corn complements additional grains in the whiskey and allows for a sharper whiskey that’s lighter in body with a softer, sweeter, fruit-forward profile

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Tequila:

“You boys like MEXICO!! WoooHoo!!” Lets get south of the boarder silly with some favorites courtesy of the agave.

Gran Patron Platinum – A little on the pricey side but triple – distilled with a long spicy finish makes it way easier to swallow.

Herradura Reposado – Fermenting with naturally occurring airborne yeast and long stents in American Oak barrels really brings out the vanilla and butterscotch flavors while adding some color and unmatched smoothness.

Tapatio Blanco – Double distilled this is a great example of old world style tequila on a budget.

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Beer:

I’m not a huge beer drinker..sorry hipsters. Yet, certain occasions just call for a beer and why settle for Coors Light? Having a few go-to selections will come in handy when you need to grab a 6-pack for a BBQ, a little hair of the dog or something to wash down that burger and onion rings.

Dos XX Lager Especial – A favorite of “The Worlds Most Interesting Man” it’s not hard to understand why. A crisp, light-bodied, malt-flavored beer with a well-balanced finish is very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Any Octoberfest – Or Marzen as “ze Germans” call it. It is a shame this nectar of the gods is seasonal. Born in Munich, it is well worth the flight or at least a trip to your local store.

Gasser – I have only seen this in Austria. This light and refreshing adult beverage will be an internet purchase. A definite anytime beer…even with breakfast…Prost!

Monkeynaut IPA – Why? Why not. It’s a good beer with an awesome can logo. It’s you’re going to drink beer, you might as well be entertained at the same time.

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Wine:

For you single guys, being able to pick a good bottle to bring over for dinner is a definite plus. And a good husband knows the true value of a good bottle of wine. There are a huge number of good options out there and often a good liquor store will give some great recommendations. In general, avoid screw tops and don’t go for the cheapest bottle on the shelf. Beyond that, check out these no-fail bottles:

Dreaming Tree Crush – Everyday drinker. A California blend with mixed berries and vanilla oak flavors. Great on its own or with dinner, this reasonably-priced red is a favorite in our house.

Francis Coppola Claret – A Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, blended in the classic Bordeaux style. Flavors of blackberry, cassis and roasted espresso.  This rich red is the perfect pairing with a nice steak dinner.

Archival Ferrer Malbec – A little vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina, the wife and I found this wine on our honeymoon. A hard find but worth the look. You can not go wrong with anything from this part of Argentina.

I’m a red wine drinker…ask your wife for white recommendations.

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Champagne:

The more accurately label for this list would be “Sparkling Wine.” Either way, when you are popping the top and sipping bubbly, you don’t care what it’s called just as long as the party keeps rolling.

Bollinger – the “James Bond champagne.” It’s been featured in 11 of the Bond films to date.

Cordon Negro Brut – A family favorite. Sunday brunch mimosas.

Krug 1975 Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs – For all of you ballers making it rain.

There is the list to church up your home bar, entertain a client at the office or surprise the Mrs. for dinner. I hope you enjoy responsibly. If not, at least take pictures and post them with #codenamedad

Please add your favorites in the comments.

For the difficult finds and imports, I have had success ordering from The Whiskey Exchange.

I will post new finds as time goes on. Until then, Cheers, Prost, Salute, Nastrovia, Skall!

CODE NAME DAD… OUT!


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