Liquor: What should you buy?
What liquors to buy to cover most of your guests favorites.
Well Stocked Bar
To put together a well stocked bar for your event is a balance between variety and budget. Hopefully the information below will help you decide what liquors to serve at your event to create that perfect balance of giving your guests enough options but not breaking the bank as well.
Whiskey – Must Have
Whiskey made up more than 35% of all liquor sold in Texas in the last year. To steal and change up a lyric from Alabama, if your gonna drink in Texas, you gotta have whiskey in your hand! Choosing your whiskey can get a little tricky though, because there are different kinds of whiskey, each having it’s one unique flavor and fans. You have Bourbons, such as Woodford Reserve or Makers Mark. You also have Rye, such as Whistle Pig or Redemption Rye. You have Canadian whiskey, such as Crown Royal. You have Irish whiskey, such as Jameson. You have Tennessee whiskey, mainly Jack Daniels. And then you have Scotch, such as Macallan or Johnnie Walker. As you can see, this can become a little cumbersome when trying to figure out what to buy for your event. You will know your guests better than your bartender will, so if you know what they like, buy that. If not, you’ll usually be safe with Crown Royal, Jack Daniels or Makers Mark.
Vodka – Must Have
Making up 23% of all liquor sold in Texas last year, vodka is by far the second most popular liquor of Texas and the most popular liquor in all of the US. Vodka (unflavored) is popular because it does not have a strong spirit flavor itself, so it mixes well with just about anything. The three most popular unflavored vodkas sold in Texas are Titos, Grey Goose and Absolut. Rarely do we work an event where there isn’t a bottle of Titos, but most guest wouldn’t stick there noses up at Grey Goose or Absolut either.
Tequila – Good to have
Tequila makes up about 13% of all liquor sold in Texas, but it’s always good to have a bottle around. It is the go-to alcohol for shots (should your guests be so inclined) and when your guests aren’t sure what they want, they will usually take a margarita. If you do decide to go with a tequila, a good rule of thumb is to go with a blanco or silver. Most people prefer a blanco or silver tequila for margaritas, as it is more of a pure tequila flavor. Reposado and Anejo tequilas are aged in oak barrels and come away with a more caramel or sometimes sweet flavor, which is great for sipping but sometimes not for margaritas. Plus Reposado and Anejo tequilas are more expensive, so you can get more bang for your buck on a blanco. The most popular brands we see are Patron Silver, Hornitos Silver or Sauza Silver.
Rum – Get it if it fits in your budget
Rum isn’t for everyone. A rum and coke makes a good simple mixed drink, but unless your event is tropical themed and you are having a lot of fruity drinks, you can be safe leaving the rum at the liquor store. If you do have some rum lovers coming to your event, the most popular brands are Bacardi Silver or Captain Morgan Spiced Rum.
Gin – Get it if it fits in your budget
Gin is about the same as rum. It is the base for some fantastic cocktails (try an Aviation or Last Word the next time you are at a cocktail bar!) but you’re either a fan or not. If you have martini drinkers, you should probably get a bottle. Although most people like their martinis with vodka, the gin martini is making a strong comeback. Best brands to go with would be Hendricks, Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire.
Cordials/Liqueur – Go easy..
Cordials or Liqueurs are basically sweetened/flavored spirits. They come in many different flavors and are served many different ways. Some are usually just consumed as shots, such as Jägermeister, Tuaca, Fireball or Rumple Minze. Some are added to cocktails to add flavor, such as Grand Marnier or St. Germain. Some are best in desert cocktails or coffee, such as Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kahlúa. Unless you are planning on taking shots or have specific cocktails that call for these, leave them on the shelf.