Must Haves for Your Garden Bar: The Cocktail Pantry Edition
A bar, whether it be in your garden, spare room, outhouse, or just a dedicated cabinet in the kitchen, is united by one thing: alcohol. With summer fast approaching and the promise of light nights and cold drinks, it would be wise to get your bar fully stocked.
There are many directions you can go in when stocking your home bar. You could go traditional and stock an extensive range of just about anything. Cocktail ingredients, a beer tap, your favourite ciders…
Or you could follow a theme and establish a beefy sports bar. Equipped with all the snacks you could want, an entertainment system to watch the matches on, and some comfy sofas and endless beer.
Alternatively, you could decide to be chic and stylish and create a garden gin bar to host your friends. Carrying a wide range of gins, tonics, and pairings to garnish your drinks with will surely keep you busy on the summer evenings, now that its dark past 6pm.
We may be Two Fat Blokes, but we’re not adverse to a refreshing cocktail when the weathers right and we thought now the sun is creeping back out, its about time we drop our list of must haves for your garden bar and introduce our good friend - The Cocktail Pantry.
- Vodka – clean, transparent flavour, incredibly diverse and goof for garden bars on a budget. If you’re keen to add some fruity flavours, there’s plenty of flavoured vodkas to choose from. All of which is sure to leave your head ringing the next morning – we’ve tested it, so you don’t have to.
- Tequila- Whether you’re shotting it or making the classic margarita, tequila certainly should have a place on your drinks shelf. If you’re only looking to stock one, a blanco tequila is usually the preferred.
- A gin or two – Not everyone is a lover of gin, or tonic for that matter. Personally, I think a gin and lemonade is a winner, but gin and tonic have no place in my home bar. If you’re going for an assortment of liquors, we’d recommend a versatile gin or two. There’s loads of gin choices out there, so best to see what you’re going to be using it for most before you commit to what kind.
- Rum – Rum is great on its own, with a mixer or in a cocktail. Rum is one of the more affordable liquors and is versatile too. A dark rum is essential for tropical cocktails and a light rum can be used for a large variety of basic cocktails too. Both are essential.
- Whiskey – Whiskey can be a tricky one to stock. There’s absolutely loads of option when it comes to whiskey and they can be drank neat, in cocktails, or whatever you want really. To begin, perhaps and Irish whiskey or a nice scotch.
Liqueurs are flavouring agents that can take your home bar to the next level. It can be a bit tricky figuring out which are going to work best. Luckily, we’ve been busy sampling and have a list for ya’.
- Amaretto – An almond flavour liqueur that may not be for everyone. We find it makes a brilliant Chery Bakewell flavoured cocktail if you’re brave enough.
- Coffee liqueur – White Russians and loads of other cocktails rely on some coffee flavour. Its an essential.
- Orange – Professional bars will have a few variations of these and they’re perfect in a number of cocktails.
- Baileys – No bar is complete without it. Its perfect in a B52.
Vodka – Stolichnaya Premium - Perfect for a martini.
Tequila - El Jimador blanco – Great in a Margarita
Gin - Tanqueray London dry gin - Perfect in a G&T
Rum – Havana Club 7 year old – Great in a Cuba Libre
Whisky – Irish Jamesons Black Barrel just great on its own
Scotch – Jura 12 Year old single malt – great on its own or in an Old Fashioned.
Mixers are what waters down the good stuff and keeps you from slurring your words for a little while longer.
- Ice – absolutely essential
- Lime and lemon juice or segments – Citrus fruits in cocktails are always great
- Juices – orange, cranberry, pineapple.
- Grenadine – Uses pomegranate juice and adds that juicy red colour to your cocktails
- Tonic water (flavoured options too)
- Lemon-lime fizzy pop
To finish off your drinks, you’re going to want something special.
- Maraschino cherries – if you’re feeling fancy
- Coarse salt or sugar – perfect for margaritas
- FoamFusion Miracle Dust – The Cocktail Pantry’s secret weapon
- Mini umbrellas
The Cocktail Pantry
Our good friends at The Cocktail Pantry are cocktail fiends, but not too keen on the bar prices. Like us, they jumped on the garden bar idea, and they got thinking (and drinking). After a bit they created their very own cocktail menu and graced us with some of their marvellous creations.
Through their rigorous testing (more drinking), they found the cocktails were slightly flat and needed a bit of extra oomph. Adding egg white didn’t hit the spot so TCP got thinking and created FoamFusion Miracle Dust!
FoamFusion is a vegan concoction you can use in substitute of egg white. It adds texture and body to flat, boring cocktails and gives your drinks the same wow factor you’d find in a bar.
Simply add a small amount (2 pinches) and shake with ice. Voila! Egg free foam, adding no unpleasant taste but lots of depth and texture to impress your friends. FoamFusion is vegan friendly too and an absolute staple for your home bars this summer!
For 10% off 50g and 100g bags of FoamFusion, simply apply code ‘TwoFB’ at checkout, here!
The Cocktail Pantry and The Fat Blokes have decided to team up and create some summer cocktails and some themed bar sings to get your home bars ready for the sun! With every cocktail bar sign purchase, we’re also going to throw in a Boston shaker tin, mesh strainer and Hawthrone strainer, and a packet of FoamFusion!
Below are some of The Cocktail Pantry’s stunning cocktails to get your mouth watering.
- 25ml Malibu/Coconut Rum
- 25ml Midori
- 25ml Blue Curacao
- 50ml Pineapple juice
- 50ml Sweet & Sour mix (made by mixing 25ml lemon juice 25ml
- lime juice and a teaspoon of sugar in a bottle and shaking)
- Put all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice, Shake it,
- then fine strain into a glass. Again, for deeper
- foam, remove ice after first shake and shake again.
- I have used an edible flower for a decoration.
- 25ml Spiced rum
- 30ml Amaretto liqueur
- 10ml Lime juice
- 30ml Pineapple juice
- Splash grenadine
- 1 Scoop Cocktail Pantry’s FoamFusion Miracle Dust
Put all ingredients into a shaker with ice, Shake like a polaroid picture and strain into a glass.
For a deeper foam, shake with ice, remove ice and shake again before straining into a glass.
For the brûlée decoration hold a flame over a cocktail spoon of caster sugar allowing it to drip on to the foam.
- 60ml Silver Tequila
- 50ml Pineapple juice
- 30ml Lime Juice
- 20ml Chilli Syrup (see guides on my group page for homemade recipe)
- 10ml Coconut Syrup (see guides on my group page for homemade recipe)
- 10ml Orgeat Syrup (see guides on my group page for homemade recipe)
- 1 Scoop FoamFusion Miracle Dust for a stable foam
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into glass. Decorate with Pineapple slice or a chilli. For a deeper foam shake with ice, remove ice and shake again, before straining into a glass.
- 50ml Gin
- 25ml Lemon Juice
- 10ml Raspberry Syrup
- 10ml Blackberry Syrup
- 10ml Simple Syrup (see guides on my group page for homemade recipe)
- 25ml Port
Put everything except port into a shaker with ice, Shake then pour into a glass. Carefully pour port down the back of a spoon onto the top of the cocktail. Decorate with raspberries and blackberries.
It’s not essential to use FoamFusion… but you’re not going to impress your friends without it.