The Home Bar

The bottles you should always have on hand.

Bourbon: Jim Beam may be good but Woodford Reserve ($33) is better. It doesn’t get any smoother than WR and you can smell the charred oak cask that it was aged in. Smooth and sweet starting out and finishes with a nice peppery note.

Canadian whiskey: Whether straight-up or with water, Crown Royal ($36) lends the perfect oakiness and spice to its finish.

Irish whiskey: Jameson ($35) is all you need.

Scotch: Blended, Johnny Walker Red ($31) is a worthy crowd-pleaser. For single malts, The Macallan 12-year-old ($51) is a fine choice.

Cognac: Hennessy VS ($49) is the baseline for top-shelf Cognac; enhance your digestifs by adding other brandies, grappa, and/or Calvados.

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Liqueurs: Kahlua ($21) and Frangelico ($25) are two staples in a rainbow’s worth of flavors in the $20-plus range; follow your flavor preferences for more.


Staples: Noilly Prat dry vermouth; Angostura bitters; Cointreau.