Worlds top bartenders reveal what they have in their own drinks cabinets

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After a few drinks, we all think we’re master cocktail-makers. But there’s a lot more involved in crafting the best drinks than just sloshing some spirit and mixer into a glass and popping a garnish on top.

Much like many chefs only like to cook simple food when they go home, you might think bartenders from the world’s top bars can face little more than popping a cork on a bottle of wine or swigging from a can of beer when they get home.

But that’s not the case.

You don’t become a bartender at one of the world’s best bars without being passionate about drinks, and you can’t turn passion off, after all.

Whilst some of us may feel pleased with ourselves for always having a bottle of prosecco chilling in the fridge should guests unexpectedly pop round (or the urge suddenly strike), but top bartenders take things to another level with their at-home supplies. 

But just what does a top cocktail-maker have in their drinks cabinet home? With access to everything they could dream of at work, which select ingredients and tools do they choose for their home bars?

We went for a nosy through some of the world’s top bartenders’ cabinets to find out.

Colin Field, head bartender at The Hemingway Bar at The Ritz ParisColin Field (Ritz hotel Paris)Where do you keep your drinks at home?

I have a very, very large oak cabinet from the 1930s, with glass central doors and bookshelves on the left and right sides. My bottles are usually inside the cabinet with a mixing glass and some bar materials. 

What are your essentials for making drinks at home? How often do you actually make cocktails at home? 

I make cocktails very often in the house on my days off, and quite often when I get home at night (does this give me a bad reputation?).

It’s also very important to have a pair of brown leather club chairs and a low table – the former for enjoying the cocktail, the latter for some olives and nuts.

I always have part of my fridge filled up with cans of beer though!

Andrea Melis, Head Barman at the Blue Bar at The Berkeley, London

 

A post shared by Andrea Melis (@andremelis84) on Jul 7, 2017 at 3:19pm PDT

Where do you keep your drinks at home? 

I have a drinks library in my flat… I like to call it a library as I think an array of drinks can be an education! 

What are your essentials for making drinks at home? 

When I have friends over I love making cocktails for them and the essential ingredients for me have to be: Vermouth, Gin, Italian Bitters, tonic or soda – with these four you can make about 16 different cocktails from Negronis, to Vermouth & Soda and Americanos to Milano Torinos (this is where the bitters come into their own!). I love to be able to take core ingredients and allow my imagination to lead the way. 

How often do you actually make cocktails at home? 

Whenever I have friends round the bar opens!  

Davide Segat, bar manager of Punch Room at The London EDITIONDavide’s main at-home drinks stash (Davide Segat)Where do you keep your drinks at home?

Everywhere! Luckily I live by myself as my home is taken over by drinks. My shelves, cupboards, fridges and the freezer are bursting with drinks. If there’s a space that isn’t filled with drinks, there’ll be a book about them! 

What are your essentials for making drinks at home?

Tequila is my essential spirit I always keep at home, along with citrus and agave as a Margarita is my drink of choice. I have pretty much all the basic tools I need at home, from stirrers to shakers and strainers. 

How often do you make cocktails at home?

I think that cocktails are made to enjoy with friends, so usually when I have guests over for dinner – about once a month. 

Erik Lorincz, head bartender at The American Bar, The Savoy, LondonErik’s drinks at home (Erik Lorincz)Where do you keep your drinks at home? 

I have built a shelf for spirits and keep vermouth and other fortified wines in the fridge to prevent any oxidation.

What are your essentials for making drinks at home? 

I love the ritual of Dry Martini making and this means that I have a decent selection of gins and various Martini glasses that I have bought from all around the world. And of course a big part of the drink making is good quality ice. I make my own by freezing the whole freezer drawer, which results in big chunks of crystal ice that’s perfect for Martinis or any stirred drinks such as Negronis or Old Fashioneds.

How often do you actually make cocktails at home? 

Normally before dinner or when friends are around. 

Gabor Fodor, head bartender at Artesian at The Langham, LondonGabor FodorWhere do you keep your drinks at home?

I have a cabinet with a lot of spirits – some of them are quite special so I don’t open them, I try to keep them for a little while. Some as an investment and some for special occasions. 

What are your essentials for making drinks at home?

I always have everything for the classics, a nice daiquiri or white lady, anything classic really. 

I also have over 100 cocktail books at home (I have now limited myself to buying no more than three a month), which are another essential of mine. 

How often do you make cocktails at home?

I make drinks a lot when I have guests around, but I don’t like to make them for the sake of it, I want to produce something good. I have space at Artesian to experiment with flavours and textures and techniques, when I get home or see friends I just want a great drink. 

My personal favourite is a Bloody Mary with bourbon, which I really go a bit wild on. It never quite tastes the same, I add in whatever I have in my cabinets at home. I love cooking Asian food, so often I add rice vinegar or Thai chili sauce to my Bloody Mary. 

Mike Regan, bartender at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis New York

 

on Jul 21, 2017 at 12:51pm PDT

Where do you keep your drinks at home?  

I have a bar in the basement of my house, where I keep all of my drinks.

What are your essentials for making drinks at home? 

I enjoy making a variety of drinks using different liqueurs and spirits. I always keep the bar full of several types of vodka, gin, rum, tequila, bourbon, rye and single malts.

How often do you actually make cocktails at home? 

I make cocktails at home on a regular basis. I love to entertain on the weekends and enjoy making cocktails for my wife and friends.

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