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5 Essentials of The Well-Stocked Bar: Summer Edition

5_essentials_summer_ledeIt has been said that alcohol solves all problems, and that any problem alcohol can’t solve doesn’t have a solution. The sweltering summer heat is no exception. Whether you’re at a swim-up bar or throwing an outdoor BBQ, summer has a variety of signature drinks to choose from. However, you don’t need to be on vacation to mix up a resort-grade cocktail or even at a fancy beer garden enjoy a beer worthy of a fine Pilsner glass. Here are the five essentials of a well-stocked summer bar.

Bar Basics

Before you get sipping on the drinks below, you have to remember the basics to crafting a good cocktail. A shaker is always useful and helps pour your drink into the perfect cocktail glass. For summer, having a Collins, Old Fashioned, Pilsner, and a set of wine tumblers should cover your bases. Having some margarita salt, mint, club soda, Triple Sec, olives, lemons and limes on hand makes just about any drink possible this season.


The Hard Stuff

These bottles serve a multitude of purpose from pouring a drink straight up to creating your own summer concoctions.


Avión Silver

This tequila was voted the world’s best-tasting tequila at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (like the Oscars of alcohol). Opt for their flavorful Añejo tequila when sipping straight, and their smooth silver for a cocktail.

Think a margarita is a girlie drink? You’re right, if you’re thinking of the frozen variety. A margarita on the rocks, however, is a different animal. Pour this tequila into a salt rimmed glass over ice, add some lime juice, and with a splash of triple sec you’ve got yourself a man’s margarita.

Bacardi Superior

This white rum, first bottled in 1862, is a pro at balancing out any cocktail. That’s because Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, the founder of Bacardi, switched from the charred barrels used to make dark rum, to uncharred barrels and let his rum mellow for a year before charcoal filtering it to take away any hint of color and make it extremely mixable.

Today, rum’s reputation has been soiled by super sweet vacation drinks, but a mojito blends sweet and minty-fresh flavors to give you a drink that satisfies all of your taste buds.


Grey Goose

A relative newcomer to the vodka world, Grey Goose has quickly become known as THE high proof spirit for high rollers (aka you). The Russians may hold the title for “most effective” vodka, but this French vodka has earned its reputation as the world’s best tasting vodka.

Vodka can be used to make hundreds of drinks, but this summer channel your inner James Bond. Whether you wish to stir or shake it up, mixing and serving your own vodka martini will leave you feeling like an international man of mystery.

Wine + Beer

2012 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Blanc

White wine, served cold, is your move for summer. We like Sancerre and, apparently, we’re not alone. The Wall Street Journal called it “the Tom Hanks of wine” and Wine Spectator has rated this sub-$20 bottle an 87 out of 100. Dry and crisp, this wine is known for its acidity and pairs well with summer favorites like grilled chicken and shellfish.


Beer Tournament

Every man needs a go-to beer for the barbecues and beach weekends that mark your summer calendar. But with so many choices out there, we couldn’t pick just one. So we’re letting you decide. We narrowed the field to an elite eight and now it’s your turn to choose. Vote for your favorite summer beer on Facebook today. Game on.
A bracingly cold drink is the perfect answer to summer’s heat. So take the above suggestions and try them out or turn them into your own. Got a favorite summer drink we haven’t covered above? Share your recipe with in the comments below. Cheers.

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6 thoughts on “5 Essentials of The Well-Stocked Bar: Summer Edition”

  1. Shaun says:

    Hi guys
    Just wanted to know about dress as host for a good get together with friends. Do you have any ideas on what would look casual yet still crisp and well put together?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’ve got plenty of ideas for you from our “What to Wear on a Date” series. In Part 1, we suggested a wine bar look that would work just as well for serving wine as it does for tasting. In Part 2 we suggested more rustic looking painting class outfit that’ll work for a laid back affair.

      Happy pouring!

  2. Matt says:

    I just stumbled upon this website. I’m a high school teacher trying to sharpen up my wardrobe. But a posting on alcohol? Perfect! I always keep a bourbon or rye on hand. I like to rotate between Bulleit’s bourbon and rye. Being in Southern California, the beer is going to be Strand’s 24th Street Pale, and Alpine Beer Company’s Pure Hoppiness.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Those kids can drive you to drink, huh? Glad we could offer up some advice in that area as well as style tips.

      We’d be lying if we said we didn’t keep bourbon or rye on hand at our HQ all year. We just drink less of it in the summer.

      Those beers sound good. You’ve got us California Dreamin’, Matt.

  3. Eric S. says:

    Top notch list! Have not tried the Aion, but I will now! Can you tell us what the drink is in the picture? looks refreshing.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s a mojito in the photo at the top and it didn’t last long!

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