Tuesday, May 14, 2024

There's No Biting on Tuesdays - Part 3 (The Journey)

A mini series about losing my beloved dog and getting a new puppy.


Part 3: The Journey



The logistics of getting Willow here nearly broke my faith that this was meant to be. Hadley's breeder was located only about 2 hours away from us. Willow's breeder would not have been much further except for the move to South Carolina. They're in a small town, not close to a major airport. That would mean both flights and car rentals and I am a New York City girl who is not comfortable driving. I asked around and was referred to a flight nanny who flies that route and was asking a reasonable price to transport Willow. Done. Except suddenly not done. She had to work and then booked a vacation and her new schedule meant a month delay.

Thus began an odyssey into the world of pet transports. There are plenty of them and almost all gave me the ick. The few that didn't, wanted way more money than my initial budget. I began planning early and spent many hours on it. And I spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying that this was ill fated, that this level of difficulty was an omen that it was not meant to be at all.

And then a friend who lives in Florida suggested that her adult daughter might be up for this adventure. We spoke and, sure enough, Kady was happy to transport Willow. She said she preferred to drive and asked for approximately the same amount I'd already planned on with the original flight nanny. The giant boulder sitting on my chest rolled off.

At 9:00 am on the morning of the pickup, my phone dinged. Kady had turned on her location tracker and I watched her pull into the breeder's address. I literally cried. About 30 minutes later her car began heading north and shortly after I began receiving photos of Willow making the journey to her new home.


Go to Part 1

Go to Part 2

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

There's No Biting on Tuesdays - Part 2 (The Waiting)

A mini series about losing my beloved dog and getting a new puppy.


Part 2: The Waiting



I had imagined that I would be a much calmer future puppy mom as I was expecting my second. The constant worry and check-ins of the first would not be me anymore. HA! Panic would set in quickly over literally everything.

I signed the breeder's contract and did a bank transfer of the deposit. They said they would co-sign and put the contract in the mail. Two weeks went by and I hadn't received it so panic began. Were they legit? Was I being scammed? But a few days later, the contract I signed online along with the breeder's signature and all the information we discussed were in my mailbox.

Another few days and I begin to worry that I hadn't actually spoken to the breeder in a while. Was there something they were not telling me?? The following weekend an email arrived detailing the pickup arrangements and offering helpful tips to prepare for a new puppy. A couple of days later they called to chat, see how I was feeling, wanting to be sure I knew how difficult puppies can be. I assured them I am now an experienced puppy mom and was looking forward to the work. I'm an idiot, by the way.


A week before pickup, Willow now 8 weeks old, I wondered if I would even recognize the pretty 4 week old I'd chosen. Would it even be the same puppy? What if something happened to that particular puppy? Some of you are thinking I should be medicated at this point and I can't disagree.  And then an email arrived with updated photos and I recognized her immediately by the shape of her brown markings. My pretty 4 week old turned into a pretty 8 week old. I was in love.


Go to Part 1

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

There's No Biting on Tuesdays

Hadley

Taking a break in my cooking to start a little mini series about losing my beloved dog and getting a new puppy. Mostly for me to get my feelings out but I hope the words resonate with some of you as well. When I got my first ever dog, 15 years ago, I kept a puppy blog (long since abandoned) for the first year of her life. I was endlessly fascinated with how she grew from week to week but it was also the place I got to express my fears and frustrations with raising a puppy. I didn't promote it or expect anyone to read it. But a few lovely people found it and reached out to express similar feelings. There are more social platforms now and blogs are less popular. But, again, this is mostly for me. If you're following along on the new journey, I'd love to hear from you.

Part 1: Hadley, Winter and Willow

In June of 2007, we brought home my first ever pet, a beautiful 8 week old Cavalier. We'd met her when she was only 6 days old and the wait time for her to finish nursing and be ready for her new home was torture. We named her Hadley, after a character in our favorite TV show, and I was prepared with a ton of research on raising puppies. Those of you that have raised puppies probably know it didn't take long before I began to wonder if I'd made the biggest mistake of my life. Puppies are hard, people! So damn hard. We got through it, though. She grew up to be the most amazing dog and she had my whole heart. I lost her a year ago, at age 14 (geriatric for Cavaliers) and my heart shattered.

I cried multiple times a day, for months. I'm crying now just remembering her. I missed her so much but also missed having a dog. I realized I'd want another one but had no idea when I'd be ready. I said I would let fate decide. Many months later, I was just as miserable. I'd reached out to a few breeders, even had some offers of available pups, but I wasn't ready. Later, when I finally began researching breeders in earnest (Hadley's breeder was no longer available), I narrowed it down to two that came with excellent references. One invited me to put myself on her waiting list for a spring litter. The other, with whom I'd filled out a website form, had not yet responded. I decided I would join the wait list for the spring litter which would mean a puppy by mid-summer. I was OK waiting.

I quietly made plans, placed puppy items on my Amazon wish list and wrote a list of things I'd need when the time came, still in no rush. Two things I knew with absolute certainty was that I wanted another girl and that her name would be Winter. Why? Hadley's mother's name was Winter and I thought it was a great name, not common, and a way to honor my late dog, even if they were not related.

Not long after the new year, I received a phone call from the other breeder on my list, whose form I had filled out but had not heard from. Apologies but they had just moved from my home state of New York down to South Carolina and things got hectic. But a litter was born not long after they moved and she'd seen that I wrote about losing my dog and wanting a girl. There were 3 girls in the litter and the move meant they'd not had a chance to start a wait list. All 3 girls were available and would be ready to come home by the end of February. 

In truth, I was uncertain because it was months sooner than I'd now planned and the change of state would make bringing her home more difficult. But the breeder and I spoke for a long time and I liked her. She said the babies were too young to really see differences in their appearance so she was going to wait a month before taking their photos. But, if I wanted to see their mother, her photo was on their website. Her name is Winter.

Winter?? Clearly not Hadley's mother who is no longer alive but another mom with such an uncommon name? I ran to the website to look at her and saw a sweet, gentle face. I told the breeder to go ahead and send me their photos when she was ready. A month later, I received an email with photos of 3 beautiful little girls.

Willow

I had said I'd let fate decide. I wanted some kind of sign to let me know when it would be right. Years ago, on the exact day we decided to go ahead with finding a puppy was the day that Hadley was born. I took it as a sign. And now here was another. One of Winter's babies was meant for me. My only problem is that I could no longer name her Winter. But I wanted to keep a W name to honor both the sweet mamas named Winter. I named her Willow.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini

Chocolate-Covered-Cherry-Martini-1

It doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to drink a chocolate cocktail. And you definitely don't need to drink it out of a heart shaped glass. Kind of impractical anyway because there's no way to drink it without a straw. But all that being said, it's totally fun and so delicious.

Chocolate-Covered-Cherry-Martini-2

This is definitely one of those drinks that looks harmless but is actually quite potent because almost every ingredient is alcoholic. That's also part of the fun, though, depending on who you're drinking it with. Unlike typical chocolate martinis, this one has a good amount of cherry flavor from the Luxardo, a wonderful maraschino cherry liquor. If you're a fan of chocolate covered cherries then you'll be a fan of this drink.

Do you have to serve it with a chocolate covered cherry garnish? No but, also, yes because it's both beautiful and tasty. So snuggle up with someone you love, or like a lot, and make a couple of these. Cheers!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini

Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini

Yield: 2
Author: Anita Schecter
Prep time: 12 MinTotal time: 12 Min
A vodka cocktail recipe that includes chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao and maraschino cherry liqueur, garnished with with a chocolate covered cherry.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. Vodka
  • 2 oz. Chocolate liqueur
  • 2 oz. Creme de cacao
  • 2 oz. Cherry liqueur
  • 4 oz. Half and half
  • Cherries for garnish
  • Melted chocolate for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the vodka, chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao, cherry liqueur and half and half to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into two chilled cocktail glasses.
  2. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, dip maraschino cherries into the chocolate and refrigerate for a couple of minutes to set. Use to garnish the glasses.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Easter Bunny Bark

Easter chocolate bark made with milk and white chocolates, sprinkles, Easter candies and sea salt.

Do we need a holiday excuse to make a sweet chocolate treat? No, but, also, yes because then we can use all the fun holiday candy to decorate it. This Easter bark combines milk chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate Easter egg candies and springtime sprinkles along with some flaky sea salt to cut the sweetness. And yes, I did color some of the white chocolate pink!

Easter chocolate bark made with milk and white chocolates, sprinkles, Easter candies and sea salt.

Chocolate bark is one of the quickest and easiest treats to make but also looks like you fussed over it. No cooking needed and it's fully customizable. You can use dark or semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk. Change up the sprinkles, add other salty elements like crushed up pretzels or nuts and whatever candy you like best.

Easter chocolate bark made with milk and white chocolates, sprinkles, Easter candies and sea salt.

Because the chocolate is the star, I'm going to strongly urge you to resist inexpensive chocolate chips. Those are fine for cookies but here you need either a good quality bar chocolate or high end chips. I tend to use either Ghirardelli or Guittard and both taste great and melt much better than other brands. The same goes for the white chocolate.

Easter chocolate bark made with milk and white chocolates, sprinkles, Easter candies and sea salt.

And while it's fine to melt the chocolate in the microwave, I always find the smoothest consistency comes from doing it over a double boiler. Just fill a pot with a couple of inches of water, place a bowl over the pot, making sure it doesn't touch the water and add the chips. Keep the heat on medium low and stir often. You'll have perfectly smooth chocolate. I divided the white chocolate into two bowls and added a couple of drops of red food color to one of them for a spring pink color. Use a butter knife to swirl all the chocolates together on a baking sheet, top with whatever goodies you're using and let it sit to harden. Then enjoy your treat.

Yield: 8
Author: Anita Schecter
Easter chocolate bark made with milk and white chocolates, sprinkles, Easter candies and sea salt.

Easter Bunny Bark

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 25 Min
Easter chocolate bark made with milk and white chocolates, sprinkles, Easter candies and sea salt.

Ingredients

  • 1 Bag (approximately 12 oz.) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 Bag (approximately 12 oz.) white chocolate chips
  • 2 - 3 Drops red food color
  • 1 Cup crushed candy coated chocolate candy and Easter sprinkles
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  1. Melt the milk chocolate chips by placing them in a bowl set over a pot filled with a couple of inches of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until melted and pour into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread out the chocolate and set aside for about 20 minutes to begin to harden.
  2. Add the white chocolate chips to a separate bowl and melt over the pot of simmering water. Move half the melted white chocolate to a different bowl and add the food color until you have a light pink shade.
  3. Pour the white chocolate over the milk chocolate and swirl with a skewer or butter knife. Pour the pink chocolate over that and swirl again.
  4. Top with the crushed candy, sprinkles and a sprinkling of sea salt. Set aside to harden and break into chunks.
  5. Note that you can use the refrigerator to cool the chocolate either in between steps or at the end. However, I find that condensation forms and the chocolate melts quickly when removed from the fridge so I prefer to let it harden at room temperature.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Banoffee Pie

Recipe for pie made with fresh bananas, dulce de leche, whipped cream and chocolate on a graham cracker base.

If you know me, or if you pay weirdly close attention to my blog (tell me if you do because I love you!) then you know that banana cream is my favorite pie and has been all my life. Banoffee pie (a combo word of banana and toffee) is kind of the British version of it. I'd heard of it, both in England and at home in the U.S. but didn't actually taste it until a few years ago. After all, nothing could be better than my beloved original, right?

Monday, May 2, 2022

Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake

Recipe for a moist, buttery loaf cake, flavored with Meyer lemon juice and zest and topped with a Meyer lemon glaze.

I am a sucker for interesting citrus fruit so, when I see it, I need to try it. That's how I first experienced Meyer lemons, years ago and they immediately became a favorite ingredient.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Cadbury Crème Egg Cocktail

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail made with cream de cacao, milk and Cadbury crème eggs.

I know I'm not alone in my obsession with Cadbury Crème Eggs, right? While I can resist most Easter candy, these eggs have had a hold on me forever. I watch the store shelves as spring arrives, waiting for the first batch to show up. And we won't discuss how many I've bought and eaten.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe for moist, carrot cake cupcakes filled and topped with maple cream cheese frosting.

For years I would say that carrot cake was not my first choice for dessert. I never ordered it at a restaurant and would be disappointed if that was the only sweet treat on a table. Clearly I just never had good carrot cake. Until now.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Chocolate Chip Tahini Swirl Cookies

Recipe for thick, chocolate chip cookies with a sweet tahini swirl.

Do we need another chocolate chip cookie recipe? Yes, of course we do. Because this one includes some nutty sesame paste both in the batter and swirled on top of the cookies while they bake.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Smoked Gouda and Thyme Soda Bread

Recipe for Irish soda bread flavored with grated smoked gouda cheese and fresh thyme.

I decided a while back that I loved soda bread way too much to wait for St. Patrick's Day to make it. Because it has no yeast and requires no kneading or rising time, it's as fast and easy to make as a sweet quick bread.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Pink Grapefruit Bourbon Crusta

Bourbon cocktail flavored with maraschino cherry liqueur, pink grapefruit juice, orange liqueur and bitters. Served in a sugar encrusted glass.

There's so much I love about this drink. The pink grapefruit that I can never resist. The thick sugared rim of the glass. The well balanced flavors of this variation on an old cocktail.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Bacon and Cheddar Potato Soup

Recipe for a creamy soup made with potatoes, chicken stock, milk and cheddar cheese, served with crispy bacon.

Spring may be just a few weeks away but I'm still bundled up in layers and living that all soup, all the time lifestyle. I actually love soup year round but diving into a hot bowl of it when I get home from the cold is just pure comfort.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe for tender chocolate cupcakes, filled and frosted with a strawberry cream cheese frosting.

I take issue with most cupcake sizing. Yes, mini cupcakes or even regular small ones are much better for me but they are not satisfying. They don't feel like a whole dessert but I don't want to take a second one. If I'm going to indulge, I want a large cupcake! And so that's what I made.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Fried Yuca Balls

Recipe for panko coated and fried balls of cassava root (yuca) mashed and stuffed with cheese.

One beautiful April day, we drove upstate to meet our puppy and then had lunch at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Our meal was insanely good, filled with memorable dishes of the tenderest short ribs and fried yucca balls. It was my first time tasting yuca (cassava root) and it was love at first bite.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

White Chocolate Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Recipe for a buttery sugar cookie, shaped like stars and decorated with melted white chocolate and sanding sugar.

For all the delicious holiday cookies out there, sometimes you just need to make a batch of good vanilla sugar cookies, grab a cute cookie cutter and a bag of icing. Solo project, family activity, friend get-together or kid project, these cookies are an annual favorite.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Sparkling Rambutan Gibson Cocktail

Recipe for a gin based cocktail, with lime juice, sparkling wine and fresh rambutan fruit or lychees.

I wonder who the first person was that looked at this hairy, spiny, choking hazard of a fruit and thought it might be good to eat. That if you slice open the sea urchin-like shell, you'd find soft, sweet, juicy flesh.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Cheesy Ground Beef Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Recipe for browned ground beef cooked in a cheesy mustard bechamel sauce and served over baked potatoes.

For cold weather comfort food, meat and potatoes usually satisfy all my cravings. The classic baked potato is always welcome but, let's face it, it needs some help. We can slather it with butter and sour cream but, this recipe covers those potatoes with creamy, cheesy ground beef.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

Recipe for a green bean casserole made with mushrooms, caramelized onions and a creamy béchamel sauce, topped with homemade crispy onions.

When my European mother came to the U.S. she did her best to understand American holidays and customs. The idea of Thanksgiving appealed to her but some of the traditional foods did not. So she gave them her own spin.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Acorn Squash Stuffing Bowls

Recipe for buttery fresh herb bread stuffing with roasted acorn squash, served in individual squash bowls.

Is it called stuffing or dressing? The answer is that it depends on how it's cooked. It is stuffing if it's cooked inside the bird but dressing if it's cooked on the side. So now you just have to decide which way you want to make it.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Oven Smoked Brisket with Vegetable Fritters

Recipe for a beef brisket, rubbed with mustard, liquid smoke and spices, wrapped and slow cooked in an oven and served over vegetable fritters.

I know that many of you grew up in places where brisket came off a smoker with meltingly tender meat and that characteristic smoke ring at the top. But I grew up with brisket that was cooked in an oven, submerged in beef stock and red wine, accompanied by herbs, onions and carrots. That came out meltingly tender as well and you also got gravy.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

White Pumpkin Cocktail

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with pumpkin puree, coffee liqueur, cinnamon and milk.

I'm not even going to pretend I don't love Halloween candy but I also want a grownup treat. Cool weather and fall flavors mean a combination of warming bourbon, pumpkin and spices.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Pumpkin Loaf with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe for a fluffy, flavorful pumpkin loaf cake topped with salted caramel cream cheese frosting.

Is my house in full pumpkin mode all through autumn? Yup, it sure is. Not only do I love decorating with them but it's a full pumpkin-fest of cooking as well. I love it both sweet and savory and there's no end to my desire for a loaf of pumpkin bread as a snack.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread

Recipe for a sweet loaf cake flavored with pumpkin puree, fresh bananas and filled with chocolate chips.

Happy first day of autumn! It's my favorite season and I wish I could say the weather was autumnal but, if we bake like it is then perhaps it will come.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Crispy Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki and Feta

Recipe for crispy baked chicken meatballs with oregano, tzatziki sauce and marinated feta cheese.

Sometimes a single ingredient in my fridge or pantry inspires an entire meal. And that's exactly how this dinner of Mediterranean flavors came together. What was the ingredient this time? Some leftover feta cheese from another recipe.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Honey Cake with Tahini Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe for a honey cake with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Topped with a sweet tahini cream cheese frosting.

You can eat honey cake to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Or you can eat it just because it's delicious. I vote for doing both. and definitely doing the latter often.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Breaded Veal Cutlet Sandwich

Recipe for a sandwich with a breaded veal cutlet, arugula, tomato salad and burrata cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

This is my summer of awesome sandwiches. It started with a new gourmet sandwich place in my neighborhood and now I'm addicted to creating fun sammies of my own.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Maple Cream Scones with Candied Pecans

Recipe for scones baked with maple syrup and cinnamon, topped with a maple glaze and candied pecans.

I got my love of scones from my mom, back when they were not nearly as popular. These days they're a staple offering at fancy coffee shops but they're also one of the easiest pastries to make at home.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Grape Bourbon Smash

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with fresh grapes, lemon and elderflower liqueur.

Normally when we think about grapes and alcohol, we think wine. But fresh grapes taste completely different than fermented ones and actually make a great fruity addition to cocktails.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Strawberries and Cream Popsicles

Recipe for sweet and tangy vanilla ice cream popsicles swirled with fresh strawberries.

It's hot and I want ice cream. Sometimes in a dish, sometimes in a waffle cone and sometimes in the form of an easy to grab popsicle. I don't discriminate when it comes to ice cream.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Loaded Pastrami and Swiss Sandwich

Recipe for an over-stuffed sandwich filled with pastrami, Swiss cheese, shredded lettuce, diced pickles, mayo and mustard on toasted Ciabatta rolls.

There's a fairly new gourmet market in my neighborhood and they specialize in beautiful, over-stuffed sandwiches. The menu is long and it's so hard to choose. But, you actually have plenty of time to make your choice because the line snakes around the block. Sigh.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Watermelon Frosé

Recipe for a frozen cocktail with rosé wine and fresh watermelon.

Frosé became popular a few years ago when lots of restaurants and bars set up machines to turn out these slushy drinks all day. What is it exactly? Just rosé wine, maybe some fruit, maybe a little extra sweetness and citrus, all blended up with ice until slushy. It's delicious!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Cherry Cobbler with Cream Cheese Biscuits

Recipe for a cherry cobbler, baked with a cream cheese biscuit top.

It's the middle of June and, shockingly, these were the first cherries of the season that I bought. Normally I scoop them up the second I see them but somehow I didn't get to it the past couple of weeks. But, they're here now!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Deep Dish Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Recipe for a deep dish quiche with a savory crust and broccoli and cheddar cheese filling.

There's a new French bakery in my neighborhood. In addition to croissants and delicate fruit tarts, they also sell slices of their fresh baked quiche. It's hard to walk past the place without immediately getting hungry. So far the only thing that's saved me from buying them out has been the fact that the line to get in goes around the block.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Peanut Butter Milkshake with Chocolate Doughnuts

Recipe for a peanut butter and vanilla ice cream milkshake topped with baked mini chocolate doughnuts with a peanut butter glaze.

Last week we had our first mini heatwave. It's not usually in the 90's in New York in May but it happened and we all got an unexpected chance to see if our air conditioners were still working. Apart from being in need of a cleaning, mine seem to be OK.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Cheeseburger Hand Pies

Recipe for cheesy beef filling baked inside flaky, savory homemade pastry.

I have a hard time resisting anything in a crust, sweet or savory. So, when I'm developing recipes, I frequently ask myself - would this be good inside a crust of some kind? Truth.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Recipe for moist, banana bread with Greek yogurt and milk chocolate chips.

Do you have a "buy nothing" group in your neighborhood? They've become super popular around here and I love my local one. Lots of generous folks and community spirit. So much so that a lovely woman was giving away slices of her homemade banana bread. I didn't have time to grab one but it did start a wicked craving.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

S'mores Cupcakes

Recipe for a chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker crust base, topped with marshmallow butter frosting.

A couple of weeks ago I had a wicked craving for a cupcake. Sadly the best cupcake bakery (cupcakery?) in my neighborhood is closed for renovation. So I bought one at another place, not really known for them but, hey, you never know. Yes, yes you do. It did not hit the spot.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Pink Salty Dog Cocktail

Recipe for a vodka cocktail with grapefruit juice, grapefruit soda or beer and served in a salted rim glass.

We're kind of in that shoulder season between all the good winter citrus and all spring fruit. Coming home from the market with a load of beautiful pink grapefruit, I stopped to admire the first flowering tree on my block. A perfect example of where we are right now.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Potato and Caramelized Onion Bourekas (Turnovers)

Recipe for mini savory turnovers, filled with potato, caramelized onion and mustard and wrapped in puff pastry.

We may call them turnovers here but, in the Middle East, these filled puffs of dough are called bourekas. Popular in Israel, they usually contain a savory filling stuffed inside puff pastry.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Cocktail 101 for the Home Bartender

Easy guide for putting together a home bar including spirits, mixers, glassware and tools.

Starting a home bar doesn't have to be fussy or expensive if you begin with some basics and then add to your collection over time. Unlike some guides that feel strongly about spirits brands, appropriate glassware and what type of shaker you use, this is going to be a judgement-free zone. Because making cocktails at home should be fun! Below is a guide for building your home bar including items I think you should buy now, items you don't need immediately but are fun and inexpensive and those things you will add over time. Even a small collection will allow you to make a great many types of cocktails. Once you have the basics, it's fun to add a specialty liquor from time to time. And because those tend to be used more sparingly than the base spirit, they'll last much longer.