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The basic ingredients
For those of you just starting up mixing drinks, here's a suggestions of few bottles you need to have. These will get you started at a reasonable price. From there, any additional bottle will get you a few more possible drinks!
Absolut Vodka. Vodka mixes very well with just about anything, you'll find a lot of drinks made with vodka and juices for example. Since you'll be mixing it, you don't need to go for the priciest bottle. Don't go with cheap vodka either: on top of giving you a headache, cheaper vodka leaves you with a burning feeling and a bad taste.
White rum. Just like vodka, white rum mixes very well and is used in a lot of drinks. Havana Club and Bacardi are popular choices.
Gin. London Dry Gin is the classic choice for gin. Gordon's Dry Gin is cheap and taste great for mixed drinks. For Martinis, you'll need a higher quality brand like Bombay Saphire and Tanqueray No. Ten
Tequila. This spirit doesn't mix that well except for a few exceptions: it does magic with lime juice and orange liqueur in the Margarita recipe for example. If you're short on budget, keep this bottle for your next run as good quality tequilas are quite expensive. Even for mixed drinks, don't go with the cheaper brands. Go at least with Sauza Silver or Jose Cuervo Clasico Silver, they are a bit rough for shots but great for mixing.
Triple Sec. This orange liqueur is not expensive and is used in a lot of tropical drinks. You can use it as a replacement to Cointreau, Grand Marnier and Curacao.
Mixers. Coke, Sprite, 7UP, Canada Dry, etc.
Juices. Cranberry, orange, fresh lime and lemon juices.
What you can do with these ingredients
Rum and Sprite. A very popular drink from Dominican Republic.
A refreshing cocktail with a nice orange colour.
Black rat is the Australian slang for rum cola and is a popular mix among the Aussies.
This mocktail is a take-off on the Bloody Mary.
A Cuba Libre with a touch of smoothness
One of the most beautiful cocktails!
A quick and easy shooter for any Margarita Fan.
A very simple and tasty Martini.
A simple drink with vodka
One of the most popular mocktails. All the taste of the Mojito without the alcohol.
Classic orange juice and vodka cocktail
Another cocktail inspired by the Sidecar classic
My favorite aperitif. Tasty and very refreshing!
A Girly Martini for Sex in the City fans
A Cuban Rum and Coke