Booze 101: Stock A Liquor Cabinet Like A Big Girl

Certain things go out of style, but a classic martini isn’t one of them. So, if your idea of liquid entertainment is a pitiful six-pack of Bud Lite, you might want to educate yourself in the language of liquor. (You can get drunk as part of this, but please wait until the end of the class.)

Setting up a liquor cabinet from scratch may not be cheap (about $100 for the basics), but if you decide to start entertaining more at home, it can be cost-effective, not to mention cute, if you get a cool piece of furniture (like a bar cart or hutch) to house your loot in. Here, what you’ll need, plus some basic recipes.Liquors

  • 1 bottle of vodka
  • 1 bottle of gin
  • 1 bottle of rum
  • 1 bottle dry vermouth
  • 1 bottle tequila
  • 1 bottle triple sec


  • Orange juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Seltzer
  • Tonic


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • Bottle opener

(Although you might just want to invest in an all-in-one cocktail set like this pretty one from Macy’s.)


  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Olives

You can mix up quite a bit from all this stuff, including the following recipes:

Classic Gin Martini

2 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz vermouth
Olives for garnish

Chill a martini glass by letting it set in the freezer for about 10 minutes, or by filling it with ice and a bit of water while you prepare your drink. Mix gin, vermouth, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain. Add 1-3 olives. To make a dirty martini, simply add a splash of olive juice. Pretend you’re that redheaded secretary with the great butt on Mad Men.


1 1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz triple sec
1 oz fresh lime juice

Mix in cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into salt-rimmed glass. Forget the entire night.


1 1/2 oz vodka
3/4 oz triple sec
1 oz lime juice
1/2 cranberry juice

Shake in martini shaker, strain into glass garnished with lime wedge. Proceed to reenact virtually any Sex And The City episode.