the Bar

Baby, we know you know what time of day it is. But in case city livin’ has you livin’ morethan just the vida loca, remember that there's nothing better than a well-stocked bar. think of it as life support for the swingin’ set. To begin with, a swinger’s got to understand the difference behind quantity and quality. If you purchase load after load of the cheap stuff, what kind of cats are you going to attract in the long run? The sight isn’t pretty and your reputation as a host will be DOA, as in unplugged, out-of-order, wrong number. So, put your cash together — Franklins if possible — and replenish Daddy-O’s neglected bar with the good stuff.

To get started, you’ll need the cool basics: a blender, a shaker, a strainer, a pitcher, a paring knife, a corkscrew, swizzle sticks, pineapple straws, plastic monkeys and umbrellas. As for your glassware, swingers know variety is the spice of life. Would James Bond or Austin Powers serve a time-honored highball in a sleek martini glass? That’s highly unlikely. Lounge lizards must have a properly assembled bar — that’s why it is so important to serve a cocktail in the proper glass. The well-stocked bar should have snifters and glasses or wine, Champagne, highballs, shots, beer and martinis.

For your bar to sizzle, you need an assortment of the following liqueurs and liquors: Amaretto, peppermint schnapps, brandy, bourbon, Cognac, creme de cacao, creme de menthe, curacao, vodka, gin, whiskey, Kahlua, Midori, rum, Scotch, tequila, Triple Sec, vermouth, wine, sparking juices (orange, grapefruit, cranberry, tomato, pineapple) and various garnishes (green olives, lemon twists, lemon peel, horseradish, celery). “The blue martini is the favorite drink of Lounge-OLeers,” says Ricky Ritzel of his Caesar’s Palace-inspired musical duo. “It’s made with blue curacao and vodka or gin.”

Don’t screw up your well-stocked bar with sub-standard ice. Remember, spring water makes the best ice for your mixed drinks. Keep tap water-based ice away — far away — from your happening bar. There’s nothing worse than a Manhattan-on-the-rocks chilled with ice made from Bronx tap water. The authors of Atomic Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for Modern Times (Chronicle Books, 1998), suggest sugar syrup “is the best sweetener for drinks that are shaken and strained because it requires no dissolving or mad stirring in incorporate.” Also, coarse salt and superfine sugar are must-haves for drinks which call for flavored “rims”. Hmmn… —JJ