Nice-to-have spirits

Peated & unpeated single malt Scotch whiskies – Ideally you should have two single malt Scotch whiskies, peated and unseated. The reason is fairly straightforward—you’ll have a higher chance of making your guests happy. In the essential spirits page I’ve suggested the Aberlour 10 to start. If you wish to step up with your Scotch game, I suggest the Dalmore 12 as your home unpeated single malt, and one among Lagavulin 16, Ardbeg 10, and Caol Ila 12 as your peated supply. Laphroaig 10 is a good choice too, but it’s a either-you-love-it-or-hate-it kind of dram (I do love it).

Lagavulin 16-year-old single malt scotch whisky, box and bottle

Lagavulin 16-year-old single malt scotch whisky (peaty)

Aged rum – Another nice upgrade. Keep a bottle of Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva in your cabinet, lovely rum to sip.

Orange liqueursCointreau is the most popular, and can be used both neat and in cocktails.

Lemon liqueur – Take Limoncello as the perfect example: lemon peel, sugar, and a neutral spirit for the perfect lemony flavoured after-dinner pleasure.

Crème de menthe – A peppermint-flavoured liqueur.

Coffee liqueur – for example Kahlúa from Mexico, and Caffè Borghetti from Italy.

Frangelico – An Italian liqueur with hazelnuts, berries and flowers.

Sambuca – Anise-flavoured liqueur, colourless or black (liquorice-flavoured).

Blue Curação – A distinctively blue liqueur, orange-flavoured, great for mixed drinks and cocktails.

Grappa – Italian pomace brandy from Italy. Can be white or aged in barriques.

Ouzo – Greek licorice-flavoured liqueur.

Southern Comfort – Bourbon-based peach-flavoured American liqueur.

Maraschino Liqueur – Sour cherry liqueur.

Sake – Japanese rice wine made by fermenting refined rice.

Absinthe – It’s an anise-flavoured spirit derived from several botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium, together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs.

Pimm’s No. 1 – Gin-based liqueur-like drink, notably served in summer with lemonade and various garnishes, particularly apples, citruses, berries, and mint.


Campari – Italy’s most famous bitter aperitivo, from Milan. Crucial ingredient for several cocktails such as Negroni, Americano, and Boulevardier.



Aperol – An Italian low-alcohol bitter with herbs, lighter and sweeter than Campari. It’s the crucial ingredient for the Aperol Spritz, one of the most trendy cocktails.

Vermouth – It’s an aromatised, fortified wine, flavoured with roots, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices. Mix it with Campari and Gin for a Negroni, with whisky for a Manhattan, and other spirits/mixers. My favourite is the Carpano Antica Formula.

Amari and Digestifs

Amaro Lucano – It’s a herbal liqueur from Basilicata, a Southern Italian region.

Vecchio Amaro del Capo – An amaro from Calabria, the Southernmost region of continental Italy.

Amaro Averna – Sicilian amaro, sweet, thick, and with a gentle herbal bitterness.

Amaro Ramazzotti – Amaro from Milan, with at least 33 herbs, spices, and roots.

Amaro Montenegro – Italian digestif, made with 40 herbs, including vanilla and orange peels.

Cynar – Delicious artichoke-flavoured bitter.

Fernet Branca – Peppermint bitter with more than 40 herbs and spices.

Jägermeister – A complex bitter liqueur, typically consumed after dinner, with 56 herbs, roots and fruits.

Amaretto DiSaronno – Almond and apricot-flavoured amaro.

Fortified wines

Sherry – Fortified wine made from white grapes grown near Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain.

Port – Produced in the Douro Valley (Northern Portugal), it’s a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine.

Otima Port, box and bottle

Otima Port

Marsala – From the Italian city of Marsala, in Sicily, this fortified wine can be dry or sweet.

Keep up with your journey into home mixology!

Proceed with the mixers or get back to the Home Bar page.