SPVAQ32021 - 21

SHAKING IT UP AT HOME
Virginia ABC teamed up with
three Virginians who have finetuned
their mixology skills,
sharing tips for being a better
at-home barkeep.
Brenda Barnes and her
husband, Joe, both retired,
decided to section off their garage
storage area to add a tiki bar.
" Joe and I both love the beach,
and we go as often as possible, "
explains Brenda. " On those days,
especially the cold or snowy ones,
when we are at home, we can
go to our tiki bar, put on some
music, and feel as though we are
on a beach somewhere. "
Mark Calhoon expanded his
drink repertoire past his two
fingers of Scotch during a trip
to Myrtle Beach. He began with
a bar shaker that had 13 recipes
inscribed on the side. He later
moved up to a " Bar Master
Deluxe " -but more on that later.
Now retired, Mark is entertaining
more and has upped his skills,
whipping up new cocktails daily.
And if his latest recipe calls for
an ingredient he doesn't have, no
worries-the nearest ABC store is
just about a mile up the road.
Kevin Barger and his wife
decided they needed an " adult
room " right before the birth of
their third child, so the other new
addition to their home included
a bar. Since then, Kevin has
expanded his bartending skills by
trying, then tweaking, lots of new
recipes.
THE SPIRITS
If your bartending plans include
entertaining guests, consider
stocking spirits that appear most
commonly in popular cocktails.
You don't need the top-shelf
version, since flavors are muted
by mixers. On the other hand,
some cheap alternatives can spoil
a drink. Moderately priced spirits
typically provide a reasonable
compromise. Or buy what works
best for your budget-it's all good!
You can also treat yourself-
and the local economy-with a
product from a Virginia distillery.
" I've really enjoyed the Virginia
spirits aisle, " says Mark Calhoon,
" rum, vodka, rye, bourbon ... all
made in Virginia. When I run out
of something, I go there first.
There's so much great stuff being
made here now, you're doing
yourself a disservice if you don't
go to the Virginia aisle. " One of
Mark's go-to distilleries is Belle
Isle, with its lineup of flavored
moonshines.
Spirits for popular cocktails
include:
* Whiskey. For classic
cocktails such as a
Manhattan, Old Fashioned
or Whiskey Sour, go for a
moderately priced bourbon
or rye.
* Rum. Light rum sets
the stage for drinks like
Daiquiris and Mojitos,
while dark or spiced rums
contribute to many tropical
and tiki cocktails.
JULY | AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2021 21

SPVAQ32021

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