The IKEA Home Bar

I just had a customer in the store today who wanted to build a quality, well-stocked home bar with all the basic necessities, but with one small caveat: he only wanted to spend around $100. Because many of you spend $100 on one mere bottle of single malt every month, it might seem crazy to think you could create an entire collection of spirits—good ones, nonetheless—for the same price, but it can be done. I did it today and the guy left with a big smile on his face (and he'll still have one when he gets home and opens everything because they're good products).

What did we go with? Here's the quick rundown based on today's inventory if you're on an extreme budget:

Vodka: Green Mark (Zelyonaya Marka) Russian Vodka $12.99 — A total steal. No one knows what it is in the U.S., but it's the third biggest selling vodka brand in the world (because if you're third in Russia, you're third in the entire world). It's clean and neutral in the best possible way.

General whisky: Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whisky $12.99 — Today's upgraded version of Seagram's VO. Perfect for a number of uses and quite tasty on its own. I've been buying this for the past year just for my own personal drinking. At this price you should buy a case.

Gin: City of London Gin $14.99 — This is from the same distillery portfolio that imports Hayman's Old Tom and the Royal Dock London gins. It's clean, dry, and it's the personal home bar gin of both myself and Champagne buyer Gary Westby. Another unknown gem.

Bourbon: Old Bardstown Black Label Straight Bourbon Whiskey $18.99 — Black Maple Hill at half the price. You could do the Four Roses Yellow too, but since we're being super stingy I'll take the extra dollar.

Tequila: Cimarron Blanco Tequila 1L $15.99 — That's right! Enrique Foneseca makes a clean, delicious blanco that comes in a liter and costs you a mere $15.99. Watch for the email next week going out to the big K&L database — this shit is going to FLY out of here.

Rum: 10 Cane Barbados Rum $13.99 — We've still got a bit left from the previous Dramarama deal, so might as well take advantage of it. Barbados quality, mega-discount price.

Subtotal: $89.94

CA Tax: $8.32

Total: $98.26

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll