Thirteen Bottles of Booze in the Bar

Do you have Paraskevidekatriaphobia? That’s fear of Friday the 13th, although just having to pronounce the word itself is pretty scary. This recurring date on the Western calendar leaves millions of superstitious people too scared to leave their homes lest a black cat cross their path or a ladder appear in their way. Historically, the roots of this fear are vague, but numerous Eastern and Western cultures assign the number 13 a powerful role in religion.

Bartenders can be a superstitious lot in their own ways, but when we asked a few of them to list their 13 Most Essential Bottles, they didn’t bat an eye. No Methyphobia here. That’s fear of alcohol for all you scaredy-cats.

Matthew Biancaniello

Matthew Biancaniello

Photo courtesy of Matthew Biancaniello

Matthew Biancaniello, Cocktail Chef and Owner EAT YOUR DRINK

Biancaniello is currently working on a book that showcases his farm-to-table approach to cocktails. The name of his company “Eat Your Drink” says it all in terms of how Biancaniello uses ingredients and looks at the role of spirits in his creations. Further, the spirits he chooses, in general, are organic as clean growing practices are as important to Biancaniello as mixing drinks.

“Putting so much work into finding the best ingredients,” he says, “it just makes sense to have them matched with the best quality spirits made in the same practices.”

Matthew_Biancaniello

His Choices:

  • 123 Tequila Blanco
  • Art in the Age SAGE
  • Barr Hill Gin
  • Benesin Tobala Mezcal
  • Calisaya Liqueur
  • Cap Rock Gin
  • Capurro Pisco
  • Chareau Aloe Liqueur
  • Cynar Amaro
  • Dolin Blanco
  • Iris Liqueur
  • Novo Fogo Silver Cachaca
  • Tru Garden Vodka

Alex Strauss

Alex Strauss

Photo courtesy of the Bon Vivants

Alex Straus, Sergeant at Arms Bon Vivants; Bartender, Grandpa Johnson’s

Straus is an opinionated fellow, as you will see by his comments about each bottle below. One of his bottle choices, Tequila Ocho, is, as he says, “For me.” If you are lucky enough to find yourself before him at the bar, let the man make you whatever he wants — you won’t be disappointed.

Alex_Straus

His Choices:

  • Angostura Bitters — “Because you use that stuff all day long.”
  • Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur — “For spicy drinks.”
  • Atlantico ‘Private Cask’ Rum — “For sipping and Old Fashioneds.”
  • Beefeater Gin — “Because because.”
  • Campari — “For everyday.”
  • Fernet — “For people who are still stuck on Fernet.”
  • Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon — “For anyone who wants Bourbon.”
  • Green Chartreuse — “For Sidewinders.” (His Mezcal/Chartreuse shot)
  • Mandarine Napoleon — “For anything needing curacao.” (cut it 1:1 with simple syrup for a house mix)
  • La Nina Primario or Nuestra Soledad Mezcal
  • Linkwood 15 Year Scotch — “Because it’s the best there is.”
  • Sparkling Wine — “Because everyone needs some bubbles in their life (like Secco by Charles Smith)
  • Tequila Ocho — “For me.”

Josh Goldman

Josh Goldman

Photo courtesy of Alex Keilen

Josh Goldman, Co-Owner Soigne Group Management and Consulting; Managing Partner Brilliantshine

In his role as co-owner of Soigne Group and partner in Brilliantshine, Goldman has a key role in Los Angeles’ changing bar scene. His list is a bit more general than Straus’s and Biancianello’s, but just as intriguing.

Josh_Goldman

His Choices:

  • 17-Year Islay Scotch
  • Aged Agricole Rum
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Cuban Style Rum
  • Carpano Antica Formula
  • Fino Sherry
  • Green Chartreuse VEP
  • High-Proof Rye
  • Magnum of Krug 1985
  • London Dry Gin
  • Orange Bitters
  • Perruchi Dry Vermouth
  • Tobaziche Mezcal