I often list recommendations in each recipe because the question usually comes up during in-person conversations. Just occurred to me though, I actually do have a list that I’ve whittled down over the decades. Maybe someone will find it useful, or just something new to try.
These are the “stand-bys” that I usually keep on hand for myself, for company, and for cooking, there is (usually) no difference between those three situations, as far as I’m concerned.
** I mean, unless you gotta dump 2-3 cups of it in, then something like Wyborowa in a vodka sauce would just be irresponsible **
Disclaimer: I am not a connoisseur of the following (well, sake may be the exception). I just explore, find what I like, and keep it around.*Hamorously Yours, Jimi
- Ultimat – it’s the only blended vodka that I know of and it’s incredible.
- Grey Goose, Chopin, Belvedere, Effen White Label – Standards, always kept in the freezer.
- Van Gogh (Blue) – When budget and availability allow.
- Wyborowa Exquisite – if you can find it.
- Patron Anejo
- Corzo Anejo
- Tito’s Anejo
- Jonnie Walker Black
- Balvenie – Single Malt 12
- Macallan – 12, 14
- Woodford Reserve
- Kraken – Spiced
- Hennessy VSOP – good for flambe shellfish and desserts.
- White Bottle: Junmai – Warm, “Hot”
- Black Bottle: Junmai Ginjo – Cold, Room Temp
- Silver: Junmai Daiginjo – Cold ONLY
- Junmai – Warm, Cooked, Hot
- Junmai Daiginjo – Cold ONLY
- Kikusui Daiginjo – Cold ONLY
- Casillero Del Diablo – consistently excellent
- Merryvale Cabernet – one of the best reds I’ve ever had
- Stags Leap Cabernet
- Klinker Red Zin
- Hahn Chardonnay – excellent bang-for-buck
- La Crema Chardonnay – one of my favorites
- Merryvale Chardonnay
- Coppola – Solid stand-by
- Sav Blanc
- Stag’s Leap Sav Blanc
- Fat Bastard Chardonnay
- Leaping From Chardonnay
- The Noble House Riesling – outstanding
- Relax Riesling
- Guinness Draft (or stout, based on need)
- Ayinger Celebrator – possibly my favorite beer, it’s seasonal (Nov-Jan)
- Ayinger Oktoberfest – also amazing, and seasonal
- Weihenstephaner – Hefe Weissbier (aka: Hefeweizen)
- Tripel Karmeliet – it isn’t a beer, so much as a fermented dessert in a beer trench-coat
- Corona Extra
Budweiser – LOL/JK, GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE
- Sam Adams – decent stand-by for several types, based on need/season
- Sapporo – pairs excellently with sushi and tempura
- Jackson Triggs – my standby, good mid range, not as sweet as Kiona
- Inskillen – Best out there, and nose-bleed expensive
- Kiona – Quite sweet if you’re looking for that
- Five Farms – best I’ve ever had
- St Brennan’s – If I can’t find Five Farms (it’s that good)
- Godiva – Milk, Dark or White Chocolates
- Disaronno Amaretto
- Plomari Ouzo
Marsala, Shaoxing, Port, Sherry etc… I usually get whatever is available (although I usually ask for a recommendation or pull from the “top shelf”). I only use these for cooking, and I can’t even find an alcoholic version of Shaoxing locally.
*Hamorous – (adj.) A portmanteau of Hammered and Amorous. First learned from a friend named Tina, who was indeed very, very drunk.