With the new restaurant, Mint Restobar, opening on Thursday it has been sucking up a lot of my writing time, but things should be back to normal this week. With the opening date finalized the purchase of the bar inventory needed to be done. Since we are a fine dining establishment, I went with some better quality products, but still kept it common enough that most "calls" could be fulfilled. Mint has a clientele already built in, because of the people involved, so part of the product selection was based on their drink preferences. Other than that, this bar will grow as need be. If people want something, we will probably bring it in.
I’m of the opinion that rum is the next "big thing" in the liquor world. Vodka has had its time in the spotlight and tequila is currently having fun, but rum should break through soon, if not already. To start I went with the Havana Club range of rums. They are genuinely good rums. For dark rum, Gosling Black Seal was the choice. We also have Appleton VX, Mount Gay and Bacardi white to handle any calls.
As far as whisky goes, this is a selection based on personal tastings and expected calls. Forty Creek Barrel Select is a great whisky and we are using it as our rail. We can’t live without Crown Royal and Canadian Club since those two are called so frequently. The Canadian Club is the 12-year version. Wiser’s is in the mix because it is another flavourful Canadian whisky and to round things out Alberta Premium for the 100% rye purists. As for Bourbon, Makers’ Mark is the choice for now. We will probably bring in a few others as time goes on. All though not a bourbon, Jack Daniels is also on the shelf.
The selection of scotch is always a hard one. There are so many choices and people are so loyal to a particular brand that it can sometimes be hard to pick the inventory. The first thing was to pick a good rail blend, and that was Famous Grouse. Next, we added Chivas and Johnnie Walker Black Label. These three blends should cover the general blend spectrum.
The single malt scotches were selected to cover most regions of Scotland. The first region would be Speyside and my preference is Macallan 12 which is a sherried malt. Cragganmore 12 Year and Glenfiddich 12 Year are the other Speyside malt we will be keeping on hand. Next, we need a couple of Highland malts so Highland Park 12 Year and Dalwhinnie 15 were selected. A lowland malt was required so Glenkinchie 10 was the choice and of course, you need an Islay malt so we picked Lagavulin 16 Year.
For the Irish Whiskey segment, we picked Bushmills Malt 10, a single malt whiskey and the universal standard Jameson.
Vodka is something that perplexes me, but I’m in the business to make what you want so here’s what was picked. Smirnoff, a good standard vodka that seems to fit most peoples tastes and Stoli, a true Russian vodka are in the rail. Then we went with Level and Grey Goose for our higher end. Ketel One fits into the mid range, but is highly rated by those that drink it. These five vodka’s should meet most peoples requests.
As for flavoured vodka, we went with only two, Stoli Vanilla and Stoli Razberi. The flavours on the Stoli range are more realistic and not as sweet as the Absolute or Smirnoff brands.
Brandy is something I don’t have a lot of experience, so we selected brandies and cognac that experience told us would sell. Stock 84 is the rail brandy and is from Italy and since we are an Italian influenced restaurant we also have Vecchia Romagna. The higher end Cognac is Remy Martin VSOP and Courvoisier VSOP. If people want an XO cognac, we will bring it in. We also stocked Calvados Boulard and Metaxa 7 Star to round things out.
Gin is a popular spirit, but again people are very brand loyal. We picked four gins to start and Plymouth was high on my list. After that, we need Tanqueray 10 and Bombay Sapphire because of their popularity. Beefeater is the rail gin.
Tequila is an area that we need to improve. The LCBO’s inventory is limited and we’re not sure there will be a lot of tequila ordered at Mint. For now, we picked Sauza Silver and Sauza Gold. I would like to bring in the Don Eduardo range, but currently, the LCBO doesn’t have it in stock, which means we would need to order a case. Hopefully Brown and Foreman will get this tequila into LCBO stores soon, because it is a good quality and reasonably priced, unlike Patron.
Liqueur of note that we will have to include Grand Marnier, Navan, Campari, Drambuie, Benedictine, Chambord, and a quality Limoncello. There is a whole list of other liqueurs, but they are just so we can make what is requested. I would like to add Green Chartreuse, Pernod Absinth and maybe some more bitters. But again if people request it, we will bring it in.
That’s the inventory in a nutshell. If you have any comments I’d love to hear them, specifically, what would you add or subtract.