For liqueurs, I like Cointreau for their strong flavor, meaning you don't need to use a lot. A Third solid liquor to have is a Brandy, like a Cognac for after dinner. Nice drink to sit on and wind down.
Yeah, go with Cointreau/Grand Marnier. Orange curacao liqueur is gonna be far more versatile than coffee/Irish cream.
I had ANOTHER shitty old fashioned at a bar last night. I need to stop ordering those.
If we ever get to hang out in earnest some day, I want to make you one of my Old Fashioneds. So many bars just use shitty bourbon or either too much sugar or bitters and it really can fuck things up.
Best budget bourbon is totally Evan Williams. The small batch and single barrel varieties are solid AF for bottom-shelf prices.
It's okay (small batch is better), but I've found Four Roses and Heaven Hill to be better budget bourbons and will advocate both for cocktail creation. (Four Roses on it's own is good too) If you find either, I recommend trying them out.
I've recently found the delight that is Irish Gin since my trip to Ireland in June. Since the Cork Irish Gin I had drank in Ireland has to be imported, I've since taken up Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, and it makes for some excellent Gin & Tonics.
I'm still finding too many bars that think an old-fashioned starts with muddling fruit The whole point of Don Draper is that that shit is meant to look dated.
Four Roses is everywhere these days, and it's pretty good.
I was in Ireland last year, and never had anything as crisp as Dingle Gin. Wish we'd brought back more than just one bottle.