PDT's Jim Meehan is also a contributing editor to Food & Wine magazine, and offers up this primer on technique and bar equipment.
Starting a bar is something that you should do piece by piece, starting with single recipes... If you spend a lot of money on a bottle each of vodka, gin, whiskey, brandy, Scotch and Cointreau, you might find you bought something you thought was a staple but that you aren’t using. You’ll feel gipped out of $40 because Jim Meehan said I needed this to have a bar. It’s better to start out with those three ingredients you need for the Negroni, and keep the vermouth in your fridge, and let the Campari and gin sit out. Spirits will keep for years. Later, when you want to make an Aviation, you can buy a bottle of maraschino liqueur and maybe some crème de violette. Then a year later, when you want to make a Last Word—all you need is a bottle of green Chartreuse.
[Continue reading at: Food & Wine]