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The DIY bar cart
Photo by Jeffery Cross

#6-13: The DIY bar cart

Gone are the days of the dusty bottle of triple sec that got used just once a year. With the onslaught of local distillers, fresh cocktail recipes, and easy-to-find bar gadgets, the newest craze is having your own bar cart at the ready. Stock it with our picks below.

6 | Giant ice cubes: The best bar invention since the blender, these melt slowly—and take longer to water down that expensive single malt. Find Tovolo trays at amazon.com

7 | Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, Denver: With rustic tobacco and smoke flavors, this one’s for the die-hard whiskey lover. Distilled daily to guarantee small-batch quality.

8 | Victoria Gin, Victoria, B.C.: Deeply complex, with flavors of rose, citrus, and juniper, it’s our favorite gin. The company’s planning to ship to the U.S.; right now find it in Canada.

9 | Pacifique Absinthe, Woodinville, WA: Made in the 150-year-old Franco-Swiss tradition, this intense yet smooth spirit isn’t for the faint of heart—but it won’t make you crazy.

10 | Germain-Robin XO Brandy, Ukiah, CA: A Western cognac that goes toe-to-toe with the French? This is it—smooth and balanced, with rich dried fruits.

11 | Roughstock Montana Whiskey, Bozeman: Using Montana wheat grown just 20 miles from the distillery, this bourbonlike spirit will appeal even to whiskey newbies.

12 | New Deal vodka, gin, and liqueurs, Portland: A one-stop shop for your bar cart, New Deal Distillery is a standout for flavor and craftsmanship among Portland’s many distilleries.

13 | American Orange Liqueur, Denver: Leopold Bros.’ version of the cocktail staple is the first by an American distillery; it should replace triple sec or Cointreau in every margarita you make.

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