Master your favorites, then tweak them
"I think it’s very important to master the classic cocktails. Especially having the right ingredients at all times. If you like Cosmos, that requires citrus vodka, Cointreau, fresh limes, and cranberry juice -- you should always have those ingredients. Master it, and once you have it down, begin to tweak the recipe." -- Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist
Spruce up wine
"Everybody forgets about Cassis, but since wine-style drinks are becoming popular again, get a good bottle of Cassis from Burgundy, where it was invented. There's some reasonably priced bottles on the market that make for great summertime cocktails like a Champagne Cassis." -- DeGroff
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Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food and drink team. His personal home bartending hack is a quarter ounce of anything to a gin and tonic. Follow him to a fridge full of half-juiced limes at @Dannosphere.