Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

WHAT YOUTH DRINKS: BUILD A BAR Home bars made easy. Let’s get the drinks flowing.

what youth recommends building a beginner bar

Don Draper would approve. Bar carts with gold rails, hand carved mixing gadgets, illuminated backlighting — home bars these days can be really amazing. Like, totally Instagram worthy. Also, really expensive. A fully-stocked home bar should be more a culmination of years of collecting bottles and drinking with friends, as opposed to something that’s set up in just one weekend (unless you’ve got a lot of money burning a hole in your pocket).

Can we compare to a surfboard quiver? When you first started surfing, you didn’t go out and buy every type of board off the bat—shortboard, gun, fish, egg, twinny, step-up, etc — just because you wanted to have them at the ready. (Wait, you didn’t, right?) You probably had one board that you rode lots. Maybe eventually, once you had some coin and had a trip to warrant it, you got more boards to suit your needs. But even today, you probably still ride just one board most the time.

Let’s use that rationale with making your first home bar. There are tons of really rad bar guides online that tell you what to buy and why. Most are pretty fabulous. But again, it’s so weird to go to the liquor store and buy that entire recommended quiver with one credit card swipe. Build slow, build smart.

Besides, why do you need it all? If you like bourbon, why buy a nice bottle of vodka? “Well, so I can be a good host in case my friends want that,” you say. That’s sweet. But I can tell you, unless your friends suck, they won’t care. They’re not coming to your house looking for a Sizzler-sized bar assortment with whatever their hearts desire — they just want to hang out and have some of whatever you’re having.

So instead of giving you a shopping list telling you to go spend a bunch of money on some stuff you won’t drink, can I give some tips? Goals are to be able to make some basic great cocktails, not make a store run every evening to get supplies, and not break the bank. Let’s get going and get the drinks flowing.

CITRUS: Maybe it’s weird to start a bar list with lemons and friends, but it’s essential. There’s citrus and acidity in so many drinks, and you can use the peel to garnish and add freshness. Plus, lemons, limes, and oranges will help your cooking too. So keep a bowl around and I promise you’ll find yourself using them.

VERMOUTH: We’ve got two (main) types of vermouth—red/sweet and white/dry—and you should have them both. Use white to make martinis, red to make Manhattans, or both to make rositas. Remember that vermouth is a fortified wine, which means it will eventually go bad, so use it up quick. (If you say you don’t like vermouth it’s probably because it had gone bad. Try again, and this time keep it in the fridge.)

BITTERS: They’re the subtle staple in so many clean simple cocktails. Pick up a bottle or make your own.

THE LIQUORS: Dealers choice here. I won’t tell you what to buy specifically, but a few bottles should get you a long way. My bar has gin for martinis, white rum for daiquiris and mojitos, bourbon (or rye) for old fashioneds and manhattans, and tequila for the good times.

THE SET UP: Try to not keep your liquor above the fridge (ladies will not be smitten). Bar carts are great, I have one, but you can also simply keep your goods organized in your bookcase, on a shelf, or whatever. Just try to make it look nice. Dress it up. Candles are nice. Pretend like your bar is a store and you’re trying to sell that shit.

TOOLS: Let’s get into this more at a later date. For now, just get yourself a simple shaker and a strainer. This is a cocktail workhorse, so don’t spend a ton here. I found one on Amazon for $8.

GLASSWARE: It’s easy to get carried away here. But maybe consider some rocks glasses and wine glasses. I’m a fan of martinis and since drinking them out of red solo cups feels weird, I stock martini glasses. Also, a coupe feels really damn classy, and you can drink all sorts of cocktails or champagne out of them.

ICE: Yeah, you should have this. An ice bucket has always felt prissy for me, but hey, do whatever floats your boat. Those big ice cubes are pretty cool too, so maybe get one of those trays.

Easy enough? Let’s get the drinks flowing.–Paul Brewer

Radical Class, What Youth Drinks, Paul Brewer

WHAT YOUTH DRINKS: COCCI AMERICANO An Easy, Inexpensive way to Live that Riviera High Life

I snagged a bottle of this Cocci Americano stuff after seeing it on the shelf at a cocktail bar in Long Beach, CA. It was an impromptu buy — I didn’t know what it was or what to do with it, but thought I’d figure it out. Experiment! Cocktail jazz improvisation! While I’ll save the…

Radical Class, Berlin, Adam Warren

Radical Class: Hope from the Road Just when you thought it was all over: there is Berlin  

Turns out there is still hope out there. Out there, beyond your day-to-day, somewhere out on the road its not all politics, hurricanes, bad vibes and bad memes. In fact, the other day I found myself way outside the bad lands somewhere in Berlin. Just off the plane I walked around the Mitte District. I meandered…

WHAT YOUTH EATS: AGUACHILE Another Raw One: Sinaloa Spicy Shrimp

If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve gone raw at WhatYouth.com for the last few weeks. We’ve played with raw tuna a couple different ways (here and here), and got fancy and fresh with a raw beef tartare last week. It’s been fun, delicious, and the whole experiment has opened up our late…

what youth eats, raw, radical class, paul brewer

WHAT YOUTH EATS: RAW BEEF The latest in our Raw Series: Steak tartare is the primest of the prime.

For the last few weeks we’ve gone raw. We’re doing it all for the flavor — an exercise to experience great ingredients at their root essence, with a secondary win of less time cooking and more time having summertime fun outside (making raw things takes less time, duh). So far we’ve focused on fish and…

Tuna Don, Adam Warren, What Youth Eats

WY EATS: Spicy Tuna Don Another hit from our RAW series — best washed down with ice cold Kirin

Its time to expand on our RAW capabilities here. And just like the Mediterranean version of the albacore crudo that you’ve already mastered, we are leaning on our Japanese influence of raw efficiencies for our next dish: The Spicy Tuna Don. “Don” is short for “donburi” which is a traditional Japanese dish where any number…

what youth guide to the bar

WY Guide: The Bartender Getting a drink in a crowded bar is an art. Here’s your paint set.

As Shane Dorian famously said in Loose Change: “What’s your poison man?” That ageless, sometimes slightly altered greeting has been heard by bar patrons since the first bar opened circa 900 AD. And after 1100 years of human interaction at these establishments one would hope there would be some orderly and respectful manner one might…

WHAT YOUTH EATS: RAW The first in a Series: Albacore Crudo

For the next couple of weeks, I’m going raw. This isn’t some nonsense trendy food fad out of Beverly Hills: this is all about efficiency and simplicity. Efficiency because eating raw means less time in the kitchen and more time outside shredding through summer. Simplicity because I won’t have to develop complex sauces and spend…

what youth dead writers shirt

The WY Dead Writers T-Shirt Before it’s gone here’s why it exists

We still read…actual books even. And while a lot of our favorite writers are long gone, their influence is still smothering us. They’ve left us with piles and piles of great reading, insight, fucked up situations, and maniacal living to read about. This shirt is an ode to them. Here’s a run through who they…

what youth drinks tequila

What Youth Drinks: The Paloma Cuz it’s just so damn hot outside

It’s officially summer now. And since we’ve already taught you how to order a margarita the right way here, now it’s time to learn how to make the G of all tequila cocktails best drank in the sun: The Paloma. If the margarita is the popular girl in high school that everyone knows, then the Paloma…

Radical Class, What Youth Eats

What Youth Eats: Huevos Rancheros Your weekend mornings are now better

Huevos Rancheros hold a special place down deep in my gut. Growing up, when dad wasn’t at work on weekend mornings, we’d wake up early to surf the Cliffs, then he’d take me to Georges Mexican Food right by our house in Huntington Beach for breakfast. Every time the order was the same: two orders…

What Youth, Radical Class, Paul Brewer

WHAT YOUTH EATS: WITHOUT RECIPES Try this, then go rip into it

Learning to cook and make cocktails is a funny process. We read cookbooks, we watch TV shows, maybe we try a recipe or two from whatyouth.com. For the most part, we get set up with a list of instructions, and we’re expected to follow it closely or else it will be ruined. That’s a process that’s…

what youth eats our veggies

WHAT YOUTH EATS: OUR VEGGIES Skip the Meat with Grilled Mushroom Risotto

You’re eating your veggies, right? For those of you who just need meat with your meals, may I offer mushrooms instead. Here, the mushrooms are grilled to give a deeper, nuttier flavor, and combined with creamy rich risotto. Once you get the hang of risotto, it can be a quick dinner. Until you get the hang of…

Sign up for letters from What Youth