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Shake, muddle and pour

Tony Abou-Ganim,

author of The Modern Mixologist

Q: I'm moving into a cool new bachelorette pad and want to stock my home bar with all the essentials for entertaining small groups of friends.

A: With a few staples, you can be prepared when the girls stop by for a tipple.

If you and your girlfriends are Cosmopolitan fans, you'll need to have a selection of vodkas and citrus vodkas on hand as well as Cointreau, fresh limes and lemons, cranberry juice ( small cans), a Boston Shaker set with a Hawthorne strainer, cocktail glasses, a lime press and a citrus stripper for making spirals for garnish.

If a friend drinks vodka martinis, you already have the shaker, citrus stripper for lemon spirals and the vodka.

You may want to keep a small jar of Spanish olives and pearl onions in the refrigerator for garnish. Add some tonic water to the pantry (small bottles) and some highball glasses, and you're ready to serve a vodka tonic. If someone is on a mojito kick; add some light rum, fresh mint, soda water (small bottles) and a muddler.

You've got the highball glasses and limes, and it's easy to make simple syrup by mixing equal parts water with sugar and allowing it to dissolve. Once you have these key elements in place it's easy to add. Stock mixed nuts, cured olives and pretzels. Also the right music will add to your home bar environment.

Get my new DVD, Mix It Up: Making Great Cocktails at Home and have fun!

Tony Abou-Ganim will be hosting ''Mix It Up: Making Great Cocktails at Home'' at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival at 2 p.m. Feb. 24 and ''Let's Muddle Things Over'' at 11 a.m. Feb. 25.

Coming Feb. 21: Lorraine Bracco on wine lingo for budding oenophiles.

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