Five 'must-haves' to make professional cocktails at home

The slow food, locavore movement coupled with economic uncertainty has helped create an increase in at-home entertaining. Here are five tips to take your home bar to the next level.

The American hospitality management company Benchmark Hospitality International released its "Top Ten Beverage Trends for 2010" on August 27, confirming that drinkers are opting for traditional cocktails with an "exotic twist" and "locavore flavor" in addition to spending less.

On September 1, the cocktail know-how site explained that "a solid five-bottle bar - gin, vodka, rum, tequila, and bourbon - with a few mixers and tools (a cocktail shaker, a jigger or two) can anchor one hell of a cocktail party, and is perfectly serviceable for at-home happy hour. But once you've mastered Mixology 101, it's only reasonable to long for the next level."

Here are five 'must-haves' to bring trendy lounge drinks home:
1. Herb and botanical-based liqueurs: like Campari, Chartreuse and St-Germain
2. Hand-held citrus juicer
3. Fruit peeler
4. Fruit liqueurs like Cointreau Luxardo Maraschino
5. Sweet liqueurs: creme de cacao/menthe/cassis

To see the complete list of ten secrets for "raising your bar," go to: