The best place to start your home bar is with a base. Base alcohols are the foundations of cocktails. They supply the primary flavor upon which the cocktail is built. For us, the best place to start your bar is with an American whiskey.
American whiskey primarily comes in two types: bourbon and rye. Rye whiskey produced in America is required by law to be at least 51% rye. Canadian rye whiskey doesn't have such strict controls, but good quality rye blends are some of the best rye you can drink. Aged in newly-charred oak barrels, rye has a spiciness or fruitiness to it. Being Canadian, we typically drink Canadian rye whiskey — usually Alberta Premium, Dark Horse, or Forty Creek. If you're into American rye, we recommend Dickell or Bulleit.
Your other option is bourbon. Bourbon, made primarily with a corn mash, is a typically American whiskey. It's sweeter than rye and fuller-bodied. Bourbon is also aged in newly-charred oak barrels. We drink Bulleit, Maker's Mark, Knob Creek and Woodford Reserve.