A robust home bar is a point of pride for some.

But just as bartenders are learning that more is less, we're using spring cleaning as an excuse to pare back our collection. Our goal: Produce delicious and varied cocktails with an arsenal of only five on-hand ingredients (plus basic around-the-house staples). 

Turns out, simplicity suits us. Our "bare-bones" bar includes white rum, bourbon, lemon, thyme and Angostura bitters. With a helping hand from some of our favorite bartenders (and the occasional easy-to-find addition), we found variety but never thirst.

During our first experiment, we came up with the Juloro, a savory take on a julep. Bobby Heugel, of Anvil and Underbelly in Houston, created the Time Buck (click here to see the recipe), in which he sweetens a rum-based cocktail with ginger beer. And Maxwell Britten of Maison Premiere in New York City made us a stirred drink that called on the properties of both rum and bourbon (click here to see the recipe).

Finally, we asked barman Jim Meehan for a contribution, and he gave us the Island Thyme (click here to see the recipe). His was the simplest of all, and we've dubbed it our spring cocktail of choice.

Here's to a lighter load.