How To Stock A Home Bar

How to Stock a Home Bar

There's nothing like a couple of cocktails before a dinner party to get everyone loosened up. A home bar doesn't have to be fancy or terribly expensive. With a few essentials and a little knowledge, you'll be serving up great drinks in no time.

Photo by deletedsoul

Our friends at The Art of Manliness have some good advice on getting started stocking your own home bar. They suggest two simple rules: pick alcohol you enjoy and start small. While it's tempting to create a fully-stocked bar at one go, you'll be better off if you view it as a long-term effort.

When it comes to choosing alcohol, you can't go wrong with the basics. Keep a decent gin and vodka around and you've got the base for many of the most popular drinks. Bourbon and scotch take care of the sippers in your crowd and tequila and rum handle the more exotic drinkers. (check out these five home bar essentials that can make nearly any drink.)

As for mixers and garnishes, you'll want to keep some of the following on hand:

  • Soda water
  • Tonic water
  • Cola
  • Lemonade
  • Ginger ale
  • Fruit juices (especially orange)
  • Tomato juice
  • Cocktail olives and onions
  • Limes and lemons
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Salt, pepper and sugar
  • Plenty of ice

For glassware, start with martini, wine, and rocks glasses and add to your collection over time if you need to. Check out the article over at The Art of Manliness for lots more on getting your home bar going.

How to Stock a Home Bar [Art of Manliness]


    I find mixers and ice are the hardest things to keep on-hand. A standard bar-fridge gets full of mixers in no time, and while a bottle of scotch will stay on the shelf for 6 months, the same can't be said for a bottle of orange juice.

    Sugar syrup. Used in a few popular cocktails, easy to make on your own, but it kind of does need to be prepared in advance.

    Growing some mint in the garden is a great idea too. It goes well with a lot of cocktails, and tea as well.

    I think my "bar" is still in the stage of buying what I like. I have 8 different bottles of scotch, 1 bottle of Vodka and not much else.

    Need to buy myself a liquor cabinet before I get anymore! The wifey keeps hiding all my booze on me so I can't find as she hates looking at it on the shelf next to her photos and flowers =D haha, I think it classes the joint up.

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