If you’re stocking a home bar for the first time, or you’re wondering why you never seem to have just the right ingredients to mix good, staple drinks at home, this video will help you out. In it, bartenders from around the globe explain exactly what your home bar needs, from base spirits to mixers.
If you can’t watch (although it’s only two minutes, and well worth it,) the video description at YouTube tells the tale:
Every home bar needs the essentials, but for the most part, they don’t need to be fancy — you just need to cover the basics. We rounded up some of America’s best bartenders, who tell us that you should start with some fundamental base sprits: one great vodka, one great gin, a bottle of rum (preferably one dark, one light), and good whiskey, either a rye or a bourbon. Then you’ll need small bottles of very basic modifiers: campari, triple sec, bitters, sweet and dry vermouth. Also stock soda, tonic, and simple syrup. Have some fresh juice, lemons and limes. You’ll need fresh ice. For a shaker, you could buy a tin or just use a mason jar. Find an implement for mixing, jiggers for measuring, a julep strainer, a hawthorne strainer, and a muddler.
Top it off with some glassware and a cocktail book, and you have yourself a respectable home bar.
Some of the other good tidbits of advice in the video is to not skimp on the quality of your spirits — you want something you’re not afraid to mix, but also don’t mind tasting straight. We’ve shown you some of those same essentials before, as well as some of that glassware they mention if you need further reading on the topic.
What You Need for Your Home Bar, According to Bartenders [Indulgence (YouTube)]