A home bar is a perfect opportunity to show off your mixology skills and experiment with tasty new drink combinations. But to do that, you must ensure that it is well-stocked! From spirits to mixers to garnishes, here are some essential items every home bar should have.
Let’s Talk Liquor
New mixologists often overestimate the amount of alcohol that is needed in their home bar – yet in most cases, they only need a few staples, such as:
- Vodka: This versatile spirit is found in many popular mixed drinks (such as vodka soda and vodka cranberry). It also makes an excellent base for more adventurous mixed drinks like spritzers, smashes, Bloody Marys, and White Russians.
- Gin: Not everyone loves gin, but it’s a great liquor to have on hand for a classic gin and tonic or martini. If you think you don’t like gin, try something like Hendrick’s, a refreshing gin infused with cucumber and rose. It might just change your opinion!
- Tequila: Tequila is a well-loved liquor you’ll want to keep around for margaritas or tequila sodas. We recommend silver over gold, as it tends to carry a less intense flavor that can be disguised in a mixed drink if desired.
- Rum: Consider stocking your bar with two types of rum: light and dark. One is perfect for fruity daiquiris and rumrunners, while the other is better for a classicrum and coke.
The mixers you stock your bar with are up to your taste, but here are a few basics you can count on:
- Juice: Plenty of mixed drinks are based on fruit juices, including orange, cranberry, pineapple, lime, lemon, and tomato.
- Grenadine: Whether you’re planning to make a Shirley Temple or a tequila sunrise, you can count on needing a bottle of this cherry flavoring.
- Sour Mix: Much like grenadine, you’ll find that sour mix is used quite often when mixing adventurous cocktails!
- Sodas: Many fan favorites are as simple as soda with an added shot, so you’ll want to stock bubbly staples like Coke, Sprite, ginger ale, soda water, and tonic water.
Fruits & Garnishes
Enhancing both flavor and presentation, garnishes like maraschino cherries, mint leaves, lemons, limes, oranges, and assorted berries can take your cocktails to the next level.
Did we miss any home bar staples? Share them with us in the comments below!