How To Put Together The Well-Stocked Home Bar

What constitutes a well-stocked home bar can differ widely. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to stocking

Nice set-up

a home bar. The best way to set up and stock a home bar is by following the preferences that you have when it comes to ?spirits? and those of the guests who will frequent your home or apartment. And remember ? there?s no quicker way to make friends than by maintaining a bar that is well-stocked at all times. This article will take a look at the items that are considered must-haves by most home bartenders.


The biggest expense of stocking your home bar will definitely be the alcohol. While some people prefer just the basics ? beer and whiskey ? others opt for a variety of different drinks. The list of alcohol must-haves includes:

wine ? white, red, and sparkling
whiskey ? both blended and sour mash
vermouth ? both sweet and dry
sherry ? both sweet and dry
wine coolers (for those wanna-be drinkers who stop by)

Drink Garnishes

No well-stocked bar is complete without garnishes for making specific drinks. ?Be sure to have these on hand:

bitters (to make Old-Fashioneds)
citrus fruit ? wedges, peels, and slices
coarse salt (to make margaritas)
cream of coconut (to make pina coladas)
hot pepper sauce (to make Bloody Marys)
Ice ? coarsely crushed if possible
maraschino cherries
Worcestershire sauce (to make Bloody Marys)

Must-Have Home Bar Equipment

Now that you have your supplies in order for your home bar, you?ll need the right bar equipment to set up shop and play bartender to your friends. Don?t overlook these musts that all home bartenders swear by:

bottle opener
cutting board
ice bucket(s)
paring knife
beer mugs
wine glasses
champagne flutes
shot glasses

Keep in mind that you may want to buy pre-mixed drink mixes ? for drinks like pina coladas or margaritas. You?ll also want to stock up on bottled water, soft drinks, fruit juice, and tomato juice. These are the bases or mixers used for many drinks, and they will also be served to those guests who will be serving as designated drivers ? or who opt not to drink.

Setting Up Your Home Bar

The needs for your bar will vary according to the size of your party and the budget that you have to spend. As a rule of thumb, plan on around 1.5 ounces of liquor or four ounces of wine or champagne to equal one cocktail. How many drinks do your friends usually throw down per hour? Multiply that number by the amount of alcohol needed per drink to determine how much alcohol you need to purchase before your party if your budget doesn?t allow for keeping the bar stocked at all times.

Additional Tips for Novice Bartenders

These tips will help your first home bartending experience a bit easier:

Chill beer mugs and cocktail glasses ahead of time.
Avoid filling glasses to the brim in order to avoid spills.
Keep plenty of towels handy as drink-making can sometimes mean mess-making.
Never allow any of your guests to drink and drive. When in doubt, call a cab or throw out the inflatable mattress for an unexpected houseguest!

Louise Kenny, writes for and offers aspiring home designers the opportunity to decorate with iron scroll wall grille and metal door toppers.

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