A well-stocked home bar provides an excellent venue for entertaining guests and honing your mixology talents. By filling your bar with a limited selection of basic spirits, mixers, glasses, and bar utensils, you can create nearly any conventional mixed drink and even create a few new ones.
Consider the Following When Supplying Your Home Bar
While stocking a home bar may appear daunting, the reality is that you only just a minimal selection of goods to create a wide variety of popular beverages. Consider the following while stocking your bar:
How much money are you willing to invest in your home bar? While high-end drinks and barware can add up quickly, there are lots of budget-friendly solutions available. Before you begin shopping for your home bar, establish a clear budget to assist you in making informed decisions.
The area allotted for your home bar may constrain the amount of your beverage and barware collection. Your home bar may occupy a whole basement or may be contained within a single bar cart. Consider the capacity of your home bar in terms of bottles and glasses.
Make a list of your favorite cocktails and popular drinks that you’d like to serve to guests. Make a list of the ingredients, bar utensils, and glasses required for each drink. This will assist you in creating a shopping list and ensuring you have the resources necessary to create the beverages you believe are most important.
Liquors that Every Home Bar Should Have
The amount of alcohol required for a home bar is frequently underestimated by novice mixologists. To make the majority of common cocktails, you only need a limited selection of basic materials. The following are a few types of alcohol that every home bar should stock:
Vodka is used in more mixed beverages than any other spirit type. It’s an incredibly adaptable spirit that comes at a range of price points. Each home bar should have at least one or two distinct varieties of vodka.
While some people love the flavor of gin more than others, regardless of your personal choice, you should always have a bottle of gin behind your home bar. Gin Martinis and Gin and Tonics are both popular drinks that you should be able to make in response to customers’ requests.
Margaritas are refreshing and celebratory cocktails that are particularly popular throughout the summer. For home bartenders, a good rule of thumb is to keep a cheaper bottle of blanco tequila on hand for margaritas and a finer bottle available for individuals who prefer their tequila straight or combined with soda.
Having a white rum bottle for Daiquiris and Mojitos and a darker rum bottle for more experimental rum-based beverages. This is an excellent method to begin amassing a rum collection.
There are numerous whiskey styles, each with its own flavor profile and characteristics. This complicates the task of selecting a single whiskey bottle for your bar. Purchase one bottle of bourbon and one bottle of mixed rye whiskey to begin your whiskey collection. The bourbon should stand up to being served plain or on the rocks, and the rye should function in most classic whiskey cocktails, such as an Old Fashioned or Manhattan.
A limited range of liqueurs is useful for creating cocktails and some work well on their own as digestifs after dinner. Amaretto, Campari, Cointreau (or another Triple Sec suited for Margaritas), and Vermouth are some of the essentials.
Basic Home Bar Mixers
The majority of drinks require one or two mixers. With a basic assortment of liquors and a broad selection of mixers, you can create the majority of common cocktails. The following is a list of mixers that every home bar should have:
Juice is a common element in a wide variety of cocktails. Orange juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, lemon juice, and lime juice should all be kept on hand at every home bar. This kit includes everything you need to create the majority of basic cocktails.
A bottle of Angostura aromatic bitters or Peychaud’s Bitters should be enough for the majority of your demands, and each bottle should last at least a year. If you enjoy experimenting with flavors in your cocktails, you can purchase additional bottles of bitters, such as Scrappy’s or Regan’s Orange Bitters.
You are not required to include this item on your shopping list, as simple syrup is simply sugar and water. Make your own simple syrup at home and keep a fresh bottle behind the bar to add sweetness to your cocktails quickly and easily. Our recipe demonstrates how to produce simple syrup.
Grenadine and Sour Mix
Grenadine and sour mix, two fundamental mixers found behind every bar, can be purchased in-shop or created at home.
Every bar should stock a variety of standard sodas in addition to club soda and tonic water. Sodas can be added to cocktails or served to non-drinking visitors on their own.
While garnishes are not strictly mixers, they are an excellent way to enhance the presentation and flavor of a cocktail. Maintain a stock of maraschino cherries, oranges, and grapefruits at your bar to provide a variety of garnishes for your cocktails.