How to Stock a Home Bar

Your home bar should be a reflection of your tastes. There are some essentials that every bar should have, but you’ve also got plenty of room for some unique individualization. As long as you invest in the basics, stock up on the liquor options you prefer, and have products that will let you maintain the beauty of your bar, you’ll have a setup that is the envy of the neighborhood.

  1. Have a cool storage space. Liquor saves for a long time, but only when it is in a cool place away from sunlight or UV interior lights. Certain items, such as vermouth, must be refrigerated, so investing in a wine cooler or small bar refrigerator will give you additional stocking options.
  1. Know your barware. Whether you’re opening bottles of wine or mixing cocktails, barware covers the essentials you’re going to need. Things like a cocktail shaker, strainer, corkscrew, and even a jigger will become essential tools of your trade. You’ll also want to invest into glassware based on your preferred beverages. Glasses for red or white wine, whiskey glasses, and decanters can perfect the look of your bar and deliver a flavorful drink.
  1. Get the spirits. Don’t go overboard buying the alcohol for your home bar. It might be fun having a dozen different types of vodka, a handful of top-shelf single malt scotch options, one of each type of rum, and so forth. It’s also quite costly. Get some base spirits instead based on your preferences, some mixers to make a few cocktails, and you’ll be able to make the classics and have a chance to invent your own as well.

What are those 6 key basic liquors? Bourbon, gin, white rum, cognac, tequila, and vodka. 

  1. Have the ice ready. You’re going to need plenty of ice when you’re entertaining in a home bar. A general rule of thumb is to have one pound of ice available for every guest at the party. That means 20 guests equates to 20 pounds of ice. Instead of having your freezer’s icemaker running full-time or running down to the local convenience store to buy a few bags of ice, consider investing in a portable icemaker for the home bar. Some models can make 48 pounds of ice in a single day.
  1. Get the mixers. Bitters are the most important thing to have when making cocktails at your home bar. They don’t make the drink bitter. They blend the flavors of the beverage together into one cohesive taste bud explosion. Multiple types of vermouth are also essential, while Cointreau is something you won’t want to live without.
  2. Consider stocking non-alcoholic options. Not everyone wants to have an alcoholic beverage, instead of ignoring these folks while you’re entertaining, considering having some juice options available. You can also make non-alcoholic versions of certain drinks, such as a pina colada or a Shirley Temple. Non-alcoholic beers and wines are also available to keep in your cooler or refrigerator.

How you stock your home bar will make or break your next event. Knowing how to stock a home bar is pretty simple, but knowing how much of what item to have can be a bit tricky. Stock up on these items first, add in others if you have some spare cash, and your home bar will be a success.