How To Stock Your Home Bar

Line of cocktails on bar.

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Stocking your home bar can be challenging if you don’t know where to begin. You can use your home bar to entertain guests or master your mixology skills. Either way, you’re going to need to stock your home bar. A good rule of thumb is to start with the basics and let them evolve. 

Plan Your Cocktails

You don’t want to overwhelm your home bar with too many spirits that you aren’t going to drink. An open liquor bottle can lose its character over time, so ensure that you store it properly once it’s open or wait to purchase it. You might be excited about your home bar and want to fill it to the brim with all of the expensive liquor you can. 

However, planning what cocktails you make can help you save money and keep your liquor fresh. Come up with a few mixed drinks you are likely to consume and gather the ingredients for those for your home bar. For example, if you’re making margaritas often, get some good tequila, triple sec, lime juice and some sweet and sour mix. If you feel like getting fancy, make some homemade sweet and sour to put a spin on a classic margarita and wow your guests. 

Liquors and Mixers

Most cocktails require some sort of mixer to complete their recipe. If you want a fleshed-out bar with essential liquors for guests, you should purchase vodka, rum, gin, whiskey and tequila to start. These liquors will ensure something for everyone in your home bar and will be enough to make the most typical drinks your guest might want. 

Once you have your booze, you’ll want to consider what you will mix them with. Some mixers you should stock your home bar with are pineapple juice, cranberry juice, your choice of soda, ginger beer, grenadine and sweet and sour. If you’re going to experiment with drinks like a classic old-fashioned, you’ll want to have some bitters on hand. 

Bar Tools You’ll Need

You already know you’ll need essential bar tools like a beer bottle opener. There are a few other tools of the trade that you should consider when stocking your home bar. A cocktail shaker is a vital tool in your home bar if you plan on mixing drinks. You’ll want to shake most of your mixed drinks and a shaker can reduce the mess. There are many cocktail shaker options, but the stainless steel ones are preferable. 

A jigger helps you measure the amount of alcohol you pour into your drinks. While you may like your cocktails heavy on whiskey, others may not. Jiggers are also valuable for ensuring you pour the correct amount of liquor a recipe calls for. Pour spouts are also helpful with measuring your liquor. Some liquor bottles pour faster than others; having a spout on the bottle can limit the amount that flows into your drink mix.

A muddler can come in handy with drinks like mojitos, where you muddle the mint leaves and an old fashioned where you muddle the fruit. If you’re working on your mixologist skills to become a bartender, you’ll need to learn how to use these tools. If you’re entertaining guests, you might also want to have them on hand. 

Enjoying Your Home Bar

Stocking your bar with quality ingredients can take your personal party area to the next level. No matter its purpose, to wow guests or mix drinks for yourself– having a home bar can be a fun adventure. 

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