Setting Up & Stocking A Home Bar


Home BarThere is no better way to entertain your guests than around a Home Bar. This is the most convenient and sophisticated way to have a party. You can find various styles from country to modern and everything in between.

Also,a Home Bar gives you the convenience of having everything you need for entertaining all in one place. You will no longer need to get your wine glasses from one cabinet, a wine opener in a drawer on the opposite side of the room and your bottles of wine from another storage area.

The initial set up of your own home bar might cost a few bucks but once most of the equipment is purchased you will just need to replenish whatever you drink.

The first thing you want to look at is how often you will be entertaining and the types of drinks your family and friends prefer.


Spirits are the base of most of your cocktails and mixed drinks so it is important to have a few of these on hand.

A good quality Gin will be needed for favorites such as Gin & Tonic and also for making martini’s

Vodka is a useful spirit to stock as it can be mixed with orange or tonic, used for making a good Bloody Mary, Vodka Martinis and Long Island Ice Teas and a 101 other cocktails.

Tequila is always a winner when entertaining at home, we have the exotic Tequila Sunshine, Tequila slammers and the classic Margarita to just name a few.

Whiskey would be my last essential spirit, a blended one to add mixers to or use for cocktails and a nice Single Malt Scotch to finish the evening or bring out for special occasions.

Other spirits worth considering would be dark and white rums as well as brandies and cognacs depending on your budget and the tastes of your guests.


If your making cocktails or planning on having an aperitif or night cap you will also need at least one or two liquors on hand. A coffee liquor like Kahlua is always useful as is the orange flavored Triple Sec.

Wines & Beers

Depending on who you’re catering for a case or two of beer and bottle of red and white wine would be worth stocking. I can guarantee there will always be somebody who only drinks beer at your gathering.

Mixers, Fruit Juices and other Essentials

You’ll need a good stock of different mixers, I’ll just list what I would say were the most useful here but  you can customize this for your own home bar.

Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice and Tomato Juice would be the three juices I’d stock as well as some fresh fruits like Limes and Lemons and certainly some Maraschino Cherries.

For Mixers, you can’t really do without Cola, as well as this I’d stock Tonic Water, Soda and Ginger Ale.

Last up these few ingredients are nice to have, won’t break the bank and can be re-purposed; Olives, Salt, Worcestershire or Tabasco Sauce.

So now you’ve got all the ingredients, we need some glasses.

These would be my choices;

Beer Mugs, Red & White Wine Glasses, Champagne Flutes, Cocktail/Martini Glasses, Highballs, Shot Glasses and  I like to have some Margarita Glasses on hand.

Last up the rest of the tools for the job.

Certainly a cocktail shaker would be number one on my list, followed by something to measure your shots with as well as bottle opener and a corkscrew. You’ll need a cutting board and sharp knife to cut up any fruit and an ice bucket and tongs. An electric blender would be something to think about and of course cocktail sticks and straws should be on hand. A few cloths to mop up around you wouldn’t be a bad idea as well!

I saw this nice set of tools over at Amazon OXO SteeL 7-Piece Barware Set, they are not absolutely necessary but they do look pretty cool! In fact you hardly need to leave your apartment as you can order pretty much everything you need from Amazon from the drinks and mixers, to all the glasses and equipment you need.

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By Joe Conde