With the lagging economy, many people are choosing to entertain at home. Your typical bar has thousands of selections, but stocking up a home bar on a budget is easier than you think. Here’s our list of home bar essentials you should have on hand.
Home Bar Essentials – Spirits
Be sure to have one bottle of each on hand. Since Bourbon and Scotch are typically enjoyed straight up or on the rocks, it’s a good idea to splurge.
Vodka – We suggest Stolichnaya, a Russian vodka distilled from wheat and rye grain.
Gin – We suggest Bombay Sapphire, an English gin with lighter flavor than typical gin.
Rum – Dark rum is typically used for sipping, while light rum is more commonly used in cocktails.
Tequila – Silver and Reposado tequilas are best for mixing.
Triple Sec or Cointreau
Red and White Wines – 60% red and 40% white is a good ratio for large groups of people.
Light and Dark Beers
Optional: Infused vodkas, coffee liqueurs, Irish Cream liqueurs, sweet Vermouth, Chambord liqueur.
Home Bar Essentials – Mixers
Cola – Diet and Regular
Lemon Lime Soda
Simple Syrup – Make your own using our simple syrup recipe.
Fresh Sour – Make your own using our sweet and sour recipe.
Optional: Tomato juice, bottled water, half and half, milk, bitters.
Home Bar Essentials – Garnishes
Pitted Green Olives
Optional: Sugar, Maraschino cherries, pearl onions.
Home Bar Essentials – Tools
European Shaker – Unlike a standard shaker, a European shaker has a built in strainer.
Long Cocktail Spoon
Jigger – A double sided tool used for measuring liquids.
Paring Knife – Used for cutting and peeling fruit.
Corkscrew – We suggest “rabbit ears”.
Ice Bucket with Tongs
Optional: Cocktail napkins, stir sticks, toothpicks, bar towels, rimmer, blender.
Barware shopping can be a daunting task, which is why we recommend this OXO Steel 11 Piece Barware set, available at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Home Bar Essentials – Glasses
Martini Glasses – Holds about 6 oz.
Highball Glasses – Holds about 8-10 oz.
All-Purpose Wine Glasses