Enjoying an adequately stocked home bar is one of those rare pleasures in life that make you wonder why you didn’t invest in them sooner. Still, stocking your home bar may pose a challenge many are unprepared for. It’s essential to start small, with the drinks you like, and build slowly. Here are some necessary tools and drinks you may need:
There’s no cocktail without alcohol, and there are a few essentials to have that will cover your bases.
- Gin — it’s one of the most popular base spirits, used in many cocktails, so it’s a good idea to have it. London dry gin is the most versatile choice;
- Vodka — another essential with a clean and transparent look and flavor, used in many classic cocktail recipes;
- Whiskey — adapt this choice to your style, but for the most versatile start, consider a bourbon and a Canadian blend;
- Tequila — you’ll need this one for margaritas at least, and a Blanco (silver) tequila is the best starting choice;
- Rum — your best bet is to have two rums, one a light rum to use in daiquiri and mojito, and the other a dark or spiced rum for tropical cocktails.
These are the distilled spirits used in addition to the base ones to add more flavor and character.
- Amaretto — an almond-flavored liqueur used as a staple in a multitude of cocktails, it’s an absolute essential;
- Coffee liqueur — many cocktails rely on this one, including the famous White Russian
- Dry and sweet vermouth — a must-have for martini lovers;
- Irish cream liqueur — great for cream cocktails, Baileys is the most popular brand for this one;
- Orange liqueur — another cocktail staple, with the most common options being curacao and triple sec.
No cocktail is complete without various mixers that add volume and flavor. There are different types:
- Juice mixers — some of the essentials are lemon and lime juice, orange juice, cranberry juice and pineapple juice;
- Soda mixers — the ones you are most likely to encounter in recipes are club soda, tonic water, ginger ale, Cola and lemon-lime soda;
- Other essential mixers — Ice is essential, as is syrup (mix of sugar and water), bitters and grenadine.
You have all the ingredients, but you’re going to need tools to mix them with.
- Ice-making — ice trays or ball molds are an excellent choice to start with;
- Mixing glass — a half-liter mixing glass with a pour spout is one of the bar essentials;
- Bar spoon — used for stirring drinks and as a measurement for syrup, multipurpose ones have a muddler top;
- Shakers — Boston shakers are a good starting point, as they can make all shaken drinks;
- Strainers — Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer are the two essentials;
- Jiggers — essential drink measuring tools.
If investing in a home bar is a little too much for you, at Rent a Bartender we’re there for all of your bartending needs. We’re looking to hire new people as well, so contact us if you’re interested.