Guide to Stocking Your Bar

No home bar is complete without liquors, spirits, beer and wine, but there's more to a well-stocked bar than alcohol. Get our full list of garnishes, mixers, tools and glassware.
Retro Serving Station With Tray and Glassware

Retro Serving Station With Tray and Glassware

You can unify a shelf display by function, too. Mary Carol Garrity, author of Feather Your Nest: It's All in the Details and the owner of Nell Hill's, an accessories emporium in Atchison, Kan., likes to turn a shelf into a bar or a serving station. "Take out the shelf above to create more room, then top a tray with pretty cut-crystal decanters and glassware," she suggests. Design by Emily Henderson.

From: Secrets From a Stylist

Alcohol

Gin
Vodka
Rum (light and dark)
Tequila
Whiskey (scotch and bourbon)
Beer
Wine (white, red and champagne)
Brandy and cognac

Bar with Juice Mixers

Bar with Juice Mixers

An array of fruit juice sits on a table, offering a wide selection of mixers for a bar.

Fruit Juices and Coffee

Orange juice
Lemon juice
Lime juice
Pineapple juice
Grapefruit juice
Tomato juice
Peach nectar
Apricot nectar
Mango juice
Passion fruit juice
Cranberry juice
Cherry juice
Grape juice

For coffee, dark roast types work best as a mixer.

Garnish for Cocktails at Home Bar

Garnish for Cocktails at Home Bar

Garnishes an easy way to take your cocktails to the next level. Be sure to have a selection that compliments the flavor and color of the rinks being served.

Garnishes

Salt
Sugar
Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges)
Soft fruits (cherries, strawberries, apricots, peaches)
Chocolate
Nutmeg
Olives
Chiles
Cherry tomatoes
Mint
Cinnamon sticks

Syrups

Grenadine
Fruit syrups (pineapple, peach, apricot, strawberry and banana)
Orgeat
Sirop de gomme

Sparkling Beverages

Soda water
Tonic water
Lemonade
Cola
Ginger ale

Stylish Cocktail Glassware

Stylish Cocktail Glassware

An important part of planning the bar is thinking about the type of glassware that will be used to serve each drink. While traditionalists recommend a different glass for red and white wine, you can keep things simple by using a multipurpose glass for both. You might also try searching for unique and vintage glassware at flea markets and garage sales to add to your collection; don't be afraid to mix and match stemware for an eclectic look. For large parties, we recommend renting glassware. It comes perfectly polished, and there's no need to clean before returning.

Glassware

Martini glasses
High-ball glasses
Old-Fashioned glasses or tumblers
Wineglasses (all shapes)
Margarita glasses
Heavy-based Collins glasses
Heavy-based Rocks glasses
Hurricane glasses
Tulip-shaped champagne flutes
Shot glasses
Brandy/Cognac glasses
Beer mugs

Vermouth

Essential for a classic martini

Tray of Stainless Steel Bar Accessories

Tray of Stainless Steel Bar Accessories

No bar is complete without the proper utensils. This stainless steel bar displays accessories on a modern white bar cart and is party ready. Pine cones are a lovely, and free, bar decoration perfect for a winter cocktail party.

Tools

Bar Spoon
Doubles as a measuring spoon and a stir stick

Bartender's Handbook
Unless you're a walking encyclopedia of cocktail recipes

Bar Towels
Keep your space clean

Bottle Pourers
A must for mixing spirits

Bottle Stoppers
For when screw-top bottles annoy you

Cocktail Picks

Cocktail Shaker
Don't even think about stirring every mixed drink.

Corkscrew/Wine Opener
It isn't always about style — ease of use is more important.

Cutting Board
It should be large enough to be useful but small enough to store easily.

Electric Blender
Definitely comes in handy for many cocktail recipes

Grater
To grate spices

Ice Bucket
Perfect for small gatherings, but think ice tub for anything bigger.

Ice Crusher
Normal ice cubes are too big for most cocktails.

Ice, Ice Tongs and Scoop

Jigger
This is a must if you can't measure liquids accurately.

Juicer
Look for one that is easy to use.

Margarita Rimmer
Beats using a wet paper towel

Martini Pitcher
For those best-stirred-and-not-shaken drinks

Mixing Glass
Don't play the guessing game.

Muddler
Make sure it's long enough.

Napkins and Coasters
Useful for soaking up weepy drinks

Paring Knife
For cutting fruit garnishes

Rubber Spill Mat
Sure makes cleaning up a bit easier

Strainer
Don't do with your hands what you can do with a nice strainer.

Swizzle Sticks
Go for a variety in size, color and shape.

Sword Picks
For garnishes

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