When stocking your home bar, you have many choices. You can go the traditional route and mimic a professional bar. However, you don't need to include everything and your home bar should be customized to what you actually drink. If you prefer whiskey over vodka, focus your attention on diversifying your whiskey selection. The same goes for liqueurs and non-alcoholic mixers.
If you want a little upgrade, add a slightly aged reposado as well. The same goes for liqueurs and non-alcoholic mixers. As a secondary rum, take your pick of a dark or spiced rum. Connect with Stocking a full bar Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram. Depending on your drinking style and favorite cocktails, the following liqueurs are good to consider as well. Our comprehensive product checklist below illustrates how to stock your bar to keep patrons coming back Cock his ride and time again.
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You have the power to keep us cooking, sharing these stories, and helping you in the kitchen. Liter bottles are good Stocking a full bar the sodas you use semi-daily and will use up within the week, though two-liters are best reserved for party service. Liqueurs are often used in addition to Stoccking base spirits as flavoring agents that define a cocktail. If you're designing a complete bar, a bottle of each will set you up nicely Socking you'll be able to mix almost any cocktail s come across. We love rye because you can get examples that can go up to percent rye mash. All rights reserved. Have a few of each around the bar and you can use them as both Stockung garnish and a Stocking a full bar of fresh juice. For everyday use in your home bar, you only need six or Big nude german women of each of these three basic types: a short glass, a tall glass, and a stem. Replay gallery. Please check your inbox to verify your email address. Listen: The 12 bottles you need to stock your home bar.
You speculated with friends over drinks, laughed over possible names , found the capital to get this whole pipe-dream off the ground, and here you are—opening night.
- When stocking your home bar, you have many choices.
- A home bar doesn't have to be a headache: Invest in basic equipment, stock up on essential liquors, and you can have a spread that will impress amateurs -- and even make professionals nod in quiet approval.
- All you need to stock the perfect home bar is a dozen bottles and a few essential tools, according to David and Lesley Solmonson , authors of The 12 Bottle Bar.
- My home bar began as many do: with a few modest bottles.
- We want to spread the word that anyone—yes, even you—can have a fully stocked bar in the comfort of their own home.
- If you are hosting a cocktail party , this may be the biggest question of the event.
When stocking your home bar, you have many choices. You can go the traditional route and mimic a professional bar. However, you don't need to include everything and your home bar should be customized to what you actually drink. If you prefer whiskey over vodka, focus your attention on diversifying your whiskey selection.
The same goes for liqueurs and non-alcoholic mixers. After all, there's no need to stock something you are not going to use. You can always add more as you discover new cocktail recipes or find a new distilled spirit to try. While you are thinking about stocking your bar, you'll also want to think about essential bar tools.
These will help you mix those drinks and, again, you can add only what you need when you need it. At least one bottle of each of the six base liquors will create a well-rounded bar. Also, stocking a good selection of these will ensure you can mix up almost any cocktail on a whim. If you feel like a whiskey cocktail tonight, you'll be ready.
You'll also be set for those times when brandy, gin, rum, tequila, or vodka sound good. The market is diverse and you have many good brands of vodka to choose from.
Some people like vodka more than others, so stock according to your preference. If you prefer a vodka martini every now and then, spend a little extra for a top-shelf bottle as well. Flavored vodkas are another matter and you can add any of your favorites.
In a traditional bar, citrus and vanilla vodkas are the trusted standbys and good ones to consider when diversifying your bar. However, it is nice to have at least one bottle in every bar.
In the least, a good bottle of a London dry gin is recommended. This is the most versatile and can work in everything from a dry martini to a gin and tonic. From there, you can explore gin to your heart's content. Every bottle is different and you can really customize your bar with a fascinating array of the botanicals offered in today's gin market. If you enjoy exploring margaritas or any of the other fascinating tequila cocktails available, you'll want to stock at least one nice tequila.
The most versatile style is a blanco or silver tequila. If you'll only be stocking one tequila, that is your best option. If you want a little upgrade, add a slightly aged reposado as well. Today's tequila market is diverse and filled with many great brands. If you can, spend a little more for a bottle that's smoother and more refined. You'll instantly notice the difference in your favorite drinks. A well-rounded bar is best with at least two bottles of rum.
A light rum will be your workhorse for most cocktails, from the daiquiri to the mojito. You can spend as little or as much as you like, though rum tends to be one of the more affordable liquors.
As a secondary rum, take your pick of a dark or spiced rum. Each has their own purpose and which you choose is going to depend on your taste and the drinks you enjoy. This category is definitely going to need to be adapted to your personal style. In general, two bottles are good to start and you can always add more.
Ideally, a bar should have one bottle of each style. For the most versatility and mixability, consider stocking a bourbon and a Canadian whisky.
The bourbon will give you that robust whiskey flavor while the Canadian blends tend to be very smooth and the most versatile for cocktails. Rye whiskey is another excellent choice for everyday mixed drinks. Today, we have many great ryes to choose from, though some drinkers find it too spicy. It can, however, be used in almost any cocktail that calls for a generic whiskey. While they make excellent cocktails, they're not as common or as versatile as the other styles.
However, if you like either, you should absolutely keep a bottle in stock. Some people simply will not drink or mix with it, but if you want to explore classic cocktails , you'll find it very useful. Liqueurs are often used in addition to the base spirits as flavoring agents that define a cocktail. On occasion, they are the only distilled spirits used. Start with the basics and gradually add to your stock as you see fit.
As you explore cocktail recipes, you will quickly realize that some liqueurs make an appearance more than others. These are what we're going to consider absolutely essential for a well-stocked bar.
Depending on your drinking style and favorite cocktails, the following liqueurs are good to consider as well. If you're designing a complete bar, a bottle of each will set you up nicely and you'll be able to mix almost any cocktail you come across.
Mixers are the non-alcoholic liquids that add flavor and volume to cocktails. The majority of these will be in your kitchen anyway and are easily found at almost any store you walk into. Many mixers will keep in your bar for a long period of time. Ice is the most important ingredient for cocktails. You will use it in 98 percent of your drinks, either while mixing or in the glass itself.
All ice is not created equal, however, and it is important to treat your ice with some respect and know the difference between the various forms of ice.
A little knowledge goes a long way to improving every cocktail you mix up. Juices are easy. Simply pick up a bottle or two during your next trip the supermarket. Of course, we're also going to recommend that you use fresh juice whenever possible. However, for everyday drinking, those bottles of ready-to-pour juices are very convenient. Beyond juice, there are a few more ingredients that you'll want in your bar. We've ranked them in order of importance to help you prioritize.
This is where you can save some cash and experiment as well because a number of these can easily be made at home. Back to a few essentials for any bar, you will want to consider stocking a variety of sodas. The list is simple and includes the basics that you are likely to encounter in recipes. When choosing sodas, try to pick up something other than the most famous brands. Today's craft soda market is impressive and can really upgrade even the most basic of mixed drinks.
When buying soda for the bar, try to go for small bottles. Individual servings that work for one or two drinks will ensure you're not mixing with flat soda. Liter bottles are good for the sodas you use semi-daily and will use up within the week, though two-liters are best reserved for party service. These "bottled cocktails" are shortcuts to mixing your cocktails from scratch and they often leave a lot to be desired in the taste department.
They also sort of defeat the purpose of creating a great bar in your home. They also have a freshness the pre-mixed versions simply cannot duplicate.
That said, it's not a bad idea to mix up your own bloody Mary mix from scratch and have that on hand if you drink them often or are hosting a brunch. Realistically, you're probably not going to add a garnish to every cocktail you make in your bar. Garnishes are that finishing touch that adds visual appeal and a splash of flavor to the finished cocktail. Again, it depends on what you plan to make, but this will prepare you for the majority of cocktails.
The three citrus fruits are called for as a garnish most often. Have a few of each around the bar and you can use them as both a garnish and a source of fresh juice. Continue to 2 of 5 below. Essential Liquors. Two Rums Are Good A well-rounded bar is best with at least two bottles of rum.
Continue to 3 of 5 below. Essential Liqueurs. The Basic Liqueurs As you explore cocktail recipes, you will quickly realize that some liqueurs make an appearance more than others. Coffee Liqueur - White Russians and countless other cocktails rely on a bottle like Kahlua.
The Secondary Liqueurs Depending on your drinking style and favorite cocktails, the following liqueurs are good to consider as well. You can also choose your favorite chocolate liqueur. Peppermint schnapps is a good substitute. There are other good brands available as well. The problem is finding a place in the bar for the extra-tall bottle. Midori - The familiar bright green, melon-flavored liqueur, this one can be used to create some very fun drinks. Continue to 4 of 5 below.
Essential Non-Alcoholic Mixers. Ice Yes, Ice!
We've ranked them in order of importance to help you prioritize. This is the best way to sweeten cocktails and it's incredibly simple to make yourself. It can, however, be used in almost any cocktail that calls for a generic whiskey. Other Juices: Included in this would be any specialty juices that you may consider stocking. Then a four-bottle bar, where we introduce liqueur. A half-dozen base spirits and a few mixers will not only allow you to turn out a surprising number of cocktail classics but also give you enough to tinker with to come up with some cool drinks of your own. LS : There are a lot of things that just using a little bit of sugar, some water and an herb or some kind of fruit will make an entirely new element for your drinks -- that includes syrups and shrubs, which are a really exciting thing.
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All you need to stock the perfect home bar is a dozen bottles and a few essential tools, according to David and Lesley Solmonson , authors of The 12 Bottle Bar.
From there, the cocktail combinations are practically limitless. There are two different ways you can approach the idea of cost with our 12 bottles.
If you were to buy all 12 bottles, we have low-end choices and high-end choices. You can make a good number of drinks with this for any number of people. But you don't have to buy all the bottles. David Solmonson : In fact, we show you how to set up a one-bottle bar.
What started cocktails was punch. If we go to that very basic element, you take a spirit and you mix non-spirity things with it -- citrus, sugar and spices -- and you can make glorious drinks. We have a follow-up chapter called the three-bottle bar, where we introduce bitters and vermouth.
Then a four-bottle bar, where we introduce liqueur. You can mix and match. If you only drink one spirit, you still find use in the recipes. LS : Starting with the light spirits, you have gin, which is the king of the cocktail spirits. It was the original spirit that everybody used in drinks and was incredibly popular -- it still is. We use that for the botanicals. Nothing else has botanicals like gin. LS : Genever is not truly a light spirit, but because it's the forefather of gin, it's kind of in that category.
Genever is our ringer, the one that surprises everybody. It has this beautiful combination of aromatics and maltiness that gives it a bridge across many categories, from rum to gins to brandy to whatever you want to use it in. LS : Vodka is a top seller in the markets.
You can't avoid vodka in drinks today. It's also an incredible conduit of flavor in terms of what you put in your drink, letting that shine through, and also as a base for making liqueurs. You open up a whole other door to your pantry to create more drinks.
LS : White rum is in some of our favorite summer drinks -- mojitos, daiquiris -- those beautiful, fruit-forward, but still crisp, lovely, sweet, balanced drinks. It just takes you to a tropical island, so how can you skip that? DS : Amber rum is darker than the light rum and aged, with a lot of barrel characteristics, vanilla that's coming out of the oak, with tropical fruit flavors as well.
DS : Brandy, Cognac-style brandy specifically, is one of the most elegant spirits that you can find and one of the most versatile; you can use it in anything from a sweet drink to a very stirred brown drink. DS : Everybody has a whiskey favorite. We love rye because you can get examples that can go up to percent rye mash. It's incredibly spicy when mixed with sugar, citrus and other ingredients. It makes a beautiful Manhattan, it makes a beautiful sour.
DS : There are lots of liqueurs on the market, but we think that you need orange liqueur. We love Cointreau because we like triple sec because it's clear, first of all. Whatever drink you put it into, it's not going to color the drink. The king of triple sec is Cointreau. It's just an amazing, well-made spirit. We have no problems with the other ones, but it's just the most flexible thing and a pure, pure orange flavor. LS : Your sweet vermouth is also your red vermouth, which is used in things like Manhattans and can add a lovely, slightly herbal but sweet characteristic.
LS : Your dry vermouth, also white vermouth, is of course used if you have a proper martini, which is the king of cocktails. It's also used in any number of other drinks, adding that herbal characteristic, but an underlying dry note.
LS : Orange bitters add the brightness of orange, but that bitter characteristic. LS : Aromatic bitters have all of those Christmas spices like cinnamon, allspice and things of that sort. Then build out your bar with the essentials. We think buying middle-shelf brands are a good way to go. Here are the favorites we always have on hand:. For nights when you feel like taking your vodka-soda game to the next level, pull out a few tricks.
Start with a baseline liquor, then add an aperitif a dry, light beverage or a liqueur a syrupy, sweet distilled spirit. We think a good bar cart should have at least two or three of these.
Never tried Kahlua? Not sure what Cointreau even is? Buy a few cheap, tiny bottles at the counter of the liquor store before shelling out the big bucks. Keep in mind that some of these bottles are a bit pricey, but you rarely need more than an ounce of them per drink. Some of our favorites:. Taylor also stresses the importance of learning to properly shake or stir a mixed drink , instead of simply pouring liquor into a glass. Get your hands on these tools for better mixing:. Although technically unnecessary, these relatively cheap garnishes take a cocktail from mediocre to one that you might accidentally drink half of in one gulp:.
Essential Liquors and Mixers to Stock in Your Home Bar
I have to stock my own bar for my wedding and just hire a bartender. I was thinking about just doing beer, wine, and 2 signature drinks but I would really like to have more of a full open bar. How hard would it be? I have over a year to buy all the different types of liquor which wouldn't be hard. I am more worried about all the mixers and supplies to make the drinks. Advice would be awesome! We bought all of the alcohol for our wedding, and hired bartenders through our caterer. I actually preferred this because it gave us full control.
We ended up doing vodka, bourbon, gin, rum, and a bottle of scotch which wasn't opened, but I thought would be good just in case my grandfather wanted it , in addition to beer, wine, and champs.
We did offer two signature cocktails "hers" was vodka based, "his" was bourbon , but then people could order whatever else they wanted from the liquors I mentioned. We had a range of sodas, club soda, tonic, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, lemons, and limes. That was what our "full" bar consisted of, and it seemed to be perfect for our guests!
My best advice is to think about what your crowd likes, and buy accordingly. Yeah that is what I would love to do! More of a open bar but obviously not with every brand of liquor just you basic whisky, tequila, vodka etc. I just do not know where to begin as far as how much of everything to buy. How did you decide that Jamie?
I would suggest buying too much as opposed to not enough. You can always return the unopened stuff. Yes, I would overbuy because you can always return! When I was purchasing at the ABC store, the woman was the register was so nice and kept reminding me to keep my receipt because anything unopened can be returned.
We were buying for both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding, so it was even trickier in terms of quantities. We ended up going through all of the bourbon, but not til the very end of the night so it wasn't an issue. Everything else lasted through the evening, with lots of wine to spare. In terms of mixers, I would ask your caterer if they can provide to make it easier. Our caterer was able to pick up everything for us and just charge us cost, and he estimated the amounts. I gave a full list of what we wanted, though.
Jamie I am from NC so we have ABC stores also good to know we can return anything unopened I guess we can do the same as far as mixers go. I am thinking once I book my bartender we could talk and they could probably help me navigate it all also. Then I rounded up a little on everything. I bought 3 bottles vodka, 2 bottles of whiskey 2 bottles tequila, 2 bottles rum, 1 bottle gin and we ran completely out of liquor by the end of the night.
The amount of beer we bought was just right and we had quite a bit of left over wine. Our venue provided soft drinks, orange juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, lemons, limes etc. So I didnt have to worry about that. So you had a lot of wine left over?
I dont think my guest will drink that much wine. They are more beer and liquor drinkers. AG13 yes we had at least a case of wine left over. I think the reason they set the percentage so high is that a lot of people will drink wine with dinner at a formal event regardless of their overall preference and then they will switch out after dinner. Also consider whether you intend to leave bottles of wine on the tables to start out with. Oh, that's a good note about the wine, Sarah!
We put a bottle of white and of red on each table at the reception so people could serve themselves without needing to get up. They could still go to the bar, of course, but we're big wine drinkers so we were all about making it easier for everyone.
If you have more beer drinkers than wine drinkers, then go for the larger quantities of beer. If you have a lot of vodka lovers, buy more vodka than gin, etc. We way overbought on the wine and champs, but we returned the white we didn't want we're more into red and kept the red and champs for ourselves and for future entertaining.
Worked out great! Log in Join now. Weddings Forums Planning Discussions Stocking a full bar. VIP April Saved Save. Devoted October Master June VIP June I guess I should add probably of my guest will be drinkers. Sara that article is awesome. Thank you!
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