Stocking Your Bar: 101

Stocking your Bar can be really intimidating, especially when you’re just starting out. In order to entertain, you need to have options for your guests to choose from. Go into the liquor store with a plan, and follow this simple liquor list! Stocking your bar with a variety of staple liquors ensures that you can prepare a wide range of cocktails and cater to different tastes. Here are some essential liquors to have in your bar:

  • Vodka: A versatile and neutral spirit that forms the base of many cocktails. Ideal for martinis, Moscow mules, and a variety of mixed drinks.
  • Gin: Known for its herbal and botanical flavors, gin is a key ingredient in classic cocktails like the gin and tonic, Tom Collins, and martini.
  • Rum: Comes in various styles such as light, dark, and spiced. Essential for tropical cocktails like mojitos, piña coladas, and daiquiris.
  • Tequila: Made from agave, tequila is essential for margaritas and other Mexican-inspired cocktails. There are different types, including blanco, reposado, and añejo.
  • Whiskey/Bourbon: Whether it’s Scotch, Irish whiskey, bourbon, or rye, having a whiskey on hand allows you to make classics like Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Whiskey Sour.
  • Triple Sec or Orange Liqueur: Adds citrusy sweetness to cocktails like margaritas and cosmopolitans.
  • Sweet Vermouth and Dry Vermouth: Essential for classic cocktails like martinis and Manhattans
  • Brandy/Cognac: Used in a variety of cocktails and often enjoyed on its own. Common in drinks like the Sidecar and Brandy Alexander.
  • Triple Sec or Cointreau: Used in various cocktails to add sweetness and citrus flavor.
  • Bitters: While not a liquor, bitters are a crucial ingredient in many cocktails, adding depth and complexity. Angostura bitters are a common choice.

Remember to also have mixers like soda, tonic water, cola, and various fruit juices, as well as garnishes like lemons, limes, and olives. This ensures you’re well-equipped to make a wide array of drinks for your guests.


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