Belly Up to Your Best Home Bar

Belly Up to Your Best Home Bar

Whatever your situation or your budget, we’ve got you covered

A few years back, the phrase “home bar” might have conjured up a six-pack and a sleeve of red Solo cups (did you know they come in shot-glass size, too?). But that was yesterday. It’s time to strut your stuff as that rockstar entertainer that everyone loves hanging with. That means having some options for your guests. You don’t have to blow your budget or build new shelves; with a few considered options, you can be ready for whatever sort of entertaining you do.

Introduction

Whatever your situation or your budget, we’ve got you covered

A few years back, the phrase “home bar” might have conjured up a six-pack and a sleeve of red Solo cups (did you know they come in shot-glass size, too?). But that was yesterday. It’s time to strut your stuff as that rockstar entertainer that everyone loves hanging with. That means having some options for your guests. You don’t have to blow your budget or build new shelves; with a few considered options, you can be ready for whatever sort of entertaining you do.

Keep in mind that you can go low or high with any of these scenarios; every type of alcohol comes at varied price points, so spend your money on what matters to you. No beer drinkers in your group? Splurge on better wine! No one likes mixed drinks? You’ve got extra cash for better bourbon straight up.

Start with our basic bar and keep adding until you’ve reached the level that meets your needs. We haven’t listed tools, because that’s for a separate article, but keep in mind you’ll at least want something to drink out of, and that needn’t be fancy as long as it’s clean glassware.

YOU, A DATE, AND/OR A COUPLE OF FRIENDS:

Maybe you live alone, maybe you’ve got roommates. It’s all good. Either way, you’ve got to have a few items on that bar tray if you want to make your homies or that special someone, comfortable. 

Bourbon

Vodka

Rum

Tequila

Beer 

Wine

Cola, Ginger Ale, Tonic, Club Soda: Your foundational mixers. Get what you love.

Lemons, Limes, Olives: The basic cocktail fruits.

ADD FOR YOUR HOUSEHOLD AND REGULAR GATHERINGS:

So one of those “special friends” has now moved in. Hey – you’re a couple – congrats! The two of you have started hosting, and it’s cool to step it up a bit. A few careful additions to your bar will build a few bridges to next level get togethers.

Scotch

Gin 

Pernod 

Vermouth 

Dark Rum 

Sparkling Wine 

Fruit Juices: Orange juice, yes, but maybe pineapple, cranberry, tomato, too.

Artisanal Tonic, Sodas, Mineral Waters: See above re “up your game.”

Cocktail Onions, Stuffed Olives, Luxardo Cherries: Posh noshes for your glassware.

ALL OF THE ABOVE PLUS BUSINESS ENTERTAINING:

Business happens! Right? A few years go by and before you know it, you’re having colleagues over from time to time—and sometimes, even the boss. And his boss. Time to up your home-bar game even more!

Single-malt Scotch 

Rye

Cognac 

Aperitif liquors 

Champagne

Prosecco

Specialty beers: A decent selection goes a long way towards the boss’s happiness.

Bitters: If you’re mixing cocktails, you need a few bottles of these.

BELLS AND WHISTLES:

Once you’ve settled in to your home-bar routine, you may find that a few extras either help you make your own favorite drinks, or cater to some well-liked others’ tastes. Keep in mind these items may cost a little more, but they also last longer.

Digestif liquors

Port

Cider

Absinthe

Grenadine 

Simple syrup: Make your own, or buy a bottle. Excellent for mojitos.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, Tabasco: Some delicious add-ons for cocktails.

Oranges, pineapple, strawberries: Some delicious add-ons for your highballs.