Our guide for stocking a home bar with the most popular spirits, beer, wine, mixers and garnishes.
To get your bar fully stocked and ready for entertaining, you’ll most likely need about $250 for domestic and local brands of liquors. Tack on another 20% or so to upgrade to premium labels.
A Starter List (750ml bottles):
- Vodka (unflavored)
- Brandy or cognac
- Cordials (e.g. triple sec, Grand Marnier, amaretto, Kahlua, Irish cream, Midori)
- Apéritifs (e.g. Campari, Dubonnet)
- Dry and sweet vermouth
- Champagne, prosecco or other sparkling wine
- White wine, several varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling)
- Red wine, several varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir)
- Beer, several styles (lager, IPA, Belgian-style)
As you grow your selection, you might want to add:
- Reposado and añejo tequilas
- Premium flavored vodkas
- V.S.O.P. cognac
- Aged dark rums
- Assorted microbrews, domestic and imported
- Assorted red and white wines from France, California, Germany, Australia, etc.
You’ll also need mixers if you’re going to serve your guests, so add the following to your shopping list:
- Club soda
- Fruit juices (orange, lemon, grapefruit, tomato, pineapple, lime, etc.)G
- Assorted bitters (Angostura, orange, grapefruit)
- Tabasco sauce
Lastly, don’t forget your garnishes, such as lemon and lime slices, olives, citrus twists, maraschino cherries, rimming salts/sugars and swizzle sticks.