From the Archives: Stocking a Home Bar for Beginners

homebar.jpg

So you want to make cocktails at home... but don’t know what bottles or supplies to get?

Keep in mind the way you stock your home bar is pretty subjective and will depend on your own personal preferences (if you haven’t read it yet, check out 3 Tips for Stocking a Home Bar on a Budget). I often favor some sort of whiskey or mezcal cocktail, so my collection has a pretty solid selection of different whiskey and agave spirits. I’m not the biggest gin fan, so that’s a smaller corner of my liquor cabinet.

If you start with the bottles below you'll have a well-rounded bar set-up that will allow you to create a majority of popular cocktails. I tried to select the products that are most reasonably priced and most widely available. If you have specific questions about a brand or product, feel free to hit me up in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you out.

This post does contain affiliate links.


Base Spirits

Whiskey

  • Rye:
    Old Overholt
    Rittenhouse

  • Bourbon:
    Buffalo Trace
    Old Granddad

  • Scotch:
    Laphroaig 10 year (single malt)
    Monkey Shoulder (blended)

Rum

  • Appleton Estate Signature Blend

  • Wray & Nephew White Overproof

  • Goslings Black Seal

  • Smith & Cross

Gin

  • London Dry:
    Beefeater
    Tanqueray

  • Contemporary:
    Aviation
    Hendrick's

Agave

  • Pueblo Viejo Blanco Tequila

  • Del Maguey Vida Mezcal

Vodka

Other

  • Bonded Laird's Apple Brandy

  • Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac


Modifiers

Liqueurs

  • Cointreau (Triple Sec)

  • Ginger Liqueur

  • Campari / Aperol

  • Amaro Averna

Vermouth

  • Dolin Dry Vermouth

  • Dolin Rouge Vermouth

  • Dolin Blanc Vermouth

Syrups


Hold up, you’re going to need some tools (not many, but a few). Check out “Essential Tools for Making Cocktails at Home.