10 Things You Should Have in Your Home Bar

10 Things You Should Have in Your Home Bar

A drink lover's paradise at home is a customized and fully efficient home bar. You definitely don't wanna miss on the essentials if you want it to be a complete party haven. So, listed below are the top 10 things you should have in your home bar.
Tastessence Staff
At 405 feet, the Beer Barrel Saloon in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, is the longest bar in the world!
I must say, home bars are a growing trend, and they sure add a classy edge, every time you send a bunch of house party invites to your friends. So, I am totally excited with the whole idea of having a bar at home. But guess what, I want to stock it with all the things and drinks loved by the drinking population (that is crazy, I know)! Now, the list goes on to be endless. And after realizing that it is a home bar, which definitely is going to have space restrictions (and that I am not going to switch to bartending as my profession), here is what I thought―to zero in on the 'must-haves in a home bar' and make my work easy.

Setting up a crazy, cool, and convenient bar may look like a tough job in the beginning, if you simply think about it. However, mark down a few essentials, stock the right liquor, and keep a high spirit! Whether it is to romance a date, impress your boss, or play cool with friends over a house party, your home bar should have the following items. We could term them as essentials. You could definitely add your favorites, but these make the basics.
Must-haves for Your Home Bar
Cocktail Recipe Book
Cocktail Recipe
Even if you are a pro at making the best drinks, a good cocktail recipe book is always an advantage. You might want to experiment with a new poison. Plus, if there is a special request from guests, you know the book is your savior, even if the drink is not on your list.
Garnishes
Garnishes
The types of garnishes you will need depend on the drink. Cherries, olives, lime, oranges, mint, onions, sugar, ice, pepper, salt, and horseradish are just a few basics that will work for most cocktails and drinks. Spice up your drink with a creative display of these garnishes. When you stock ice, know that some cocktails need a chilled shake. So, get an ice bag with some crushed ice to do the job. Go for big ice cubes to keep other drinks cool as your guests enjoy them. Bigger cubes may not get watery soon. So, they make a good chilling deal.
Freshly Squeezed Juice
Squeezed juice
Most cocktail recipes have fresh drinks, which make a lot of difference in the way they taste. So, fresh fruit juice is a must-have. Cranberry, tomato, pineapple, orange, and grapefruit are the few essentials in fruit juices. It may sound like a lot of effort and investment of time, but it's worth it. At the end of the drink, you are going to thank yourself!
Mixers and Syrups
Mixers and syrups
Non-alcoholic drinks added to cocktails and mixed drinks are known as mixers. Opt for soda, tonic water, sour mix, diet coke, ginger ale, seltzer, grenadine, white and red Vermouth, and syrups.
Liquor
Liquor
Of course, any bar is incomplete without a good stock of liquor. Here are the top few that you must stock well. Stock up on the below-listed liquor, and you can welcome your guests to any cocktail or drink they love! Always stock alcohol in a cool place, away from direct sunlight.
Rye Whiskey
An all-time American favorite and the whiskey with a spicy kick, Rye is a champ on all cocktail boards. Stock up well for a classic evening with 'Manhattan'!
Bourbon
America's native whiskey and also known as the king, it is a must-have. Simply sip straight, or create a classy cocktail; it just gets better!
Gin
This juniper-flavored spirit is a favorite all year round, and served in most cocktails. Stock up on a relatively dry one, which is of a better quality.
Vodka
Vodka is the hot shot in your drinks cabinet! It's the perfect option for mixed drinks and cocktails, and all shots as well! You could also stock up on some flavored vodka for 'mixology' creations!
Rum
A refreshing mojito or a classic daiquiri is only defined with a good shot of rum. Stock up both the dark and light varieties.
Vermouth
Vermouth plays a small but major part in almost every cocktail recipe. It is actually fortified wine, flavored with herbs.
Tequila
Whether it is your shots or a cocktail, make sure you stock up on a good brand. Tequila may get you soaring on budget, if you are going to gulp it straight down, 'cause you will need to stock up on the purest form of tequila for that. When mixing it with other drinks (the intriguing Margarita!), an inexpensive one could be used.
Liqueurs
Liqueurs
Along with a good collection of spirits, your home bar must also have a decent stock of liqueurs. Some of the must-haves for liqueurs are: Irish Cream, Triple Sec, Cointreau, Amaretto, Chocolate Liqueur, Peach Schnapps, Blue Curaçao, Raspberry Liqueur, and Sour Apple Pucker.
Bitters
Bitters
  • Just like the name, these liquids add a bitter zing to every drink. But trust me, they are binding ingredients and add the perfect blend of sour, sweet, and bitterness to cocktails. Added in very small quantities or dashes, bitters are a must-have in any bar.
  • Opt for at least two basic ones in your bar. Angostura, which is the first and most essential name among bitters, should rule your bar counter. The second name is Peychaud's. And this one is a floral and lighter version of Angostura with a spicy kick. The third one makes cocktail fans go crazy. Regan's Orange Bitter No. 6 adds an awesome dash to cocktails. So, when you want to alter pouring Angostura and Peychaud's, then Regan's it is!
Non-alcoholic Beverages
Non alcoholic beverage
For a no-alcohol guest, sitting with a glass of diet coke or soda water is sure annoying. Keep a non-alcoholic beverage option on the backup always, for such guests. There is a variety of options of non-alcoholic drink recipes that you can give a try!
Barware
Barware
  • Strainer
    Opt for a strainer for better sipping of drinks and smooth cocktails.
  • Muddlers
    A great way to infuse flavors from garnishes and other herbs is to crush them well in the mixing glass. A muddler makes the right tool to give the right flavor to your drink from fruits and herbs.
  • Jigger
    A jigger makes the most important tool in the art of bartending. Not that we don't trust your bartending skills. But this measuring tool is important for a perfectly made drink. Drinks made with accurate quantities and proportions of liquor, taste like heaven. And trust me, your guests will be impressed!
  • Shaker
    Another must-have for your home bar is a shaker. A decent one will help you mix a perfect drink. Most shakers also have a cap and built-in strainer.
Glassware
Glassware
No matter what kind of a drinker you are, here are the three basic types of glasses that you should include in your home bar glassware: short glass, stem glass, and tall glass.
  • The old-fashioned glass is best for drinks served neat on the rocks, or for those fruit- and herb-infused cocktails. This glass has a heavy bottom and is short but wide. Another advantage of this glass is it will help contain large cubes of ice; (for neat drinks), plus, you can easily muddle ingredients in this glass.
  •  Tall or highball glasses can hold a variety of drinks; both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. It is best for drinks that need to preserve carbonation or a fruity flavor. These glasses are usually used for drinks that have more quantity of mixers and syrups than the quantity of alcohol. So, a tall container will hold your mojito packed in perfect flavor, and it will also keep it chilled with a good quantity of ice.
  •  A stem glass is a must for all those drinks served without the chill of ice. You can opt for a Martini glass. Well, it does not only hold a Martini perfectly, but you can also pour other cocktails in this glass. The stem of this glass prevents your drink from getting warm. The shape of this glass also helps in keeping the different alcohols in the drink from separating. The best part of this glass? It enables a brilliant display of hues, garnishing, and decoration.
  •  Another addition to your glass collection can be good quality wine glasses. Choose a short-, round-, and wide-bowled glass with a stem for red wines. For white wines, go for narrow, thick-flared, and tall glasses. If you want to save on the budget, go for medium-sized glasses, both in terms of height and width. This way, you could use the glass for red and white wines, both. Beer glasses could also be added.
These were the top ten things that your home bar should be stocked with. Slowly, you will know what you really need and what needs to be refilled. At the end of the day, it is your bar. You will eventually know what suits its functionality and your tastes!