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Keep your home bar well stocked

On the Rocks or Straight Up? Tips for Stocking Your Home Bar

Last Updated on July 21, 2014

Adding a custom bar to your home is a fun and efficient way to entertain friends and family, bringing value to your home. Granite Transformations offers creative design ideas to create the perfect bar for your home with the use of top-shelf materials.

With all the trendy new cocktails on the bar scene today, stocking your bar can be a bit challenging. Experts agree that sticking to the basic spirits for traditional libations and adding a few flavored ones for a fun twist on old favorites is the perfect balance for a well-stocked bar.

Here are some suggestions on what to buy and have on hand for unexpected drop-in guests or a full-scale summer soiree:

This home bar has a sink easy clean up.

Alcohol – On the rocks or straight up? Depending on your preferences and budget, you may want to invest in top-shelf brands of whiskey, scotch, vodka, rum, gin or tequila when enjoying your drink straight up. For mixed drinks, opting for a less expensive brand is a respectable choice. Rounding out the list, you may want to include sherry (dry and sweet), vermouth (dry and sweet), flavored liqueurs, brandy, bourbon, champagne, beer and your favorite red and white wines. Be daring and try one of the multitudes of flavored vodkas on the market. It’s a great way to experiment with new cocktails and a fun way to introduce your guests to something new.

Mixers – Offering a variety of mixers is a great way for your guests to create their favorite mixed drinks. Be sure to include the basics (like club soda, tonic, soft drinks, sparkling and still waters) and assorted juices (like tomato, orange, pineapple and cranberry).

Garnishes and Flavorings – Putting the finishing touches on your drink can make all the difference. Freshly cut lemons, limes and pineapple are a great way to add a splash of freshness to any drink. For a more sophisticated touch, cocktail onions and olives for martinis, hot pepper sauce for Bloody Marys and coarse salt for rimming a margarita glass take any drink from fun to fabulous.

Bar Tools and Essentials – Having the right tools takes the guess work out of playing bartender. Be sure to have a bottle opener, cocktail shaker or pitcher, corkscrew, cutting board and knife, drink stirrers, ice bucket and a jigger. Keep a dish towel on hand and have plenty of beverage napkins and coasters. A blender is a must if you’re planning on serving frozen drinks.

Glassware – Serving cocktails in the appropriate glass makes the drink even more special. When purchasing your glassware, be sure to include the basic styles of glasses (like low-ball and hi-ball, pilsner, martini, red and white wine, champagne, shot and liqueur). For specialty drinks, such as margaritas and brandy, you may want to consider purchasing a smaller quantity if those are drinks you don’t indulge in often.

Ice – Invest in a good quality ice bucket (and possibly consider buying two). Running out of ice is never a good thing, so plan ahead and stock up!

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