Raise the Bar: Basics Needed to Stock Your Bar At Home

Stocking and creating an at home bar can be overwhelming. Walk into the liquor store and you’re met with so many types of liquor it’s hard to know what to buy. Whether you’re planning a girls night in, game night or hosting a party, there are a few basics you need in your house that’ll make you look like a master mixologist.

Types of Liquor & Liqueurs

  • Light Rum: Mojito, Pina Colada, Long Island Iced Tea, Egg Nog
  • Dark Rum: Dark ‘n Stormy, Coquito, Hurricane, Mai Tai, Rum and Coke
  • Gin: Martini, Gin and Tonic, Gimlet, Tom Collins
  • Bourbon/Whiskey: Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Mint Julep, Whiskey Sour, Irish Coffee
  • Scotch: Rob Roy, Scotch and Soda, Scotch and Water
  • Vodka: Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitan, Screwdriver, Martini, Moscow Mule, Vodka Tonic
  • Tequila (100% blue agave): Margarita, Tequila Sunrise, Paloma, Tequila Sour
  • Triple Sec: Margarita, Sidecar, Mimosa, Cosmopolitan
  • Kahlua: White or Black Russian, Mudslide, Espresso Martini
  • Amaretto: Alabama Slammer, Amaretto Sour, Almond Joy, Toasted Almond


  • Bitters: Angostura most popular; added to cocktails to blend flavors
  • Juices: Orange, cranberry, pomegranate
  • Club soda
  • Tonic
  • Ginger Ale
  • Cola
  • Diet Cola
  • Seltzer


  • Highball
  • Martini
  • Tumbler
  • Wine
  • Shot

Bar Accessories

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Jigger
  • Barspoon
  • Muddler
  • Ice Bucket
  • Cocktail Book


  • Start Slowly: Rome wasn’t built in day and neither will your bar. Buy what you like to drink otherwise, you’ll have spent a ton of money on alcohol that just sits in the cabinet. Alcohol won’t go bad so add to it over time as you acquire tastes for different types of alcohol.
  • Liquor Storage: Store liquid in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Once opened, wine should be stored in the fridge and drunk quickly.
  • Shop Discount Stores: For barware and accessories, take a look at your local discount store like TJ Maxx, Homegoods or Marshalls. You can score some great deals.