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How to Create a Home Bar Setup

by Owen Ingalls October 17, 2023 4 min read

How to Create a Home Bar Setup

Setting up a home bar can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Whether you are a seasoned bartender or just starting out, having a well-stocked bar can make entertaining guests or enjoying a drink after a long day much more enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Choose Your Bottles Wisely

When stocking your home bar, it's important to choose your bottles wisely. Consider your personal taste preferences and the types of cocktails you enjoy making.

A well-rounded bar should include at least one bottle of each of the six base liquors:

  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Tequila
  • Whiskey
  • Brandy

You may also want to include some specialty liqueurs and mixers to add variety to your cocktails.

2. Consider Your Bar Cart or Storage 

If you plan on keeping your bar on a cart, make sure it has enough space to hold all your bottles, mixers, and tools. Look for a cart with shelves or drawers to keep everything organized and easily accessible. If you don't have a bar cart, a sturdy table or countertop can work just as well.

3. Invest in Quality Tools

Having the right tools can make all the difference when it comes to making cocktails. A basic home bar should include:

  • A shaker
  • Strainer
  • Jigger
  • Muddler
  • Bar spoon

For the ultimate home bar, try adding one of our premium cocktail smokers.

You may also want to consider investing in a citrus press, zester, and a good set of knives for cutting garnishes.

4. Stock Up on Glassware

Having the right glassware can also enhance your drinking experience. At a minimum, you should have a set of rocks glasses, highball glasses, and martini glasses. If you plan on serving wine or champagne, make sure you have appropriate stemware as well.

By following these tips, you can set up a home bar that will impress your guests and allow you to enjoy your favorite cocktails in the comfort of your own home.

5. Don't Forget Your Liqueurs, Mixers and Garnishes

When it comes to stocking your home bar, it's not just about having the best spirits. You'll also want to have a few mixers, liqueurs, garnishes and ingredients on hand to make a variety of cocktails.

Here are some essential cocktail ingredients to consider:

  • Water: It's important to have clean, fresh water on hand for mixing drinks and diluting cocktails.
  • Sugar and Syrup: Simple syrup is a must-have for many cocktails, and you can easily make it by dissolving equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. You can also use other types of syrup, such as honey or agave, for different flavor profiles.
  • Bitters: Bitters are concentrated flavorings made from herbs, spices, and other botanicals. They add depth and complexity to cocktails and can be used in everything from old fashioneds to manhattans.
  • Citrus: Fresh citrus fruits like lemons and limes are essential for making many classic cocktails, including margaritas and sidecars. You can also use citrus peels as a garnish.
  • Orange Liqueur: Orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or triple sec, is a common ingredient in many cocktails. It adds a sweet and citrusy flavor and is often used in margaritas and cosmopolitans.
  • Vermouth: Vermouth is a fortified wine that comes in both sweet and dry varieties. It's a key ingredient in classic cocktails like the martini and the manhattan.

How Much Should You Spend Stocking a Home Bar?

Stocking a home bar can be an expensive endeavor, but it doesn't have to be. The cost of stocking a home bar depends on a variety of factors, including the types of spirits you want to purchase, the quality of those spirits, and the size of your bar. Here are some tips to help you keep costs down while still building an impressive home bar.

Determine Your Budget

Before you start shopping for spirits, it's important to determine your budget. Set a realistic budget for yourself and stick to it. Keep in mind that you don't have to purchase everything all at once. You can start with a few basic spirits and add to your collection over time.

Shop Around

When shopping for spirits, it pays to shop around. Prices can vary widely from store to store, so it's a good idea to compare prices before making a purchase. Look for sales, discounts, and special offers to help you save money.

Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk can also help you save money. Many stores offer discounts when you purchase multiple bottles of the same spirit. Just make sure you have enough storage space for your purchases.

Consider Quality vs Quantity

When it comes to building a home bar, it's important to strike a balance between quality and quantity. While it may be tempting to purchase cheaper spirits to save money, you may end up sacrificing quality. Consider purchasing a few higher-end spirits and supplementing them with less expensive options.


Stocking a home bar can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be expensive. By determining your budget, shopping around, buying in bulk, and considering quality vs. quantity, you can build an impressive home bar without breaking the bank.

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