Before you dive straight in and buy every alcoholic beverage you can lay your hands on, it is worthwhile giving some thought to setting up your home bar. Take into account a few basic principles so you can save money while selecting the spirits and liqueurs that should satisfy most tastes.
A good starting point is thinking about your home bar as a reflection of your personal style and character, which includes the kinds of drinks you like to drink. Try not to fall into the trap of buying alcohol solely to impress your guests. If you start with your own preferences, you are less likely to overspend. It’s fine to start small, stocking up with the spirits and liqueurs you enjoy, as you can gradually build your selection for a home bar.
If you love cocktails, one tip is to stock up with their ingredients and expand from there. So if Margaritas and White Russians are your preferences, go for tequila and coffee liqueur. As for spirits, if you prefer gin over vodka, think about varying your gin selection. Think a bit laterally about your personal preferences, and you will find you have a good selection to please your guests.
Liqueurs To Start
- Vodka – it doesn’t have a strong aroma, so is versatile as a mixer.
- Rum – go for the dark rums if making a punch, while light rum is good for cocktails.
- Scotch – whatever your prefence, consider stocking a blend for mixing, and a single malt.
- Bourbon – American whiskey is popular and mixes well.
- Gin – popularity has gone stratospheric so you could vary selections.
- Tequila – great for Margaritas!
- Irish Cream Liqueur – a well loved and indulgent choice.
- Amaretto – super versatile for cocktails like Alabama Slammer.
- Vermouth – made for Martinis, the quintessential cocktail.
- Coffee Liqueur – will keep your White Russian and Widow Maker guests happy.
- Southern Comfort – Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’ Hara by cocktail.
Don’t Forget The Mixers
- Ice – apologies for the obvious, but it’s an essential!
- The Juices – Orange, Tomato, Lemon and Lime.
- Cranberry – handy mixer for cocktails.
- Sodas – club, tonic, colas, lemonade.
See your home bar as a work in progress, something to build on as you broaden your knowledge of cocktail recipes, for example. Design it as the expression of your personality, keeping the focus on the drinks that you like, as well as enjoying the process of seeing it develop into a working bar. If you are thinking of building a home bar, check out dawnvale for some great ideas, or get them in to help…