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How to Start and Grow your Home BAR with any Budget

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

When stocking your home bar, you have many choices. You can go the traditional route and imitate a professional bar. By doing this will include the essential liquors and other ingredients needed for the most popular cocktails and offers the most flexibility. For those who enjoy entertaining, a properly stocked bar is a must. A well-mixed drink can help entertain friends, romance a date, and impress the family. Mixing drinks at home for friends and family makes me feel like I am in a bar and bartending for customers.

Starting a home bar can seem like an intimidating task to anyone, but it does not have to be. Becoming a home mixologist should be fun! Today I hope to show you that stocking a home bar can be affordable and accessible, mainly if done in small increments.

Essential Bar Stock Customized to How You Drink

Essential Liquors:


Undeniably, not everyone is a fan of gin. However, it is nice to have at least one bottle in every bar. In the least, a good bottle of a Tanqueray dry gin is recommended. This is the most versatile and can work in everything from a dry martini to a gin and tonic.

Vodka. An excellent liquor for doing shots or for mixing into popular cocktails like Bloody Mary’s and Cosmopolitans. Vodka does not have a strong color, taste, or aroma, so it makes for a perfect mixing liquor.

Tequila. A must-have liquor for your Margarita and shots. What type of tequila you stock depends on what you plan on using it for?

Rum. This delicious liquor from the Caribbean is distilled from molasses. Dark rums are best for punches. Light rums are for mixing cocktails.

Whiskey (Bourbon, Rye and Scotch)

The whiskey category is made up of many subcategories, but the three essentials are bourbon, rye and Scotch. Old-fashioned and Manhattans are the way to go for bourbon and rye lovers; when it comes to Scotch, the Blood and Sand (equal parts Scotch, sweet vermouth, Cherry Herring, and orange juice; shaken) is a real crowd-pleaser. If ever you are serving or sipping a whiskey neat, try adding a bar spoon of water to open the spirit. Excellent bottles to buy include Four Roses bourbon, Whistle Pig rye and Glenmorangie Scotch.

The Basic Liqueurs

You cannot make your Favorite drinks without The Liqueurs. As you explore cocktail recipes, you will quickly realize that some liqueurs make an appearance more than others. These are what we are going to consider essential for a well-stocked bar.

Amaretto - An almond-flavored liqueur that is used in both fancy and casual cocktails.

Coffee Liqueur - White Russians and countless other cocktails rely on a bottle like Kahlua.

Dry and Sweet Vermouth - Only necessary if you enjoy martinis.

Irish Cream Liqueur - Baileys is a popular brand, There are other you might prefer. You can also stock another cream liqueur such as RumChata instead.

Drambuie - A scotch-based herbal liqueur, this is the ultimate companion to your whiskey stock.

Orange Liqueur - Used in countless cocktails, this one is invaluable. Options include curacao, triple sec, Cointreau, and Grand Marnier, though many bars have two or more bottles in stock.

Midori - The bright green, melon-flavored liqueur, this one can be used to create some very fun drinks.

Chambord - The iconic raspberry liqueur brand

You cannot make your favorite cocktails without the essential cocktail tools for every home bar. What you will need to have a complete bar are these tools that you can buy as a set from amazon.

Bartender Kit Set

Shot Glass

Measuring Jigger

Cocktail Shaker

Bar Spoon



Bar Knife

Citrus Juicer

Bar Knife

Wine Opener/ Beer

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