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How to stock your party bar

Being a great host or hostess means having a well-stocked bar that includes all the amenities for an array of drinks

A well-stocked home bar is an important part of entertaining. Whether you want to please yourself, the occasional guest, or are planning for a party, there are a few items you should always have on hand.

First, you should have these:
Canadian whiskey
Rum, both dark and light

You should have liqueurs and cordials available that include:
Triple sec
Curacao (in blue and orange colors)
Vermouth, sweet and dry

For mixers, you want to have:
Club soda
Soft Drinks
Margarita mix
Orange Juice
Grapefruit Juice
Tomato Juice
Note: it is always best to use fresh juice, but canned and frozen versions are more practical for long-term storage


You will also need a few bar items, including:
A bar recipe guide
Shaker with strainer
Shot glasses
Double-ended jigger
Long-handled spoon
Bottle/can openers
Ice bucket and tongs
Bar towels

You will want to have condiments and garnishes as well:
Cocktail onions
Green olives
Maraschino cherries
Hot sauce
Celery salt
Black pepper
Salt for margaritas
Fresh lime & lemon (or juice for long-term storage)

Now, for the glassware.
You can never have too many glasses. A basic set of glassware should include at least eight each of the following:

Red wine glasses
White wine glasses
Cocktail stemware
16-oz tumblers for tropical drinks
Double Old-Fashioned glasses

With the above list, you can double up on the types of drinks served, but if you want to add the following to your collection, you will have a great set of party barware:

Sherry glasses
Champagne flutes
Brandy snifters
Beer mugs
Pilsner glasses

Keep these items on hand in the bar area:
Cocktail napkins

Study your drink recipe guide and become familiar with some of the more popular highball drinks. They include: bourbon and water or cola, rum and cola, scotch and soda, gin tonic, martini, margarita, tequila and juice.

Favorite specialty drinks include: cosmopolitan, white Russian, pina colada, daiquiri, mudslide, and tequila sunrise.

There are plenty of pre-made flavored mixes on the market. They come ready to pour and are very tasty.

With the items stocked in your home bar, you will indeed be the most popular host in town. All you have to add is ice!

Please visit our section on party hosting ideas along with cheese and wine tips and recipes.

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