Holiday season is around the corner, but entertaining never seems to take a breather For the person who likes to entertain, a well-stocked bar is a must, giving guests options only limiting us based on what we as “mixologists” are capable of doing.

Starting a home bar can be costly, overwhelming & if you don’t what you are doing the sky is the limit on what you can choose. By the end of this post, hopefully you will be able to stock your home bar while keeping to your budget.

HML Well-Stocked Bar Guidelines:

  1. Start with the alcohol you enjoy drinking first. Whether entertaining or not, this bar is in your home & is the place where you can make yourself a drink on the regular.
  2. Add slowly some additional alcohols as time goes on. If building your well-stocked bar on a budget, then focus on adding alcohol little by little. With entertaining in full swing this time of year, people will bring host/hostess gifts and that is another way to build your collection, slowly but effectively.
  3. Following list is HML’s suggestion on what a properly stocked home bar should have:
    1. Vodka ( personal favorite of HML)
    2. Bourbon Whiskey
    3. Tequila
    4. Rum
    5. Gin
    6. Craft Beer

*** Before a party or any event I am hosting I will always get a couple bottles of wine, both red & white, along with a non-alcoholic option for those who choose not to drink.

4. Mixers Depending on the types of drinks you like mix, will depend on the mixers you have in your bar. Basic Mixers:

  • Club Soda
  • Cola
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Sprite or 7-up
  • Tonic Water
  • Tomato Juice
  • Bitters ( Not really a mixer; but used to add some flavor to certain drinks)

5. Garnishes Like your mixers, this depends on what you personally like and are not a necessity for any cocktails, but are definitely an added bonus. These nibbles while you drink  are easily prepared the day of a party or dinner you are hosting if you don’t have a fridge area in your bar area.

Tequila & Rum based drinks = citrus garnishes

Gin-based drinks= olives

Scotch & Whiskey enjoy on their own, just doesn’t seem right to add any garnish to these drinks! 

  • Cocktail Olives
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Ice

6. Glassware & Other Assorted Accouterments

Champagne goes in a Champagne Glass, Red Wine goes in a Red wine glass, Martini’s are best when served in a martini glass, get my drift?!?

To have a proper bar, ideally you want to have the proper glassware and accouterments that go along with it. If you are one of those people who will have a drink at home by all means get the proper glassware,ESPECIALLY for your favorites. Main thing is have the glasses for the drink you enjoy the most, if you can get a good variety of glassware, the more the merrier BUT you can get by just fine without them.

Basic Glassware:

  • Beer Mugs & Pint Glasses
  • Highball glasses ( Also good to use as a water glass; everyday ware).
  • Lowball glasses ( Good for those scotch, whiskey and rum drinks).
  • Red & White Wine Glasses ( if you are really into wine they have Bordeaux, Champagne, and Port Glasses as well).
  • Martini Glasses
  • Martini Shaker and Strainer
  • Toothpicks for garnishes
  • Cocktail Napkins
  • Mixologist Recipe Book ( You can never go wrong with a good cocktail recipe book).

7. Storage Space

Starting small is always a good idea, especially if space becomes an issue. Storing a bunch of liquor, wine & glassware can become a bit much, so if you don’t have the space, start with exactly what you like to drink and only add when you know it will be drunk at your next event. If you are able to store your goods then the more the merrier. The liquors are not going bad anytime soon, but remember once you open a bottle of wine you have no more then 3-4 days after opened to really enjoy that particular bottle. You can always salvage a wine going bad by using it in your next dinner recipe!

Haute Mom Living likes to make life simple, beautiful & haute. This well-stocked bar by HML is an easy way to start your home bar, but please remember to always drink responsibly & you must be 21 years of age or older to do so!


Photos by Marta Villalba Photography

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