Cocktail Essentials – How to Stock Your Home Bar like a Pro

Photograph: istockphoto.com © igorr1

If your home bar consists of random bottles that friends have brought as gifts, it’s time to up your game and stock a complete bar. Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve a complete makeover, in fact, you know your company best. Think about those friends who visit most often, as well as what you like to drink, and take it from there!

The first step is to toss out what you don’t use. If 3 years ago, you bought a bottle of Cointreau for a recipe and haven’t used it since, get rid of it!

We’re sharing our essential list of cocktails (with both classic and craft options), that every home should keep on hand for a well-stocked bar.

Vodka – Grey Goose, Broken Shed or Tito’s Homemade Cosmopolitan, Bloody Mary, Vodka Collins, Moscow Mule, Screwdriver

Rum – Bacardi, Mt. Gay or 10 Cane Daiquiri, Mojito, Cable Car, Caipirinha, Dark & Stormy

Gin – Bombay Sapphire or Hendricks Gin and Tonic, Gimlet, Negroni, Singapore Sling, French 75

Tequila – Patron or Casa Dragones Margarita, Tequila Sunrise, Long Island Iced Tea, Paloma

Scotch – Johnny Walker Black or Macallan 12 Year Rob Roy, Scotch Tom Collins, Scotch and Soda

Bourbon – Maker’s Mark or Bulleit Old Fashioned, Mint Julep, Spiked Arnold Palmer

Whiskey – Jack Daniels or Bank Note Manhattan, Sazerac

Dry and sweet vermouth
Red and white wine
Beer – a boutique variety plus your favorite standards
Champagne or Prosecco
Tonic and seltzer
Cranberry Juice
Onions and olives
Luxardo cherries

Buy Fresh:
Lemons and Limes
Orange and Grapefruit Juice