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Don’t let stocking the perfect bar spoil your party plans. With this guide, you will keep the good times flowing!

Serve what you like to drink; after all, the main customer of your home bar is you. There is no need to stock up on very variety of liquor in the store. It’s expensive and most of all it will take up way too much room to store all the dusty, unused bottles. If you are truly concerned about what a few select guests will want to drink-the picky ones or the guests of honor-just give them a call and ask. They will happily tell you, and you may find out something new that you enjoy as well.


Stocking what you truly enjoy has many benefits; one being you always have something good on hand. Also, you are not running to the store at the last minute; and it can be a great conversation starter of why you like it, where you got it and why these selections are your favorites.

My husband is Polish, so we stock more than the average person would care to own in a wide varieties of vodka. We also make our own house limoncello, which whether you like it or not, is always a great conversation starter. I tend to like my wines so I keep a few varieties that I enjoy, as well. Your bar, is after all, your bar. It is meant for you to enjoy and share your experiences. Allow your guests to try something new or encourage them to bring their favorite to share. You may be surprised to find you like something new. The more your try, the more you will refine what you like and what you don’t.

How to Build a Basic Bar–

Getting started, choose three bottles of liquor–two bottles of “light” and one “dark.” Again, choose the bottles based on what you currently like to drink and build your selection over time and as your tastes develop. The lighter varieties tend to mix well and can create a wide variety of drink options, the darker liquors add depth and a rich heartiness. Vodka and gin are most commonly popular mixing drinks and can sometimes be used interchangeably; for example, to make a vodka tonic or a gin and tonic. Vodka tends to be cleaner with less of a flavor than gin. Gin can often have stronger and more floral notes. The price point of liquor is usually in correlation with the quality of the liquor.  The quality of the drink will only be as good as the ingredients used to make it, but that does not mean you need to break the budget to have a great tasting drink. There are several mid-range liquors that mix well. If you want to splurge on one pricier bottle, keep it exclusively for the drinks where you are really going taste the liquor like martinis, or when you choose to drink something straight or just on the rocks. Here is a basic bar set up that will be sure to get the party started with a drink for everyone.

 Basic Bar Set Up

2 bottles – red wine
2 bottles – white wine
A few light beers or your favorite brand
3 bottles of liquor: 2 light, such as vodka, gin, rum, or tequila; 1 dark, such as whiskey/ bourbon, dark rum
2-3 mixers: Such as soda (Coke, diet Pepsi, Sprite), juice (orange, cranberry, pineapple) or tonic /soda water

*Be sure to get an extra bag of ice as well. This is also a great last minute thing to have a guest bring.


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