No question that this is going to be expensive, but there are some things you can do to keep the cost more moderate. You might begin by stocking only the basic liquors. And, in any case, you do not need to purchase the premium brands at their whopping premium prices. If you really like them though, purchase enough for you and perhaps the one or two guests that can tell the difference, most can’t tell and don’t care.
These are a must to have in your bar. With them, you can mix many a fine drink.
Vodka Gin Rum Whiskey Tequila
You will use these a lot so keep some bottles of each in reserve.
Beyond Basic Liquors
These are not absolutely essential to have on hand, but some of your guests will ask for them.
Scotch Brandy Cognac Irish Whiskey Jagermeister Rumplemintz
Should you not be a scotch or cognac drinker you can steer clear of the high priced brands. If you try to stock the really expensive brands, you may not hit on the one that the few guests that do drink them prefer, so just don’t do it.
Liqueurs and Cordials
Blue Curacao Vermouth Cointreau Midori Grand Marnier Triple Sec Kahlua Bailey’s Irish Cream Peach Tree Amaretto Puckers Chambord Frangellico Crme de Menthe Crme de Cacao Anisette
Most of these can be found for less under the brand name of Mr. Boston. The great thing about stocking all of these liqueurs is the large number of different drinks that can be mixed with them. Since only a small amount is used for each drink, they should last a long time.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Mixers
Grenadine Sour Mix Lime Juice Cola Diet Cola Red Bull Orange Juice Pineapple Juice Cranberry Juice Grapefruit Juice Tomato Juice Sprite or 7up Soda Tonic Ginger Ale Cream Milk.
Don’t buy the huge cans of juice, stick with the 8oz size. You will find them to last longer without spoilage. Obviously, if you are going to throw a big shindig, then buy enough for that. Milk and cream cannot be stored, so purchase them as needed and in small sizes.
Garnishes and Condiments
Cherries Olives Cocktail onions Bitters Worcester sauce Tabasco sauce Salt Pepper Lemons Sugar Limes Oranges Picks and stirs
Most of the items on this list will last a long time in either the refrigerator or behind the bar. The fresh fruits should be purchased a small amount at a time and then restocked to keep them in their fresh state.
Okay, now you are properly stocked. Time to throw a party and show off your fine bar and your fine bartending skills.
For info on building a home bar check out the free bar plans at BPO.