How to Stock a Home Bar

Whether you’re a mixologist-in-training or just love to entertain guests, having your own bar cart can be fun to have in your home. We’re teaching you how to stock your own bar cart like a pro.

Home bar cart
Choosing the Perfect Cart

The ideal bar cart should offer ample storage space for your bottles, glassware, and bar tools. Consider options that include adjustable shelves, wine racks and glassware holders.

Classic Vintage Cart: Antique brass or wooden carts exude elegance and charm. They’re perfect for a timeless, sophisticated look.

Modern Minimalist Cart: Metal bar carts, like brass or stainless steel, showcase a stylish and luxurious vibe. They are sturdy and resistant to rust, making them an excellent choice for long-term use. Keep in mind that glass surfaces can be more delicate and prone to smudging.

DIY/Repurposed Cart: Get creative and repurpose a vintage piece or build your own “cart” out of a console table to match your unique style.


Liquor Bottles

Essential Liquors

Every well-stocked home bar needs a selection of core spirits. Try these staples to get you started:

Vodka: Versatile and perfect for a wide range of cocktails, from martinis to Moscow Mules.

Gin: Essential for classic cocktails like the Gin and Tonic and the Martini.

Rum: Ideal for tropical drinks like the Mojito and Piña Colada.

Whiskey: Bourbon, Scotch, or Rye whiskey, depending on your taste, is a must-have for Old Fashioneds and Manhattans.

Tequila: Perfect for Margaritas and other tequila-based cocktails.

Triple Sec or Cointreau: Essential for Margaritas and other citrusy drinks.


Variety of cocktails


Having the right glass for each cocktail elevates your drink presentation and enhances the drinking experience. Some essential glassware types:

Highball Glasses: Great for tall cocktails that are typically poured over ice like the Tom Collins and Cuba Libre.

Lowball Glasses: Perfect for short, strong cocktails like the Old Fashioned

Martini Glasses: Iconic for serving martinis and other chilled, shaken cocktails.

Coupe Glasses: Ideal for cocktails served up, like a gimlet.

Shot Glasses: For measuring and serving shots.


Person pouring shots from shaker



To craft cocktails like a pro, you’ll need the right tools.

Steel Cocktail Shaker: Essential for mixing and chilling cocktails. Choose between a Boston shaker or a cobbler shaker. A Boston shaker is better for making larger batches and consists of two cups with no built-in lid or strainer. A cobbler shaker has a built-in strainer and lid but can be prone to leaking.

Jigger: For precise measurement of spirits and other ingredients.

Muddler: Necessary for smushing fruits, herbs and sugar in drinks like the Mojito and Old Fashioned.

Bar Spoon: Used for stirring cocktails, particularly those that shouldn’t be shaken. Typically longer to reach the bottom of highball glasses.

Strainer: To strain ice and solid ingredients from the cocktail when pouring.

Citrus Juicer: For fresh-squeezed juice in cocktails.


Spicy Margarita with lime and pepper garnish


Don’t forget the finishing touches that make your cocktails visually appealing and aromatic.

Citrus: Keep lemons, limes and oranges on hand for zesting and garnishing.

Maraschino Cherries: Classic garnish for cocktails like the Manhattan and Shirley Temple.

Olives: Essential for Martinis and Bloody Marys.

Mint and Basil: Fresh herbs can elevate the aroma and taste of your cocktails.

Sugar and Salt: Rim your glass with sugar or salt for certain cocktails, like the Margarita and the Sidecar.


Stock your home bar cart and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a home mixology pro.  So, get creative, experiment with new recipes, and raise your glass to becoming the ultimate home bartender. Cheers!

Now that you’ve got your bar stocked, check out our blog on cocktail techniques for shaken, stirred, muddled, and strained concoctions.