Entertaining Ideas
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Basics for a well-stocked bar?

I'd like to keep the ingredients on hand for basic cocktails and drinks for company and parties. DH is always impressed when we visit someone's home and they can make pretty much whatever he thinks up. So I think he'd really appreciate a well-stocked bar.

I tried doing a websearch, and all the lists I found had at least 100 "necessary " items. I just don't believe most people own that much alcohol!

So what do you always keep on hand? 


Re: Basics for a well-stocked bar?

  • Bare basics are a mid grade: vodka, gin, whisky and scotch (2 lights and 2 dark liq.). Mixers should be colas 1 light 1dark 2+ fruit juices and atleast 3 garnish in the fridge (i.e. olives, lemon/lime or "fruity fruits"). A 6 of domestic "good" beer and a 6 of international beer (depending on your mans taste). Glasses and mug are good but the "fun" i.e. umbrellas and pretty little pics are girly and only for fun. (and us girls love fun)
    • Vodka
    • Rum
    • Gin
    • Scotch
    • Bourbon
    • Blended Whiskey
    • Tequila
    • Kahlua or other coffee flavored liqueur
    • Creme de Menthe
    • Creme de Cacao
    • Amaretto
    • Brandy and/or Cognac
    • Grand Marnier
    • Drambuie
    • B&B (Brandy & Benedictine)
      Juices -- orange juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice or V8, pineapple, lemon or lime juice (fresh squeezed when possible)For fresh squeezed juices, you can estimate that the average lemon or lime will yield about an ounce of juice, an orange will yield between 1 1/2 - 3 ounces of juice depending on it's size.Carbonated beverages - club soda, tonic water, cola, 7-Up or Sprite, ginger ale.
    • Flavoring ingredients - Angostura bitters for drinks like Old Fashioneds, salt, pepper or horseradish for drinks like Bloody Marys, confectioner's sugar for fizzes and flips, grenadine, simple syrup, cream of coconut, etc.

    Dry vermouth -- If you plan on making Martinis.

    Sweet vermouth -- If you plan on making Manhattans.

    Salt or sugar for rimming cocktail glasses (as for Margaritas).

    Milk, half and half, cream, whipped cream or possibly even ice cream.

    Coffee -- For hot drinks and last call, no alcohol.

    Garnishes like lemon or lime peel or wedges, cherries, olives, cocktail onions or celery stalks.


  • Vodka



    Light and Dark Rum

    Whiskey (Bourbon or Scotch)

    Triple Sec


    Simple Syrup

    Sweet and Sour

    After that, it's a matter of taste/preference.  We usually have quite a few flavored liquors, like peachcello, cherry liquor, grand mariner, chambord, sour apple pucker, peach schnapps, vanilla creme, and frangelico.

    Master of Disguise
  • >rubs hands together gleefully<

    I bartended from age 18 to about 23, so I consider this area a bit of a specialty for me!

    Okay, so IMO, here's what I think you need to be ready at a moment's notice for expert entertaining.

    Rum (light and dark)
    A bottle of white wine and a bottle of red (make sure they are kept in a cool, dark place so they keep well)
    2 liters of Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite each
    Cranberry, Pineapple and Orange juice
    Vermouth and olives (if you know any traditional martini drinkers, if not, you can skip these)
    If you have room in your fridge, you might consider keeping some light and regular beer around. If you don't want to sacrifice the space, you can buy the beer non-chilled then toss it in some ice about 2 hours before your guests arrive.
    And finally, if you check the produce section of your local grocery store, you should find these squeeze bulb containers of lemon and lime juice. They can be refridgerated for months at a time, and eliminate the need to keep the fresh fruit versions around.

    Of course, you can add and subtract as you see fit, but these basics are found in any random dive bar, and is sure to make sure that even the pickiest guest can find something they like. GL!

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