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Home Bar 101


There’s something about mixing it up with your friends at your own home bar that takes your personal coolness to a whole new level. And making it happen is surprisingly simple. It’s all about proper bar setup. Stock up on basic spirits, mixers and supplies, add whatever you need to make your friends’ favorite cocktails, practice your martini-stirring technique in front of the mirror a couple times, and you are in business.








  • vodka
  • whiskey
  • tequila
  • rum
  • gin


  • vermouth
  • red wine
  • white wine
  • bottled beverages (prepared cocktails, beer)


Bartender’s Tip: Fresh juices do a lot for a drink, but if you’re in a squeeze, bottled is fine. Remember to pick up plenty of soda and water for those designated drivers.


  • soda water
  • cola
  • simple syrup
  • cranberry juice
  • pineapple juice
  • gingerale


  • apple juice
  • grapefruit juice
  • grenadine syrup
  • premade mixers are perfect for a do-it-yourself bar. You can use them to make your favorite cocktails.


Bright, fun and sometimes funky, garnishes complete the cocktail.

  • fresh mint
  • fresh strawberries
  • maraschino cherries
  • fresh lemons
  • fresh limes
  • bitters
  • sugar
  • salt
  • rimmers (glass-top flavorings for mojitos, cosmos and flavored martinis)
  • and of course, don’t forget the ice!


  • Pick an area with space for people to chat and lounge. If there’s room to bust some dance moves, so much the better.
  • Pep up the party with fun prints on napkins and the tablecloth.
  • Make sure you have enough glasses—caterers generally stock as many glasses as there are guests. If you’re running short, disposable cups come in all shapes and sizes.
  • Put out a large pitcher of drinking water for those designated drivers.


Need to save a few bucks? No problem. Build a theme around a few cocktails, like classic and flavored martinis. Or get guests to pitch in with spirits, mixers or appetizers. Cheers!




Remember, any cocktail is best enjoyed in moderation, and only by those of legal drinking age.