Home Cocktail Bar Basics

Home Cocktail Bar Basics

No house is complete without these stemware and barware essentials for a spur-of-the-moment cocktail party. I recommend keeping all varieties of liquor and glasses listed below. If you don’t have rom, collect a smaller number of each, and feel free to mix and match!

Liquors and Mixers

  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Cognac
  • Cointreau
  • Triple Sec
  • Champagne
  • Red and white wine
  • Tequila
  • Rum
  • A single-malt scotch
  • Dry and sweet vermouth
  • Bitters
  • A selection of traditional cocktail mixers (cranberry juice, ginger ale, 7Up, Coca-Cola, club soda, lime juice, orange juice, tonic water, and some store-bought blends including a great Bloody Mary mix) 

Barware Essentials: 

  • Old-fashioned glasses (12)
  • Martini glasses (8)
  • Brandy snifters (8)
  • Champagne flutes (12)
  • White-wine glasses and red-wine glasses or all-purpose wine glasses (16 each)
  • Glass pitcher (1)
  • Silver ice bucket and ice tongs (1)
  • Crystal wine decanters (2)
  • Cocktail shaker (1) 


  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Olives
  • Sharp knife
  • Small cutting board
  • Bar towel
  • Coastes
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper and linen cocktail napkins

-Colin Cowie

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