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How to Stock a Bar for Beginners

How to Stock a Bar for Beginners

You have your own apartment/house/condo/place of living, and you want to decorate with an upscale, swankier style. You're not in college anymore, and you want your living quarters to reflect this (throw away the tie dye tapestry and beer box decor!).


how to stock a bar for men

Build your own bar! Fill it with glassware, fancy (or not) liquors, and sophisticated bar tools. There are several ways you can build and showcase your own home bar. If you're lucky, you can snag a cool, vintage-looking (or actually vintage) bar cart. Etsy always has a great selection, but they can be pricey -- so do your own cart hunt on Amazon and at local flea markets, too. You can also display proudly on wall shelves, or maybe you have a sleek wooden table that needs some love? That would also work. There are several options. My personal home bar lives in a bookcase. Pretty much anything works. Before you select your spirits, you'll want to make sure you're equipped with the basics: glassware and tools. Can't serve the liquor if you don't have anything to put it in, can you?


essential bar glassware

You'll need a selection of glasses, and luckily, you can find them on the cheap. Search around yard sales, thrift stores, or even the dollar store. Don't worry if you find some glasses that don't match. Unless you're OCD, mis-matched glasses can add vintage, one-of-a-kind vibes to your bar. Don't worry about the expensive ones, cheap glasses will do the trick, and are often of great quality. Just make sure your glasses don't have any chips, cracks, or breaks -- and that you clean them before serving. The essentials:
  • Rocks/Old Fashioned glass
  • High Ball
  • Shot
  • Pint/Pilsner
  • Champagne
  • Martini
  • Wine
Naturally, you don't need all of these to start off, especially if you don't drink all these types of drinks. This is just a basic list to go off of. You'll definitely need some rocks, pint, shot, and wine glasses, though; those are the most popular. Most of your drinks will be made in a rocks glass, but you'll get great use out of wine and shot glasses as well. Eventually, you might want to invest in a decanter for a sleek way to store your liquor.


essential bar tools

You can have several fancy gadgets for your bar, but make sure you get the classic essentials first. You can't be without a corkscrew or two (they have a tendency to break easily when used by a novice), and bottle openers are a given. Be impressive by pouring the perfect drink without a jigger. A steady pour while counting to four gives you a little over an ounce, which is how they make drinks at a bar (and it just looks a lot cooler than using a jigger). But make sure you have pourers. Here's a complete list of the tools you'll need to start off:
  • Corkscrew
  • Bottle Opener
  • Spout pourers
  • Stirrers
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Strainer


essential bar liquor

Probably the most fun part of setting up a bar is choosing your poisons. You can go top shelf and get the good stuff, or you can get basics. Any bar you stock should include the following beverages. Liquors:
  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Whiskey/Bourbon
  • Rum
  • Tequilla
  • Amaretto
  • Irish Cream (like Bailey's)
  • A type of orange liqueur, like Triple Sec or Curaçao
  • Reds
  • Whites
Don't forget any mixers or garnishes you'll be pairing these with, but that could change upon your tastes and party needs. Most importantly, have fun (and be safe) with your new bar! Image sources:,,
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