Elizabeth Taylor

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

Any surface can be transformed into a chic and functional home bar. All you need are the right spirits, mixers, seasonings, garnishes, and tools, as well as a collection of pretty glassware and cocktail linens. Below is a shopping list outlining everything you’ll need to set up your own home bar, with links to our favorite bar products.


Gin for Martinis, Gin & Tonics, Gimlets and Collinses
Vodka for Screwdrivers, Salty Dogs, Bloody Marys and Vodka & Tonics
Tequila for Margaritas, Tequila Sunrises and Palomas
White rum for Daiquiris and Mojitos
Dark rum for Piña Coladas
Bourbon for Mint Juleps and Whiskey Sours
Campari for Negronis
Pimm’s No. 1 for Pimm’s Cups
Lillet Blanc for drinking on the rocks with an orange slice
Cointreau for Margaritas, Long Island Iced Teas and Mai Tais
St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur to add a floral note to cocktails
Crème de Cassis for Kir Royales
Dry (white) vermouth for Martinis and Gibsons
Sweet (red) vermouth for Campari Americanos

Note: liquor has a long shelf life, especially if the bottle’s been kept in a cool, dark place and is fairly full (air weakens the flavor). But if a bottle is less than half full or you can’t remember when you bought it, it’s time to replace it.

Basic Mixers

Tonic water
Soda water
Dry ginger ale
Angostura bitters, a mix of 40 herbs, roots and other botanicals, for blending flavors

Basic Garnishes

Cocktails onions

Photo: Lulu Powers

Basic Seasonings

Coarse Kosher salt
Worcestershire sauce
Super fine sugar

Bar Tools

Bar spoon with a long handle for stirring mixed drinks
Bottle opener
Channel knife for making twists
Citrus squeezer for extracting fresh lemon, lime and orange juice
Cocktail picks for olives, onions and other garnishes
Cocktail shaker
Grater for citrus zest
Hawthorne strainer
Jigger for measuring ingredients
Paring knife and small cutting board
Mixing glass
Muddler for mashing fruit and herbs

Click here to read about our 10 favorite bar carts.

How to Set Up your Home Bar

Welcome Photo and Quote Mashup

Welcome Photo: Elizabeth Taylor
Welcome Quote: Casablanca, 1942

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