Essentials for your bar cabinet

September 09, 2021 3 min read

A bar cabinet is the ultimate luxury item for the home. For those who love to entertain, a properly stocked bar makes mixing cocktials so much easier than digging in the kitchen cabinet.

We have prepared the following guide of essential bar supplies that you should always have on hand.

  • GLASSWARE: You’ll want red and white wine glasses, along with some pint glasses. Include some basics for serving cocktails, like double old-fashioned and Collins glasses.
  • CUTTING BOARD: A good home bar should be stocked with at least a couple of cutting boards to prepare the garnishes and ingredients for a variety of cocktails.
  • GRATER: A grater, peeler, and zester set allows you to prepare citrus fruits to use as garnishes. Different drinks call for different types of garnishes, so a good grater will allow you to serve up your guests’ favourite drinks in style.
  • ICE: Always have an insulated and accessible ice bucket on hand.
  • JIGGER: A jigger is an hourglass-shaped measuring tool that is a staple of any bar set. One side of a jigger contains a measuring cup for a standard shot and the other is for a slightly smaller “pony” shot
  • BOTTLE OPENER: A handheld or wall-mounted bottle opener is a necessary bar tool for home bartenders. There are also a number of all-in-one bar tools that contain all the essentials you need.
  • COCKTAIL SHAKER: A cocktail shaker set is a must-have for those who prefer their cocktails James Bond-style. Luckily, there are various shakers to choose from at all price points—just make sure your shaker is durable and made of a strong material like stainless steel. 
  • MIXING GLASS: A durable mixing glass—separate from a shaker—gives you a designated place to stir and combine ingredients for cocktails.
  • STIRRER: Cocktail stirrers are long stirring implements that allow bartenders to quickly mix a drink without splashing ingredients onto the bar top. These are often made of glass or stainless steel, so as not to affect the flavour of the drink.


The star of the bar is the alcohol. You don't necessary need top shelf stuff but it depends if the alcohol is to be used mainly for cocktails or served straight. To start with, an assortment of wine is a staple for entertaining. It’s always a good idea to offer different varietals that range from crisp or fruity to buttery white wines, or dry, full-bodied to more fruit-forward reds. Don’t forget the bubbles!

Beer is also an essential for any get-together. Like wine, a range of beer choices will help guests find something they enjoy. Be sure to offer a mix of ales, lagers, IPAs, wheat beers and stouts. Plus, a handful of ciders would be ideal for those who like a more sparkly beverage.

Beyond wine and beer, there are a handful of key liquors and mixers that round out a well-stocked bar.

  • VODKA shows up in more drinks than any other distilled spirit. From martinis to Moscow mules  — there’s always a time and a place for it.
  • GIN is the bleu cheese of liquors — people either really love it or they really don’t. But as the base for a number of classic cocktails — martinis, gimlet, negroni, and, of course, the gin and tonic — a London dry gin is a must-have.
  • TEQUILA is an obvious necessity if you love a margarita— but it can more than hold its own as a stand-alone beverage. Ideally, you can keep an inexpensive Blanco tequila on hand for mixed or blended drinks and a nice mezcal for sipping neat.
  • WHITE RUM is the star player in the ever-popular mojito and essential to a good daiquiri. But don’t overlook dark or spiced rum, which adds depth and complexity to drinks like a Dark and Stormy.
  • WHISKEY drinkers tend to be loyal to their preferred variety, so it’s good to have at least three on hand. Bourbon and scotch are typically served neat or on the rocks, while rye is a fantastic base for cocktails like the old-fashioned and the Manhattan.
  • LIQUEURS like Aperol, Campari, Cointreau, and vermouth play a role in many cocktails, and you can serve some of them as after-dinner digestifs.
  • NON ALCOHOLIC OPTIONS are great to have for designated drivers and others who don’t imbibe.
  • A COCKTAIL BOOK is essential for obvious reasons

There you go! A checklist of essential spirits/wines and tools to entertain like a pro. Salut!