How to Properly Setup and Stock a Home Bar on a Budget

Most people who enjoy home entertaining require a properly stocked bar that can impress your friends or stir romance on a date. Setting up a home bar can seem challenging, but with the right information and tools you can really have a lot of fun with it. This article sets up some guidelines on how to stock a home bar easily and economically.

When it comes to home bars, you essentially have two options. You can either choose to create a space that is dedicated to drinks 24/7 or opt to put away your bottles except on the days that you are hosting friends. Either way, it is always recommended that you get your design basics right and proper with all bar supplies in place. Here are some factors worth considering when creating a home bar.

Invest in a Good Cocktail Mixing Book

Behind every good bar is a book that lays down the rules of mixing. Of course, you can move on to experimenting with your drinks and creating utter disasters but before that, you need to follow what the book commands. We suggest you buy a book or a guide that helps you understand mixers, spirits, and cocktails in general.

Stock Up on What You Like to Drink

This one may seem a little obvious but stick with us here. You should stock up your bar with spirits that you like. This is your bar, and there is no point stocking it with liquors that you are not going to drink just to impress your friends. If rum and gin are what you prefer, have the maximum variety of the same. Don’t worry about the guests; they will love your cocktails if served using right mixes and techniques. But if you host parties frequently, it would be a good idea to store a variety of liquors and spirits. You know your tribe and what they like. Don’t waste money on liquor that’s just going to sit there.

Don’t Obsess Over Top Shelf

Your brand choice should depend on the cocktails you will make. Don’t become obsessed with brands, instead, select within a spectrum of brands. For example, you could compromise on rum if you are eventually going to mix it with Mai Tai. But if vodka martinis are your choice, invest in good premium vodka. Besides, price doesn’t always guarantee quality. You could get good quality spirits at mid-level prices.

Stocking Up

Now comes the stuff you need for a fully stocked home bar. Are you still reading? Here comes the good stuff.

Barware and Glassware

Make sure you have enough glasses to accommodate the number of people you are hosting. It is estimated that in an average cocktail party, a person uses one glass per hour. If you wish to save money, consider investing in basic glasses rather than going for the low-quality plastic ones. Since you plan on serving a range of drinks, stock the correct type of classes. You can easily find inexpensive white wine glasses, champagne glasses, vodka glasses and beer steins for sale online. You do not need a lot of barware. Invest in good quality ice bags, bar spoon, muddler, jigger, strainer, cocktail shaker and ice cube trays. Buy some good quality glasses like short glasses, tall glasses, and stemware.


Some basic spirits like Vodka, Gin, Tequila, Rum, Bourbon, Scotch and Cognac will do just fine. Again, if you know your favorite drinks require something other than the basics, be sure to keep that on hand as well.


You could go for simple syrup, bitters like Angostura or club soda, tonic water, and ginger ale. You may want to consider keeping some fruit juices on hand as well as fruits such as limes, lemons, cherries and pineapple for garnishes.


Stock up with Cointreau, Disaranno, Campari and Vermouth. As long as you have these classics on hand, you can’t go wrong.

In addition to glassware, you will also be able to find some great bar accessories such as blenders, squeezers, napkins, coasters and glass tags for your home bar online.
When it comes to setting up a bar at your home, certain ground rules must be established and followed. Keep it simple and classic. Stock up on essential liquors and invest in basic equipment and learn to mix and serve and you will have a well set up and stocked bar. Check out our extensive collection of Dining and Stools pub sets on our website!