Starting a small bar

To make a vast array of mixed drinks you need only a handful of ingredients. Listed below are the requirements for any good basic bar.

  • Beer
  • Blended or Rye Whiskey
  • Bourbon
  • Brandy
  • Curacao (blue)
  • Gin
  • Rum (light)
  • Scotch Whiskey
  • Tequila (white)
  • Triple Sec
  • Vermouth (dry and sweet)
  • Vodka
  • Wine (white and red)
  • Cola
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Ginger Ale
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Carbonated/Sparkling water (Club Soda)
  • Tomato Juice
  • Tonic Water
  • Grenadine
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Bar sugar
  • Pepper (black)
  • Cocktail olives
  • Lemons (at least a half dozen)
  • Limes (same)
  • Oranges
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Worchestshire sauce
Tools & Utensils
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Bottle Opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Measuring cup
  • Paring knife

If you are serious about wowing your guests with your bartending abilities (everyone loves someone who can mix delicious cocktails!) then you will need more than just the above ingredients. However, this basic list permits you to mix many well known cocktails with a little room for experimentation.

It is interesting to note that many more recipes are possible from this list with just one or two flavored liqueurs added in. Adding, say, a coffee liqueur and some peach schnapps would open up quite a few more possibilities.