What Liquor to Buy for Your Home Bar
You just built a home bar. Now, you want to stock it with lots of alcohol, but you don't know what to buy. Well, here is a guide to help you find out what kind of liquor you need to get for your home bar.
What liquor do I need to have in my home bar?
The simple answer is to get the all the liquors required in your favorite mixed drinks. But if you would like to have a more complete bar, I provide you with a list of liquors and liqueurs that most bars have.
Mixers and Garnishes
Before I start mentioning all the liquors that you need to buy. You also need to have mixers, garnishes and ice.
- Juices - Cranberry juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, sweet & sour mix, grapefruit juice and tomato juice.
- Ready to Use Mixers - Margarita mix, piña colada mix, mojito mix, bloody mary mix, etc.
- Sodas - Cola, lemon-lime, tonic water, diet cola, etc.
- Other Mixers - Grenadine, lime juice, purees, hot coffee, bitters, water, etc.
- Garnishes - Cherries, olives, limes, lemons, oranges, whipped cream, etc.
These are the must have liquors that every bar should have.
- Vodka - Get a non-flavored vodka of your choice. Vodka is one of the most popular spirits. There are thousands of recipes that require vodka. You could mix vodka with almost anything.
- Gin - Get a gin of your choice. Not as popular as it once was, gin is still used in a lot of recipes. Most popular Gin and Tonic, Tom Collins, Long Island Iced Teas, etc.
- Light Rum - Get a light rum of your choice. Rum is used a lot in tropical drinks. A very popular brand is Bacardi.
- Dark Rum - Get a dark rum if you are planning on making Mai Tais, Bahama Mamas, Zombies, etc. A very popular brand is Myers's Rum.
- Tequila - Get a tequila of your choice. A lot of people like to have shots of tequila. Tequila is also used in Margaritas as well as many other drinks.
- Whiskey - Get a whiskey of your choice.
- Scotch Whisky - Get a Scotch whisky of your choice.
- Irish Whiskey - Get an Irish whiskey of your choice.
- Cognac - Get a Cognac of your choice. If you don't want Cognac, you could buy a brandy instead.
- Flavored Vodkas - The most popular flavored vodkas are the orange vodkas (Absolut Mandrin) and citrus vodkas (Absolut Citron). Other flavored vodkas that you might want to have are the raspberry vodka and vanilla vodka.
- Flavored Rums - Coconut rum (Malibu, Parrot Bay or Bacardi Coco) is used a lot in several mixed drinks. Another useful flavored rum is a citrus rum (Bacardi Limón) and a spiced rum (Captain Morgan).
- Flavored Whiskey - Southern Comfort is a very popular flavored whiskey used in many mixed drinks.
Essential Liqueurs or Cordials
- Triple Sec - Triple sec is an orange liqueur. You could find it anywhere. There are several brands of triple sec. It is so popular that many stores carry their own brand of triple sec. If you would like to buy a good brand, get Cointreau.
- Blue Curacao - This is kind of an orange liqueur with a blue color. This is used in several blue drinks like the Adios Mother Fucker drink and Blue Hawaiian.
- Melon Liqueur - It's used in several fruity drinks. A popular melon liqueur is Midori and a very popular drink is Midori Sour.
- Peach Schnapps - This is also used a lot in fruity drinks. Drinks like Fuzzy Navel and Sex of the Beach.
- Raspberry Liqueur - There are a lot of raspberry flavored drinks. Drinks like Purple Hooter, French Martini and Raspberry Martini. A very popular raspberry liqueur is Chambord.
- Grand Marnier - If you are planning on making Cadillac Margaritas, French Connections or B-52s, then get a bottle of Grand Marnier.
- Sour Apple Pucker - This is probably the most popular of all the Puckers. This is used in Sour Apple Martinis, Washington Apple shots and many other drinks that have an apple flavor.
- Watermelon Pucker - This is another popular flavor of the Puckers.
- Amaretto - You could buy amaretto anywhere. Some stores have there own brand. If you would like to get a good amaretto, get Disaronno.
- Coffee Liqueur - Who doesn't like coffee liqueur? If you are a coffee drinker, you must like coffee liqueur. Some popular brands are Kahlúa, Tia Maria and Starbucks coffee liqueur.
- Irish Cream - As we all know, coffee and cream go well together. If you have a coffee liqueur, you should also get an Irish cream liqueur. The most popular brand is Baileys.
- Hazelnut Liqueur - Do you want to make a Chocolate Cake, Nuts and Berries Martini or a Nutty Irishman drink? Well, you need some hazelnut liqueur. A very popular brand is Frangelico.
- Butterscotch Schnapps - Get this liqueur if you are planning on making Buttery Nipples, Caramel Apple Martinis or Oatmeal Cookies.
- Chocolate Liqueur - If you like Chocolate Martinis, I suggest you get a chocolate liqueur. A popular brand is Godiva.
The Good To Have Liquors
There are several liquors and cordials that you might want to have.
- Jägermeister - This is a liqueur that some people love it and some people hate it.
- Goldschläger - A cinnamon schnapps with gold flakes.
- Hpnotiq - Do you like a strong drink? Get the Incredible Hulk.
- Sambuca - How about a Sambuca Con Mosca?
- Tuaca - Several people like this Italian liqueur.
- Galliano - A very popular drink made with Galliano is a Harvey Wallbanger.
- Rumple Minze - A peppermint schnapps.
- Other Pucker Flavors - You could get more flavors of the Puckers.
- Pomegranate Liqueur - If you want to make Pomegranate Martinis, get a pomegranate liqueur. You can also get some pomegranate juice.
These are the liquors or cordials that you might use. They are not used as often as the essential liquors. If you decide to get these liquors, I suggest you get the smaller bottles like the 375ml bottles.
- Vermouth (Dry and Sweet) - If you want to make the Classic Martini or a Manhattan, you are going to need some vermouth.
- Banana Liqueur - You can make a June Bug, Banshee, a Rum Runner, etc.
- Crème de Cacao (White and Dark) - You can also make chocolate martinis with crème de cacao. It's kind of like chocolate liqueur. You can make a Chocolate Mint Martini, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Keoke Coffee, etc.
- Crème de Menthe (White and Green) - If you like Grasshoppers, get some green crème de menthe.
- Flavored Brandies - You could get some flavored brandies of your choice.
- Sloe Gin - You can use this for an Alabama Slammer, Big Stick, Sloe Comfortable Screw Against The Wall, etc.
Beer and Wine
Every bar should have some beer and wine. This is going to be a personal choice. Choose any beer and/or wine that you want for your bar. If you want to make some recipes like an Irish Car Bomb, then I suggest you get Guinness.
It's your bar!
This is your bar and you decide what liquor to buy. You could buy any brand you want. It's your choice. You might be on a budget and can't afford the most expensive liquors. It's OK to buy some less expensive liquors.
You don't have to buy all the items that I mention. This is just a guide to help you select some liquors when you go to the store. Cheers!