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Home Bar Essentials Checklist

A nine-bottle bar should meet all your cocktail needs, giving you the ingredients to make hundreds of recipes. Here's the only liquor you need, along with mixers, gadgets, garnishes, and glasses.

Liquor

  1. Check

    Bourbon

  2. Check

    Cointreau or triple sec (some people swear Cointreau is worth the money even if you mix it)

  3. Check

    Gin

  4. Check

    Rum (light)

  5. Check

    Scotch (blended)

  6. Check

    Tequila (white)

  7. Check

    Vermouth (dry)

  8. Check

    Vermouth (sweet)

  9. Check

    Vodka

Wine

  1. Check

    Red

  2. Check

    White

Beer

  1. Check

    Light

  2. Check

    Dark

Mixers

  1. Check

    Cola

  2. Check

    Ginger ale

  3. Check

    Club soda

  4. Check

    Sparkling water

  5. Check

    Tonic water

  6. Check

    Cranberry juice

  7. Check

    Orange juice

  8. Check

    Angostura bitters

Garnishes

  1. Check

    Green olives (pitted)

  2. Check

    Lemons

  3. Check

    Limes

  4. Check

    Kosher salt

  5. Check

    Maraschino cherries

Accessories

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    Long cocktail spoon

  2. Check

    Paring knife

  3. Check

    Peeler

  4. Check

    Cutting board

  5. Check

    Corkscrew

  6. Check

    Bottle opener

  7. Check

    Juice squeezer

  8. Check

    Standard shaker: The shaker should have a metal bottom and a metal lid with a strainer.

  9. Check

    Jigger: Choose one with a 1-ounce measure on one side and 1 1/2 ounces on the other. Most recipes call for 1 1/2 ounces of alcohol (a jigger, or a shot), but some call for 1 ounce (a pony). If you don’t have a jigger, 3 tablespoons are about equal to 1 1/2 ounces.

  10. Check

    Bartending handbook. (Ultimate Bartender’s Guide by Ray Foley, inventor of the Fuzzy Navel drink recipe!)

  11. Check

    Cocktail napkins

  12. Check

    Cocktail toothpicks

  13. Check

    Swizzle sticks

Glasses

  1. Check

    Martini glasses

  2. Check

    Highball glasses

  3. Check

    All-purpose wineglasses