How To Keep A Well-Stocked Bar

By Staff

They say it's better to be safe than sorry. Keeping these must-have bar essentials in stock will ensure that you don't look the fool when it's time to entertain.

Nothing says classy like bringing a girl back to your place for a few drinks and offering her a dented can of Budweiser from the fridge in your garage. As a general rule of thumb, women should not be required to drink anything found in your garage. Those beers are reserved for football, oil changes and poker games. Any other occasion requires the assistance of a well-stocked bar and a well-stocked bar goes beyond walking into Bob’s Alcohol Barn and throwing things into a cart. Tending a home bar without glasses, garnishes and mixers is like trying to build a house without nails, blueprints or hammers.

Pint Glasses

Pint glasses (4) are fairly straightforward as far as purchasing goes; narrower glasses typically house lighter beer while the stouter variety allow heavier beer to settle before drinking. recommends: Avoid mugs, lest you look like a barbarian in a beer hall. Go for the long look; it’s a little more civilized.


Tumblers (4) serve as the staple for most mixed drinks like gin & tonics, but also for your high-end scotch or rum. If you’re looking to splurge and really stock up, buying a few highball glasses will add a touch of class to the bar, but the tumbler will suffice for most mixed drinks. recommends: Traditional is the word when it comes to tumblers; these Charlie Glasses fit the bill.

Wine Glasses

Wine glasses (4) come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the type of wine being imbibed, but for the casual drinker, four all-purpose medium-sized glasses will do for both red and white. recommends: Something with a longer stem and rounded bottom; wine glasses shouldnt be square. These Reidel Wine Glasses are on par. 

Specialty Glasses

Aside from champagne flutes, martini glasses (2) are good speciality glasses to keep on hand, avoiding those awkward moments when your date is drinking dirty gin from a Styrofoam cup. recommends: Long-stemmed martini glasses are a must; it makes her feel classy and comfortable, straight out of Casablanca. These vintage glasses from Marquis by Waterford are spot on. 

Shot Glasses

Your standard 1.5 oz shot glasses (4) will be your go-to for making both a casual but properly mixed drink and also for Tequila Thursdays (commonly followed by Getting Fired Fridays). recommends: Honestly, there is nothing worse than serving her a drink that could explode in her face should it come in contact with fire. Mix properly with these. 


If you have nothing else, keeping a few lemons and limes around will save you in most situations, as their accompaniment is standard practice for mixed drinks. Sugar and salt also work their way into a variety of cocktails, but if you’re missing these two ingredients you probably have more to worry about than a well-stocked bar. Though not necessary, springing for some top-shelf olives and cherries will go a long way to making you look like a civilized human being.


Soda staples like cola, lemon-lime soda and ginger ale are highly recommended investments, and tonic water is a must. Keeping fresh juices on hand will save you the trouble of running to the store for mid-morning mimosas, and no bar should be without vermouth and grenadine. Be warned, though, vermouth acts more like wine than spirit; once opened, its shelf life is limited.


It may seem obvious, but keeping a wine opener/beer opener close to the bar is well advised; rifling through your kitchen cupboards, swearing you just saw the damn thing yesterday, will take your class level down a notch. On the more forgotten side of things, having an ice bucket will not only keep your white wine at the proper temperature but close by. Investing in a proper martini shaker will ensure that you are not caught off guard when she goes all 007 on you.


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