What You Need for Your Home Bar, According to Bartenders

By Indulgence

Every home bar needs the essentials, but for the most part, they don’t need to be fancy — you just need to cover the basics. We rounded up some of America’s best bartenders, who tell us that you should start with some fundamental base sprits: one great vodka, one great gin, a bottle of rum (preferably one dark, one light), and good whiskey, either a rye or a bourbon. Then you’ll need small bottles of very basic modifiers: campari, triple sec, bitters, sweet and dry vermouth. Also stock soda, tonic, and simple syrup. Have some fresh juice, lemons and limes. You’ll need fresh ice. For a shaker, you could buy a tin or just use a mason jar. Find an implement for mixing, jiggers for measuring, a julep strainer, a hawthorne strainer, and a muddler.

Top it off with some glassware and a cocktail book, and you have yourself a respectable home bar.

CHECK OUT THE BARTENDERS FEATURED, LISTED IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE: Brandon Wise, Sage Restaurant Group, Portland
Ivy Mix, Leyenda, Brooklyn
Chaim Dauermann, The Up & Up, New York City
Bryan Dayton, Oak at Fourteenth, Boulder
Chad Solomon, Midnight Rambler, Dallas
Nicholas Bennett, Porchlight, New York City
Leslie Ross, Treadsack, Houston
Steve Schneider, Employees Only, New York City
Ezra Star, Drink, Boston
Gil Bouhana, Atwood Kitchen & Bar Room, New York City
Brandon Wise, Sage Restaurant Group, Portland
Ryan Wainwright, Terrine, Los Angeles
Freddy Schwenk, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Nashville
Joaquín Simó, Pouring Ribbons, New York City
Eric Alperin, The Varnish, Los Angeles
Jennifer Colliau, Interval at Long Now, San Francisco
David Kaplan, Death and Company, New York City


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