Commonly used ingredients in specialty cocktails for your in-home bar

specialty cocktails

If you are planning to create a bar in your home where you can entertain friends and family, you’re probably wondering how you can stock it to ensure you can always make a delicious drink for someone. While Denver cocktail bars have the space and budget to stay fully stocked with multiple brands of spirits and every obscure liqueur or mixer on the market, the average person must craft a multi-functional bar if they want to put one in their home.

Once you have found the perfect space for your bar, whether it’s a fully built out wet bar or a small bar cart, you must decide which ingredients are the most beneficial to making numerous drinks. The below list will help you stock a bar that is sure to please anyone who comes to your home.

  • Spirits- You do not need to have multiple options for each spirit. Instead, it is smart to get a mid-range level of each kind that you feel you may use. This might include vodka, gin, rum, tequila and whiskey. If you have more space or a larger budget, you can add in other additions like bourbon, scotch, mezcal, and even flavored vodkas.
  • Liqueurs- There are so many different liqueurs that it would be nearly impossible to stock a home bar with all the possible options. Instead, focus on flavor profiles that can mix and match. Some popular choices are elderflower liqueur like St. Germain, which pairs well with gin and vodka, earthy herbs and bright citrus. Grand Marnier is an orange liqueur that complements darker spirits like bourbon and even pairs well with tequila in a classic margarita. It’s also smart to have a sweeter liqueur for after dinner drinks. This could include Bailey’s, Kahlua, Amaretto or Frangelico, all of which are delicious alone or mixed into coffee.
  • Additions- While liquor and a mixer can make a great cocktail, it’s important to think of the additions you may need to complete drinks. This could include olives, lemon, bitters, fresh herbs, simple syrup, sugar cubes and cherries. Maraschino or Luxardo are popular choices for cherry garnishes, but you likely won’t need both. If you plan on making more specialty cocktails, Luxardo cherries are considered a bit more sophisticated.
  • Ice- Don’t neglect the ice! It’s important for a bar to be well stocked with ice, both traditional cubes for shaken or blended drinks and specialty ice for sipping cocktails. For example, large, slow melting ice cubes (or balls) look lovely and preserve the taste of a drink for longer.

In order to get more inspiration for your in-home bar, you should plan on visiting numerous local bars for ideas. Places like Union Lodge No. 1 take cocktail creation seriously and can provide real insight for what makes a perfectly balanced cocktail and how to cultivate the right vibe. It’s also good to find a few favorite local bars for the nights you don’t feel like playing bartender and you’d prefer to sit back, relax and let someone else create a gorgeous cocktail for you to enjoy.