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Sweet Elixir: Stocking a Bar

setting up a bar tips

Being prepared is critical in offering your guests a cocktail.  Many drinks (and guests) don’t take kindly to substitution.  Having all of the right ingredients will surely make you look like a superstar.  Below I have outlined the basic necessities for any respectable bar setup.  What you do with it from there is up to you. 

Things to consider:

  • A 750 mL bottle of each should provide enough variety to create almost any drink. For the record, a 750 mL bottle should get you 15 – 17 drinks. If you are having a party plan accordingly.
  • A 750 mL bottle of wine should get you 5-6 glasses.
  • Have fresh ice on hand.  It should not taste like anything.
  • Buy a basic bar book if you don’t already have one. 
  • I would be remiss if I didn’t say… drink responsibly.

The Alcohol:

  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Bourbon
  • Scotch
  • Tequila
  • Vermouth
  • Red and white wine
  • Assortment of liqueurs to suit your crowd (I have a real affinity for Licor 43 if you are inviting me)
setting up a bar tips

Mixers to include:

  • Mineral water
  • Colas
  • Ginger ale
  • Club soda
  • Tonic water
  • Lemon/lime soda
  • Fresh fruit juices (Orangina is always a hit!)
  • Other juices
  • Simple syrup * (simple recipe below)
  • Water


  • cocktail onions
  • stuffed olives (Mexican martinis are perfect with the jalapeno stuffed ones)
  • lemons
  • limes
  • oranges
  • strawberries
  • celery stalks
  • mint leaves (you can grow more than you will ever need on your patio)
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • maraschino cherries 
  • cucumber
  • pineapple
  • coarse salt

To make the simple syrup:

Stir one pound of granulated sugar into 13 ounces of hot water to make 16 ounces of syrup.

savourflavorful chemistry


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