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A Basic Bar Setup for a Limited Budget

By Ray Foley

Part of Bartending For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Setting up a home bar can become quite costly. The variety of liquors available today is mind-boggling. How do you pare down your shopping list to the essentials? Some bartenders may scoff at the idea of not having both American and Canadian whiskies in a bar. And do you really need both dry and sweet vermouth? The options can be overwhelming. For simple entertaining, even if you’re on a limited budget, start with the following items:

One 750 ml bottle of gin One 750 ml bottle of whiskey (Bourbon, Canadian, and so on)
One 750 ml bottle of rum One 750 ml bottle of white domestic wine
One 750 ml bottle of tequila One 750 ml bottle of red domestic wine
One 750 ml bottle of vodka Twelve 12-oz. bottles of beer (domestic or imported)
Three 750 ml bottles of the liqueurs and cordials of your choice (such as Irish cream, coffee liqueur, Grand Marnier, triple sec, Cointreau, Sambuca, white or green crème de menthe, Galliano, B&B, Frangelico, amaretto, peach schnapps, and so on)