Bar Cart 101

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I don’t know about you, but for me, staying in can be just as much fun as going out. Gather a group, your favorite drinks and a box of Cards Against Humanity and you’ve got yourself a recipe for evening success!

But when it comes to the drinks, where do you start? Of course, going to the bar makes it easy — there’s one of everything to choose from to suit everyone’s tastes. But when you open your refrigerator and the only thing staring back is a lonely can of Bikini Blonde, you’ve got a dilemma on your hands.

Thankfully, putting together a well-stocked bar cart isn’t all that difficult, and with a few essentials, you’ll be whipping up delicious cocktails at home in no time.

THE BOOZE STAPLES

I like to keep these staples on hand, because you can serve a wide range of drinks using them as a base. And if you invest in quality bottles, some guests will prefer to drink them on the rocks.

Vodka a classic typically used for martinis or mixed drinks. I prefer Tito’s for both price point and taste.

Rum dark or light, typically used for tropical drinks. Think mojitos! I recommend Plantation Grande Reserve Barbados Rum for taste and quality. It helps that it comes in a cool bottle!

Gin typically used for martinis. I don’t care for gin, but my husband is a connoisseur and enjoys Tanqueray London Dry Gin.

Tequila typically used for margaritas or shots. I like Gran Centenario on the rocks with two or three lime wedges.

Whiskey a barrel-aged spirit, typically served on-the-rocks or in mixed beverages. I prefer bourbon and recommend Knob Creek. Their Smoked Maple variation is particularly delicious.

If you can swing it, splurge on a nice bottle of champagne — you never know when you might need to do some impromptu celebrating! I recommend Moët & Chandon White Star.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

You can’t mix a drink with your fingers and expect others to consume it. Stock up on:

Glassware An assortment of glasses is best. Tumblers, martini/margarita glasses, champagne flutes or a drink on the rocks — you want to be prepared!

Cocktail shaker Investing in a quality shaker should give you a shot glass, strainer and shaker all in one.

What cocktails will you be making?