Deciding to create a home bar for yourself feels like a very fun adult decision, but it can also be crazy daunting. Why does the success of most cocktails always hinge on the one ingredient you don't have??? I've figured out that I really tend to reach for the same seven kinds of bottles whenever I decide it's boozy party time (5:00pm every day in quarantine.) With these 7 basic bottles I've listed below, along with some simple syrup, bubbly water, and a couple lemons and limes, you can actually make A LOT.
And don't forget to get caught up on the basic supplies you need to build your home bar from the ground up.
Two Types of White Spirits
I myself am a gin girl so that's my go-to light spirit. When planning a minimalist bar menu for an event, I typically tell the client to choose between vodka and gin, and tequila blanco and white rum. Any combo of these bottles on your shelf will take you far.
Don't ask me the difference between bourbon, rye, and scotch, just know that I love them all and it also makes me feel very adult having a bottle of whiskey in the house. Go ahead and impress your friends.
This is an easy to find fortified wine, and adds sweetness to a ton of simple, classic drinks like a Manhattan, a Negroni, and a Boulevardier.
Campari or Aperol
Italian classics that add a distinctive sweet bitterness, these are awesome liqueurs to have around, especially in the summer for Aperol Spritzes (sans straw) and Americanos (not the coffee).
A Bottle of White and a Bottle of Red
I love wine! Especially Portuguese wines, which are so cheap in the context of European wine regions but still so tasty. Hot day? There's actually no greater feeling that cracking open a chilled bottle of vinho verde. Some pretty standard crowd pleasers I like to have around are Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio for white, and a Temperanillo or Cab Sauv red. (Also always good to have a bottle around so you never have to show up to anyone's house empty handed!!)
Have any other must-haves on your list? Comment below so I can grab them on my next liquor store run.