Stocking Your Home Bar

Mixologist and restaraunteur Joe Campanale shares his tips on stocking a first home bar. Don’t get too overwhelmed trying to select the right brand: instead, follow Joe’s tips on having the right selection of liquors and you’ll be able to satisfy every guest.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Joe Campanale. You're watching And today, I'm going to show you how to stock a bar. Now say you've just moved into your first home or you're really ready to start with your first bar. There are a few things that you need to remember and a few spirits that you're definitely going to need in order to stock a basic bar. The first thing that any home bar needs is Vodka. I would say in general you should always get the best quality spirit that you can actually afford but Vodka might be the one place where you can maybe go for something a little bit more entry level because the essence of Vodka is that it's a pretty neutral spirit. The next thing you need is Rum. Rum comes in a variety of different colors. There's gold and there's dark Rum. If you're just going to have one, I'd go with a white Rum. White Rum is the most versatile of all of them. It makes drinks like the Mojito, but if you are fans of a dark and stormy cocktail, make sure you grab a dark Rum. Tequila, I like a Blanco Tequila, but if you like aged Tequilas like a Reposado means it's been rested or aged for a while, or Anejo is very aged, do that as well but the Blanco is definitely the most versatile for your home bar. Gin, there are a lot of gins out on the market right now. Hendricks is one of my absolute favorites but you can go for something more dry like London Dry Gin or Beefeater. Gin is used in the classic martini and a variety of really refreshing Spring and Summery cocktails and also make sure you have a Bourbon. Bourbon is used in a variety of cocktails as well. It has sort of a great caramel vanilla note to it, something that you can also drink on its own with ice, always have a good Bourbon. And a blended Scotch Whiskey. So Scotch if from Scotland and a blended whiskey means that it comes from a variety of different grains. I prefer blended Scotches if you're just going to have one because it's something that tends to be a little bit less expensive than something like say a single malt Scotch and it goes really well, has a little bit more of a raw character which really comes through in a cocktail. Make sure you stock a Cognac. Cognac is also something that is used in a lot of cocktails but also something that you can drink on its own. It's made from grapes and from France and you'll see it has this deep brown color which means that it's been aged so it adds sort of a very complex darker woodier and fruitier component to drinks. Cognac is another one of those spirits which is in a decent amount of cocktails but also something really good to sip on its own. Make sure you have Vermouth. Vermouth comes in white and red and they're both made from wine. The white is made from white wine, the red from red wine. Vermouth is the only thing on this bar that's perishable. So try to get it in half bottle sizes and only use it while it's nice and fresh. And then have a couple of Aperitifs. If you're just going to have one, Campari is my favorite Aperitif but there's a lot of great ones out there. It's really wonderful because you can just put it on the rocks, serve it straight up, add soda water. There's a million different ways to drink Campari. And I would also have a digestif. Here, Grappa is a great digestif. There's a variety of other ones but a nice Grappa is sort of a really nice thing to have after a meal. Aperitif before a meal, digestif after. Us bartenders, we love bitters. Make sure you have a variety of bitters, and know that Angus Store is sort of the most classic bitter, but you can get all sorts of really fun ones like these cherry bitters, chocolate bitters, pachones is something that's really great, find the bitter that you like and add that to the cocktail. The one last thing that I would keep and I keep this behind the bar for serving to very special guests, have a really nice bottle of either a Scotch or a very aged Brandy, something that when you have your best friends over and you want to serve them a little something special, you take that out for them. Thanks so much for watching. I'm Joe Campanale. Next time you're in New York City, come visit me at Anfora.

Next Video:
Classy Glasses for a Home Bar....5
Promoted By Zergnet


House Pours: Videos (31)

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!