Guide: How to Stock a Bar

The tools and ingredients you need to mix your favorite drinks


Stock Your Bar With the Right Tools

Recommended Tools and Ingredients

  • Bar Towels: to keep your space clean
  • Cocktail Shaker and Strainer: the most helpful specialized tools for a bar item for your bar
  • Corkscrew/Wine Opener: for the impromptu bottle opening
  • Cutting Board: large enough to slice fruits and citrus, but small enough to store easily
  • Fresh Fruit: no liquid fruit can replace the quality of fresh fruit in a cocktail recipe
  • Glassware: a good assortment goes a long way (see list on next page)
  • Green Olives: for garnishing martinis and munching on the side
  • Ice: for keeping it cool
  • Ice Bucket, Ice Tongs and Scoop: for small gatherings and outdoor hangouts
  • Kosher Salt: for salting glass rims and serving margaritas
  • Lemons and Limes: for adding citrus to cocktails or as a garnish, for zesting
  • Mixing Glass: in lieu of a shaker, mix your beverages by pouring into this tall glass and then back into your chosen cocktail glass
  • Napkins and Coasters: to catch all the condensation
  • Tonic and Soda: for quick mixed drinks and fizzy favorites
  • Zester: to extract all that flavor packed into the rind of citrus fruits

Specialty Tools and Ingredients for the Aspiring Mixologist

  • Bar Spoon: long-handled with a spiral twist, used for stirring and handling garnishes in shakers or pitchers
  • Bartender's Handbook: because few amateur mixologists are walking encyclopedias of cocktail recipes
  • Bottle Pourers: They control the flow of liquor so you know a shot is a 1.5-second pour
  • Electric Blender: for icy favorites and frozen sips
  • Ice Crusher: normal ice cubes are often too large for most cocktails
  • Jigger: this is a must for measuring liquids accurately
  • Juicer: ideally, you want to use fresh juice for your cocktails
  • Margarita Rimmer: beats using a wet paper towel
  • Muddler: for crushing fruit, sugar cubes and fresh herbs
  • Paring Knife: for cutting and peeling off fruit garnishes
  • Swizzle Sticks: opt for a variety (in size, color and shape)


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