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Home Bar Essentials: All You Need to Properly Stock Your Bar Cart

Whether this is your first time stocking a bar cart, or are just looking to upgrade your home bar, you should take the time to read this and find out the home bar essentials.

Having a home bar, or even just a small bar cart, can be a very useful tool in your home, especially if you like to host dinner parties and entertain. However, if you know what we’re talking about, you should know that there are a few home bar essentials you can’t pass on. Keep reading and find out why properly stocking a bar cart can make it or break it the next time you have friends over.

SEE ALSO: Why Bar Shelves Are the Next Big Thing in Interior Design


If you’re ready to jump from the basic vodka and fruit juice mix to more complex and intricate cocktails, you should have the basic tools. And while we’re not exactly building a home bar here, more like of a small bar station, things such as a jigger, strainer, bottle opener, stirrer, corkscrew, shaker, ice bucket, and tongs cannot be missing! Take note!

Home Bar Essentials- All You Need to Properly Stock Your Bar Cart

Cocktail set from Urban Outfitters©

Jigger: a jigger is used to precisely measure all your drinks and mixes. Make sure to go with a dual-sided model for more precision.

Shaker: a shaker is a must in the perfect bar cart. It is used for the preparation of most of the cocktails, and if you go with a copper shaker you’ll even add a statement piece to your bar cart.

Strainer: the perfect strainer should fit inside your shaker to help you pour the drinks directly into the glassware.

Stirrer: while Mr. Bond always went for shakennot stirred drinks, that doesn’t mean this is the case with all the drinks! A long-handled, bar spoon will stir the ingredients together and make the perfect cocktail.

Corkscrew: probably the most basic tool you should get when stocking a bar cart…

Ice bucket: perfect for obvious reasons, an ice bucket can also serve as a storage space for all your tools, when not in use. 

Tongs: tongs will allow you to choose your ice cubes more carefully and evenly.



Next on your list, a small selection of glasses, all with different sizes and shapes, because you can’t serve champagne in the same glass as you’d serve a scotch…

Home Bar Essentials- All You Need to Properly Stock Your Bar Cart

Glassware set from Anthropologie©

Highball glasses: 

Lowball glasses: your typical Old Fashioned glass.

Martini glasses: there is always someone who will ask for a Martini, trust us.

Wine glasses: you cannot not have wine glasses in the perfect bar. Remember that red and white wines will ask for different glasses.

Champagne flutes: perfect to have at hand for birthday celebrations, fo example.

Decanter: a decanter is perfect for red wine, which usually needs to breathe before being served. You can also decide to put all your spirit drinks in decanters so as to create a more cohesive look.


A post on bar cart ideas couldn’t be missing some pointers on which beverages you should always have at hand… Remember to stock with a few essentials such as vodka, rum, gin, and tequila, which will allow you to create multiple cocktails.

Home Bar Essentials: All You Need to Properly Stock Your Bar Cart

Vodka: probably one of the most versatile spirit drinks available, vodka will allow you to make everything from Moscow Mules to Bloody Marys.

Gin: you can’t have a bar cart without gin to make a classic Gin & Tonic…

Rum: perfect to make daiquiris, mojitos, and the tropical Cuba Libre we all love so much…

Tequila: tequila can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in a classic margarita, and there is always a friend that will ask for it.

Whiskey: whiskey is a tricky one. Because there are so many different types, make sure to go with more than a bottle, so you can try different things.


Because you can’t make a cocktail without mixers, make sure you don’t forget to add juice, soda, tonic and a few other home bar essentials to your shopping list before stocking a bar cart.

Home Bar Essentials- All You Need to Properly Stock Your Bar Cart

Juice: while fresh fruit juice is something you want to store in your fridge, and not your bar cart, remember to keep them all ready to use when the time comes.

Soda: get plain soda, or flavored varieties for a delicious punch in your cocktail.

Tonic: now that tonic-mixed drinks are getting more and more popular, make sure to always have multiple bottles stored.

Bitters: bitters have a concentrated flavor that will immediately take your cocktail to the next level.

Craft syrup: have some artisanal syrups on hand, in case you need to use a coffee, grapefruit, ginger, and many other flavours to your drink.



Accessories can be anything you like, as long as they add a personal touch and make your bar cart, and your cocktails one of a kind. We recommend you getting straws, some fun cocktail napkins, some small bowls with snacks and, if you’re going with a vintage bar cart, the little umbrella we all grew to love so much and that takes us right back to the 90s!

Home Bar Essentials- All You Need to Properly Stock Your Bar Cart

This post was inspired by this amazing Domino post.

We hope you enjoyed this article about home bar essentials and make sure to drop by Essential Home to discover mid-century modern furniture and a stunning bar cart, and DelightFULL for modern lighting pieces you’ll need in your home bar now!

READ MORE: 8 Home Bars & Carts That Will Inspire Your Inner Interior Designer

Now that you’ve read and loved our article, feel free to pin all the images to your favorite Pinterest board, or share them on social media. Don’t forget that you can visit our Pinterest Boards and find out the most outstanding bar stools and furniture ideas!



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