21 Apr

Art of Entertaining: The Well-Stocked Bar

You may not be a wine connoisseur, but everyone loves a great cocktail. Especially the guests you may entertain over the summer. Anyone can benefit from a well-stocked home bar. If you don’t already have a bar setup at home, we’ve gathered a listing of the essential glassware to help get you started, tools to mix the drinks, and even included a beginner bar setup that allows you to make a range of beverages.



The Highball

You’ll see these tall and slender but sometimes ever-so-slightly flared glasses at most restaurant bars because they’re so versatile. They are generally in the 10 or 12 ounce range, and often used for drinks that aren’t shaken (including Bloody Marys or Gin and Tonics). Great for summer cocktails with straws and stir-sticks.

The Martini

A good martini glass is a must. Look for the classic flared bowl that has become favored by martini traditionalists. A little trickier to buy these days as their sizes range from 3 to 12 ounces, choose a glass based on taste. If you prefer stronger, more classic martinis – a smaller martini glass is what you’ll need.

The Champage Flute

Whether you prefer more of a taper or a coupe, celebrations call for a champagne flute. There’s just something about drinking champagne out of any other glass that doesn’t feel quite right.

The Old Fashioned Glass

These are the glasses nearly everyone reaches to first. The short, squatty glasses generally have thick bottoms and hold anywhere from 6 to 10 ounces. They’re extremely versatile and perfect for any drink you want “on the rocks.” If you’re a whiskey or bourbon person, you probably already know that folks reach for these glasses when making cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Negroni or Manhattan.

The Wine Glasses

Stemmed or stemless, crystal or glass, per piece or by the dozen, it’s nice to have a selection of wine glasses at home for you and your guests. So get wine glasses that are made of a clear material like glass or crystal and are not too terribly fragile. As you become more and more interested in wine, you can start to explore other options. I would say that it’s nice to have wider-bowl glasses for red wine (so the wine can breathe) and a smaller-bowled glass for whites.




Great cocktails are made with more than just great liquors, you’ll need the right tools too. You need a basic arsenal of bar tools to mix and serve, and in some cases store, your drinks.  We recommend…

  1. Wine Opener
  2. Boston Shaker
  3. Hawthorne Strainer
  4. Bar Spoon
  5. Jigger (to measure liquor)
  6. Knife and cutting board (to cut bar fruit)
  7. Muddler  (to crush fruit or herbs)



Every well-stocked home bar started somewhere, and most start with a bottle or three of different liquors and spirits. By learning a few techniques and surrounding yourself with the right tools and spirits, you’ll find a happy hour at home can be just as fun and rewarding as any watering hole in town. This list may seem like a lot, but these liquors and mixers are a great setup to get yourself started. If you’re feeling intimidated, research recipes that pertain to one type of alcohol and then build your bar using other elements of this list that can help you make the drinks you have found.


  1. Vodka
  2. Gin
  3. Tequila
  4. Light and Dark Rum
  5. Bourbon
  6. Scotch
  7. Cognac


  1. Sweet and Dry Vermouth
  2. Cointreau
  3. Disaronno
  4. Campari


  1. Simple Syrup
  2. Angostura Bitters
  3. Club Soda and Tonic Water
  4. Sodas and Juices

© Nyk + Cali, Wedding Photographers


Still have some questions? No problem. We can help you! The beauty of our family of companies is that we have an incredible spirits store with knowledgeable staff that can help you and provide suggestions. Visit our shop in Carmel, Indiana – Vine & Table – or online at www.vineandtable.com.


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