How To: Stock Your Home Bar-Spirits

Fully equip your bar with the necessities


I am a huge advocate of the ‘spring cleaning’ mentality. Out with the old, in with the new. And while most people would associate spring cleaning with clothes and shoes, but it’s important to consider your liquor cabinet in this as well. If you’ve been pouring yourself the same old drinks with the same old ingredients for too long, perhaps it’s time to do a little spring cleaning of your own.

Last year, we gave you a guide on how to update your home bar with new spirits and as the seasons change, so do the basic necessities. The types of spirits are the same; you should always be in possession of quality vodka, tequila, gin, rum and some brown spirits as well. But with new brands constantly being released on the market, it’s important to keep up with what basic spirits to have on hand, and what specialty bottles can be kept in house for that frequent mid-week fun cocktail. Did someone say Avion Espresso Liqueur?

Spirits image via Shutterstock
Read on for tips on how to update your home bar with new spirits as well as the staples that you shouldn’t live without. Get a headstart on your boozy spring cleaning now, and you’ll be sure to have the best bar on the block! Cheers!


Having a solid vodka selection at all times is really important for the home bar, especially with the warm weather well on its way into our lives. I’m not of the school of thought that several different types of vodkas are needed; in fact having any more than two or three bottles is a bit excessive. Since these are your go-to vodkas, you’ll want them to be of the best quality, not only in terms of taste but also value. If spending $40 on a bottle of triple distilled vodka from France is your idea of the best vodka on the market, then by all means invest, but there have been a multitude of new vodkas released in the last year that are of superior quality for half the cost.

Three to Try:

Punzone Vodka
Reyka Vodka
42 Below


Gin, to me, is the warm weather spirit. It’s refreshing, crispy and incredibly easy to mix with a bubbly soda, some ice cubes and a few wedges of fresh lemon or lime. In the last several years, gin has seen a renaissance of sorts, with new brands coming out that pay homage to the traditional London Dry style, but bring in some new flavors and styles as well. With gin, your best bet is to have one London Dry and one of these new modern-style expressions.

Two to Try:

No.3 London Dry Gin
Junipero Gin

1 2 next

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: denisstad
    437389 7

    I think you should change this discussion to The Most Obscure Spirits You Can Get for a New Bar. I, for one, have to deal with a state ABC store that will have almost none of these (other than the well-known wiskeys ans scotches on your list)

    Apr 25, 2013 at 4:45 PM

  • Snooth User: Steve Mirsky
    1105166 260

    I really need to get back to essentials with drink mixing...I want to find artisan liqueur replacements for my humdrum artificial Triple Sec, Blue Curacao etc.. Anybody have suggestions?

    Apr 25, 2013 at 8:56 PM

  • Snooth User: BarryJB
    772453 3

    Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth - bottle comes in a cool can too. Love it in my present favroite - negroni served up.

    Pierre Ferrand Ancienne Méthode Dry Curaçao - OK it's not blue but one could fix that if the Blue Lady MUST be blue... delicious.

    Triple sec - I just bite the bullet and use Cointreau. I don't care for Patrón products much, but their Citrónge is better than triple sec and way less spendy than Cointreau, and of similar strength (40%/vol). I think I saw a Costco orange liqueur last time I was there... will check it out next time if so. Also experimenting with Orangecello as a component liqueur.

    Lillet Blanc is great with Gin (and vodka) martinis instead of dry vermouth, not just for a Vesper (aka James Bond), given Noilly Prat is pretty darn good. I often sub a caperberry or two for the olive, and add a thin slice of lemon.

    May 05, 2013 at 11:33 PM

  • Snooth User: Steve Mirsky
    1105166 260

    Thanks so much! Will be sure to try the Pierre Ferrand Ancienne Méthode Dry Curaçao as an alternative...

    May 05, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Add a Comment

Search Articles

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Snooth Media Network