How to Stock a Bar Cart From Scratch, by Budget
Before you send out invites for your next summer shindig, make sure your home bar cart is perfectly stocked with these tips from our friends at A Beautiful Mess.
Last year I stocked my first bar cart for our home. A lot of you asked me about tips for getting started. At the time I suggested just buying what you like and building it up over time. A year later I still agree with that advice, but have a
little lot I want to add. Ready for a long post about liquor? K. Let's chat . . .
I have put together some suggestions for starting at different budgets, but first a few money saving tips!
- Don't buy any flavored liquors, at least not at first! Donut flavored vodka can be tempting, because the labels are adorable, and it sounds so interesting. But you'll be seriously limited on what you can make with it. Instead focus on buying base spirits like Whiskey, Vodka, Tequila, Gin and Rum. When you want something flavored you can make your own syrups or infuse your own liquor. It's super easy!
- Buy baby bottles. When you are trying a new recipe with a bunch of new ingredients, buy mini bottles (1.7oz) instead of full size. The liquor store I go to has almost every specialty liqueur in cute tiny bottles. After you've tried it, you can decide if you want to invest in a bigger bottle.
- Focus on favorites. If you already know you love whiskey, spend a little more on those bottles and collect your favorites. Spend more on your favorites and be extra thrifty on the rest.
Here's a little guide to starting your bar cart at different budgets. I know liquor costs are very different everywhere in the world, but here's what you can get where we live. Fifteen dollar (or so) bottles are our starting point. It's smart to stick with "medium shelf" or higher, so you're sure can get the base qualities of the liquor. The cheapest stuff can get a little unpredictable. And then, obviously you can upgrade when you want to! It's also important to note that these guides do not include mixers like cranberry juice or club soda or garnishes like mint leaves, lemons and limes. Even still it's nice to have a fully stocked bar and only need a few fresh ingredients for new recipes!