Suggestions for a $250 Budget (and beyond!)
I know it's unlikely that many of you will want to spend this much on bar cart supplies in one day, so just think of this as planning for the future! You can build it up over time. For this budget I recommend 9 base liquors (you can branch out/upgrade as shown below), 6 bitters (I use Fee Brothers Celery, Bitterman's Elemekule and Hellfire bitters most, in addition to the Angosturas) and 3-5 Liqueurs and Mixers (I love St. Germain, Benedictine and Cointreau).
Also at this stage it's a great time to branch out and invest in some good bar tools and different types of glassware. We'll talk more about that stuff below.
I spent the past year collecting different bottles and pieces a little bit at a time. The best part is that now no matter what recipe I want to try I usually don't need to spend too much money, because I have so many basics. Plus it's great for parties! We have a couple friends who geek out for hours mixing different cocktails.