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A Well-Stocked Bar - Consumatorium

A Well-Stocked Bar

We’ve had several requests for a list of what a bar should include. Here is a first attempt; Will and I collaborated on this list. We have avoided specifying brands for this particular purpose, because we’ll want to get into that with more focus for each type of liquor. Just don’t buy the bottom-shelf brands, it misses the point.

Core Liquor

  • Whiskey: Bourbon, Rye, and one of: blended Scotch, Canadian, or Irish Whiskey
  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Rum: A Light and a Gold
  • Tequila (reposado and 100% agave)
  • Wine: Always have a nice white and red on hand

Basic Mixing Items

  • French (dry) vermouth
  • Italian (sweet) vermouth
  • Sparkling wine
  • Basic bitters
  • Orange bitters
  • Simple syrup
  • Sugar cubes
  • Lemon juice
  • Seltzer or club soda
  • Tonic water
  • Cola


These are all optional, because there are dozens of different types of liqueurs, and it depends on what sorts of drinks you want to make. We’ve tried to capture the most popular used in mixing. Of course, liqueurs are also lovely straight or on the rocks. Also, many liqueurs are sui generis so we’ve had to specify brand in those cases.

  • Amaro
  • Campari
  • Benedictine
  • Maraschino liqueur
  • Drambuie
  • St. Germain
  • Triple Sec
  • Brandy, Cognac, or Armagnac
  • Tawny port
  • Bailey’s
  • Kahlua
  • Amaretto
  • Grand Marnier
  • Absinthe


  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Cocktail olives
  • Cocktail onions
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Dave JilkAbout Dave Jilk (76 Posts)


  1. Thanks Dave, this is exactly what I was looking for. One thing that might have been good to know is the shelf life of everything above. I had no idea vermouth spoils for example (things like lime juice is pretty obvious). Will things like the bitters last as long as other liquors?

  2. Vermouth doesn’t actually spoil, it just changes flavor substantially. I also think the flavor change is more noticeable to those who don’t love vermouth in the first place. As to the other stuff, I don’t think the bitters really spoil either. I’d say be cautious about anything with juice in it that doesn’t also have alcohol. I find that cocktail olives don’t last very long, maybe a few months in the refrigerator.

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