The Top Home Cocktail Essentials

Cocktails are a great way to spice up the time you get to spend together with friends and family. They’re also an excellent excuse for partying! If you want to make cocktails at home but don’t know where to start, feel free to use this article as your guide. Here’s our list of cocktail essentials that every cocktail maker (pro or noob) should have on hand.

Mixing up cocktail ingredients may seem like a daunting task, but with these simple tips, you’ll be shaking and stirring like a pro in no time. One of the best things about making cocktails at home is that you’re not limited by what’s on tap or what’s available to purchase at your favorite bar. Get started by stocking a home bar with all the basic cocktail ingredients such as basic liquors, citrus fruits (lemons and limes), triple sec or orange liqueur for sweet drinks, dry vermouth for martinis, bitters for mixed drinks such as old fashioned and Manhattans, club soda, or seltzer water for light beverages. You’ll also need fresh fruit juice if you want to make non-alcoholic cocktails.

Stocking a Home Bar

When there’s a will, there’s a way. That said, no, you don’t need to invest in getting yourself an actual home bar (unless you already have one). It would be more than enough to find a good place to store your home bar essentials and voilà – you’re all set and ready to start mixing magic.

Start with Basic Liquors

It’s only natural that your cocktail essentials will include the most commonly used alcoholic beverages when it comes to the basis of your cocktail. That said, basic cocktail ingredients for your home bar essentials include vodka, gin, and/or whiskey. You might also want to add rum to that group if you like to have a good variety for your home-based mixology career.

Colored drinks such as raspberry vodka, blueberry gin, blackberry whiskey, or grapefruit rum can make colorful cocktails with a fruity twist.

Mixers such as club soda, ginger ale, tonic water, and/or Coke are true cocktail essentials as they lighten up dark spirits for mixed drinks like Old Fashioned, Negroni, or Mojito.

And don’t forget cocktail garnishes such as olives and lemon wedges – they’ll make your drinks look extra fancy!

Stock Up on Citruses

Lemons and limes are the most common cocktail ingredients and are therefore considered true home bar essentials. But we’ve found that oranges, grapefruit, or even tangerines work well in different types of mixed drinks too.

Extra Tip: using fresh juice instead of store-bought pre-bottled juices will make your cocktail taste better!

Choose Your Favorite Mixer

When it comes to basic cocktail ingredients, we can’t forget the mixers, can we? When stocking a home bar, keep in mind that ginger ale and tonic water work well for gin or vodka drinks. Add club soda to whiskey drinks. Mix seltzer water in soft rum drinks for added fizz.

Tools of the Trade

Now, even though cocktail ingredients are the main focus of every cocktail, we all know that the right tools make all the difference. This is true for all bakers and handymen alike, and the same goes for the mixologists.

You probably think that we’re going to talk at length about different kinds of glasses and shakers. Well, a shaker is one of the essentials, but, in the end, if you’re just at the beginning of creating your own little home bar, don’t bother yourself with too many different kinds of shakers, let alone glasses. At first, these tools should be functional, and nothing more. However, there is one tool that often gets forgotten or overlooked yet it can make a huge difference for the final cocktail result – a jigger.

Don’t ever think that it’s a good idea to measure by feel as this can only do wrong by the ingredients of even the simplest cocktails. And together with a jigger, it would be rather nice to have a list of cocktails and their ingredients at hand – without having to check your phone for everything. In that respect, think about purchasing a traditional cocktail book, to spruce up the whole experience.

Fun Cocktail Ideas to Start Off

Once you’ve got all your home bar essentials, go ahead and try out these recipes to get started! Garnish with an orange twist if you want to make the cocktail more festive.

Rhubarb Gin Fizz

A refreshing summer cocktail that will prove to be a real treat!

Cocktail ingredients:

  • 40 ml gin
  • 25ml fresh lemon juice
  • 50ml club soda or seltzer water
  • 20g sugar syrup for sweet drinks
  • Ginger ale or tonic water

Mix the gin, lemon juice, club soda, and sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well for about 30 seconds until it’s nice and cold and then strain into an iced cocktail glass. Top up your cocktail with ginger ale or tonic water. Garnish with a cocktail cherry and lemon twist.

Raspberry Vodka Cocktail

This sweet, fruity cocktail is the perfect drink to have on a summer evening!

Cocktail ingredients:

  • 60ml raspberry vodka
  • 40 ml fresh lime juice
  • 20g sugar syrup for sweet drinks
  • Club soda or seltzer water

Have fun experimenting! There are lots of different combinations you can try out depending on what flavors you enjoy most.

If you’re feeling adventurous, make up your cocktail recipe by following the same steps above! It’s easy to change up a drink by adding more fruit juices or using flavored syrups instead of a simple one.

Making Your Own Cocktail – Summary

The first step to making a great cocktail is choosing your base spirit. Vodka, gin, and whiskey all work well as basic liquors, but you can also explore other options like tequila or rum if you want something different. Once you’ve chosen the suitable base, it’s time to add some citrus flavor! Citrus juice adds acidity that will balance any sweetness in your drink, so be sure not to omit it unless you enjoy sour beverages. It would be best to choose a mixer next, depending on what flavors of alcohol are in your beverage; ginger ale works well with vodka, while tonic water goes great with gin or whiskey. To finish off your concoction, garnish it with an orange twist, and get ready to party!

If you’re looking for a place to draw inspiration from when it comes to your own cocktail parties at home, don’t hesitate to pay us a visit at Stubborn Seed. As a result of pairing unrelenting passion with an unapologetic approach, we’re proud to say that we take every single ingredient with care and proceed to elevate it in order to make your palate appreciate it even more. From fun and exciting cocktails to delicious bites to eat, you won’t be disappointed upon your visit to Stubborn Seed. After all, we’re confident that you’ll soon call us your favorite Miami restaurant.