Party Planning

How to stock a home bar for the holidays: Essential liquors and a recipe

One of the biggest challenges facing a party hostess is how to stock a home bar. The pressure magnifies during the holidays when expectations run high!

It’s impossible to plan for every beverage request you might receive. You’d have to stock up on vodka, tequila, vermouth, tonic, rye and a boatload of mixers to fill everyone’s drink request. Instead, fill your home bar with the items you’ll need for the most popular holiday party drinks.

alcoholic drinks

What do I need to have a fully stocked bar?

If you’ve recently shopped for alcohol for your home bar you no-doubt discovered a mammoth selection! From simple syrups to citrus flavorings, it’s mind-boggling for the most experienced bartenders. So take a step back and remind yourself to keep the basics in mind:

Spirits 

  • Vodka (Screwdriver, Black Russian, Moscow Mule)
  • Rum (Mojito, Daiquiri, Pina Colada)
  • Tequila (Margarita)
  • Whiskey (Whiskey Sour, Highballs)
  • Kahlua (Black Russian, Mudslide)
  • Irish Cream

Wine 

  • Cabernet Sauvignon (red)
  • Sauvignon Blanc (white)
  • Chardonnay (white)
  • Merlot (red)

Mixers

  • Lime juice
  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Club soda
  • 7-Up

Beer

You’re on your own for this one since every region in the country has its own favorite brew. Tip: Ice down a few of the most popular beers from your local craft brewery, if you’re lucky enough to have one.

Create a signature drink

It’s a good idea to have a signature drink in a personalized cup to offer guests who don’t know what to request or just want to try something different. Also, a featured cocktail that’s easy to prepare can make an amateur bartender look like a pro!

Try this delicious drink for your holiday party:

Candy Cane White Russian

candy cane white Russian ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces Peppermint Kahlua
  • 2 ounces vanilla milk or regular 2% milk
  • Whipped cream
  • Candy canes, crushed

Directions

Fill a 16 oz. frosted cup halfway with ice. Add vodka and kahula; top with milk and stir. Garnish with whipped cream. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over the whipped cream.

You’re almost ready!

It’s a good idea to have soda and water on hand for guests who prefer non-alcoholic drinks or are driving home. Keep plenty of snacks and a few Christmas treats like candy canes available for partygoers to nibble on.

Success is in the details

It’s important to set the mood for your holiday party or any celebration at your home. Once your home bar is established with the basic ingredients for drink recipes, it’s time to get a few more party essentials.

Stock your new party venue with custom barware to accommodate various types of drinks. Customized wine glasses, shot glasses and beer glasses are a must. Adding your monogram, family name or favorite funny or inspirational quote to your glassware is a great way to impress guests.

Also consider adding personalized can coolers, coasters and other types of barware to your new home bar collection. Guests can take them home as favors! Keep the look consistent with customized cocktail napkins. Shop our Christmas Party Favors & Supplies section for high-quality products and unique holiday designs.

Totally Promotional also has a ton of great party ideas including drinking games on its Christmas Holiday Inspiration and New Year Holiday Pinterest boards. Check them out today!

— This blog was updated Aug. 17, 2022

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