Staying at home doesn’t have to mean skipping your favourite cocktails. Perfect your mixology skills with our tips for home bar supplies. You’ll need some essential spirits, mixing tools and glasses.
For more drinks, see our cocktail recipes. See our top picks and start mixing…
Home bar essentials
We love this Mimosa Bronze drinks trolley (£345) because of its sophisticated art deco design and reliable functionality. Plus, it’s generously sized with two mirror glass shelves.
Or try this gorgeous Maisons du Monde Hippolyte serving trolley (£142) with ample room to hold tall bottles. This bar cart is easy to assemble and has a vintage feel with aged-effect brass.
See the 9 best drinks trolleys and bar carts for more ideas.
Get your mixing off to a flying start with a robust cocktail shaker – they’re crucial for getting a drink just right. They also make a great gift for the mixologist in your life. Shakers come in three popular styles – cobbler, Boston and French.
This stylish VonShef 9-piece matte black Parisian cocktail set (£27.99) comes with everything you need for expert mixology – a jigger, muddler, bar spoon, steel pourers, julep strainer, hawthorne strainer and recipe booklet. This has the feel of a dependable piece of kit, as do the accessories, with enough aesthetic flair to set it apart.
For more options, see the best cocktail shakers.
To keep your bar sustainable, try reusable straws. They’re available in a variety of materials such as steel, bamboo and silicone.
We love these reusable straws by the National Trust (£8). Food-grade stainless steel is a great option because it can withstand different temperatures and is super-durable.
See more options, including plastic and glass straws, in our best reusable straws review.
Tumblers are the perfect glasses for short drinks, spirits or anything over ice. They’re super-versatile and can be used for non-alcoholic drinks, too. Use tumblers to serve an old fashioned, a negroni or white russian.
These Root7 Geo tumblers (£28) are a stylish option that would make a great gift. The metallic edging and geometric design add a contemporary feel, whilst the hand-blown glass is smooth to drink out of.
We love these sleek Dartington Crystal Bar Excellence martini glasses (£50). The long, sturdy stems make them comfortable to hold, whilst the lip is easy to drink from. Whilst not cheap, they’d make a fantastic gift for any cocktail lover.
Balloon glasses are good for drinks that need loads of ice, and maybe fruit pieces too. Think an icy gin and tonic, punch or sangria. You can also use a large wine glass where a balloon glass is called for.
Make your next G&T in these LSA International gin balloon glasses (£24.94), made from reliable, high-quality glass. The balloon bowl is generously sized and can hold up to 420ml – perfect for squeezing in a large scoop of ice.
This affordable Hayman’s true English G&T glass (£8) is a great option. These glasses are tall, slim and elegant, with a thick tulip-style lip and heavy base.
Vodka is an essential spirit for any home bar. Its mild flavour makes it a great mixer with juice and soft drinks. Try using vodka in a passion fruit martini, bloody mary or a vodka martini. See more vodka cocktail recipes.
Our top pick is the East London Liquor Company vodka (£21.45) made from 100% British wheat and distilled in the heart of London’s east end. It’s just as good on its own over ice as it is in a cocktail or mixed with tonic.
See more picks with our full vodka review.
Gin is a true staple in any bar cart because of its botanical flavours and versatility. Look beyond a typical G&T and try making a gimlet, gin fizz or infusing your own rhubarb gin. See our gin cocktail recipes to mix up a tasty creation.
One of our favourite bottles is Plymouth gin (£26.00), infused with notes of juniper, citrus and cardamom. The Blackfriars distillery has been an icon in the city of Plymouth since 1793.
See the best classic gins for more bottles.
Add a good quality bottle of whisky to your home bar for a bold spirit with a complex flavour profile. Whisky (or whiskey, if it’s Irish or American) is great to sip on its own or over ice. If you’d prefer a cocktail, try a mint julep, sazerac or a whiskey sour. For more ideas, see our whisky cocktail recipes.
We love this Balvenie 17-year DoubleWood single malt (£99.95). It’s full of dried fruit and vanilla notes from an American oak and European sherry oak maturation.
Read the best whisky from around the world for more inspiration.
Channel the tropical flavours of the Caribbean with a bottle of rum. Available in white and dark, it’s made from molasses or sugar cane. It pairs well with sweet flavours like coconut, lime or strawberry. Mix up a piña colada, mai tai, daiquiri or any of our rum cocktails.
We’d recommend this versatile Havana Club 3-year-old rum (£19.45) – an iconic Cuban spirit, perfect for mixing. It’s lighter than some of the more robust Caribbean rums, which is great for cocktails.
Find more spirits in our rum review.
This review was last updated in May 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.