The beauty of a home bar is that it works in almost any available space. Whether you’re in a studio apartment or a multi-story house, you can build a basic bar with the essentials you’ll need to get shaking, stirring, muddling, and pouring. Even if you normally drink your whiskey neat, it’s helpful to have everything on hand when it comes time to create a beautiful cocktail, and you won’t regret it when a guest or date requests a Sazerac or Paper Plane and you can say, “Coming right up!”

First, some pro-tips:

Buy the best you can afford, but also remember that quality and price aren’t always equal. There are well-made tools and spirits at various price levels. Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon, for example, offers expressions at several price points, each with distinct character. But you’re never going to go wrong with the brand’s core expression, Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey, which is right in the realm where you want your bourbons to land: rich and easily sipped with a round palate and long, pleasing finish.

Slowly begin to build your bar by starting with two or three favorite spirits, a couple of mixers, and a few basic tools. If you don’t have all the tools right away, don’t worry — even professional bars improvise. The back of a wooden spoon works great as a muddler in a pinch, and small measuring cups or shot glasses can be used in place of a jigger.

To get you headed in the right direction, here are a few things to consider as you fill up that bar cart.

 

This article is sponsored by Bulleit.