‘Tis the season of backyard bbq’s, spontaneous get togethers, and slow summer evenings that turn into late night firesides. After the long season of chilly, rain, and gloom in the Pacific Northwest, it feels nothing short of magical, but it should also feel effortless (because, summer!). Ironically, effortlessness often requires a bit of pre-planning and stocking up on staples. Figured we should check drinks and music off the list so our guests have something to sip on and dance to without you having to run to the store or make any last minute decisions… all that’s left is something to snack on!
Below is a short list of spirits, extras, and tools that can be used to make most (simple) summer cocktails and a link to a summer happy hour playlist…
Before we jump in, I want to point out that you don’t need a bar cart to build a home bar. You could use a cupboard, pantry, the top of your fridge, or a basket on your kitchen counter. The shelf photographed is actually prime real estate for snacks and within reach of hungry kids so our stash of bottles will be moving up one shelf after this photoshoot. Since it’s out in plain sight, I’m hoping it’ll be easier to keep stocked!
MINI SUMMER HOME-BAR STOCK-LIST
- sweeteners: simple syrup, maple syrup, honey
- bar tools: shaker, muddler, bar spoon, strainer, jigger, ice bucket
- blanco tequila (+ mezcal if you’re feeling frisky)
- vodka (titos)
- white rum
- aperol or campari for aperol spritzers (click for recipe)
- prosseco (bubbles!)
- toppers: club soda, sparkling water, tonic water, ginger beer
- non-alcoholic options (including sparkling apple cider for the kids)
- grenadine or flavored syrups to make Shirley Temples or Italian sodas (also for the kids!)
A FEW OTHER OPTIONS TO ADD:
- sweet vermouth
- dry vermouth
- aged rum
LET’S CHAT TOOLS + GLASSWARE
A good shaker and strainer is handy, along with an ice bucket and (if you’re like us and have a half broken fridge/freezer) ice maker. Then add a muddler, bar spoon, and jigger and you’re in business!
As for the glasses, I suggest taking advantage of the casualness of summer and serving the majority of your drinks in short rocks or tumbler glasses. They’re perfect for serving most cocktails and wine, if you’re not into collecting glassware that is. If you love a good lineup of drink wear to choose from and serve in, by all means, use whatever strikes your fancy! After stocking up on tumblers (these are the ones we have + love this modern set), assuming you still have room in the cupboards or on the bar cart, a taller collins glass (perfect for all things bubbly!) and some coupes (my personal fave and they also work for champagne) would make fun additions and give a little variety. Also love these goblets.
DON’T FORGET TO CLICK OVER + SAVE OUR HAPPY HOUR PLAYLIST!
Hope you enjoy! It’s heavy on the country jams, but new school country which (IMO) is basically pop. ;)
What’s your favorite drink (i.e. summer water 😜) to sip on during the summer months?
Any must have spirits or supplies we missed!?