The first and most important thing to consider when stocking your bar, is what do YOU like to drink? My husband is a Scotch drinker, therefore in addition to all of our other spirits, he keeps a variety of different Scotches on hand. After starting with your favorites in your bar, you then want to begin with some basics.
Basics to begin stocking your bar would be the following, along with my suggestions for brand.
Bourbon (Maker’s Mark)
Whisky (Crown Royal)
A good corkscrew
Red Vermouth (for Manhattans and Rob Roys)
White Vermouth (for Martini’s)
Suggesting wines and beers is a whole other post, just pick a good Red, a White and perhaps a local or craft beer.
If you are entertaining guests in your home, lets hope that they are coming to enjoy your company, not your ability to mix complex and complicated cocktails. A good host has good ingredients that he or she can mix quickly and make a guest a drink they will enjoy.