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Bar Essentials Buying Guide

Whether you're starting a new bar or upgrading an existing one, it's important to have the right tools and equipment to create the perfect drinks for your customers. From bar equipment like bottle coolers and blenders to tools such as shakers and pourers, there is an extensive list of bar supplies to consider for your establishment. Keeping your bar stocked with these key bartender essentials allows your bartenders to mix a wide variety of drinks, from signature craft cocktails to tried-and-true classics. We've created a guide to help you find what you need to stock your bar like a pro.

Shop All Bar Supplies and Equipment

Use the following links to explore the bar supplies you will need for your business.
  1. Bar Equipment
  2. Bar Glassware
  3. Bartending Tools
  4. Bar Ingredients
  5. Bar Food
  6. Bar Furniture

1. Bar Equipment

Even before you can stock your bar with liquor and cocktail ingredients, there are a few essential pieces of equipment that you simply can't do without. From beer dispensers to underbar sinks, having the right tools for the job is key to keeping your customers happy and your drinks flowing smoothly. Here are a few of the most important pieces of bar equipment you'll need to get started:

bartender putting keg in a beer dispenser

Back Bar Coolers

Back bar coolers are typically used to store bottled and canned drinks and are an essential part of any bar setup. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, so it's important to choose one that fits your specific needs.

Beer Dispensers

If you plan on serving draft beer, a beer dispenser is a must-have. Kegerators keep your beer at the perfect temperature and help prevent waste and spillage. There are various types and sizes of kegerators to choose from, with an array of keg and tap configurations.

Ice Machines and Bins

Keeping your drinks cold is crucial, and having a reliable ice machine and bin is key to making that happen. Look for an ice machine that can produce enough ice to keep up with demand, and an ice bin that can hold plenty of ice without taking up too much space.

Underbar Sinks

Underbar sinks are used for washing glasses and utensils and are crucial to maintaining a clean and efficient bar. Look for a sink that is durable and easy to clean, and that has plenty of space for all your washing needs.

Glass Washer

Keeping your glasses clean and sparkling is important for both presentation and hygiene. A glass washer can make this task much easier and more efficient, allowing you to clean glasses quickly and easily.


If you plan on serving frozen drinks or cocktails, a blender is a necessity for your bar. Invest in a high-quality blender that can handle heavy use and that has plenty of power to blend the ingredients in your recipes.

2. Bar Glassware

Having the right bar glassware is crucial for a well-stocked bar. Not only does it enhance the presentation of your drinks, but it also plays a role in how your beverages taste. These are some of the key bar glassware pieces to stock up on for your menu:

an assortment of cocktail glasses

Cocktail Glasses

Whether you're serving up a classic martini or a trendy craft cocktail, having a variety of cocktail glasses is a must. From martini glasses to hurricane glasses, there are endless eye-catching options to create a memorable presentation.

Shot Glasses

Perfect for serving up shots or measuring out small amounts of liquor, shot glasses are a bar staple. Stock up on durable shooters and shot glasses to help your customers celebrate and unwind.

Beer Glasses

There's nothing quite like enjoying a cold beer out of the proper glass. Pint glasses, steins, and mugs are just a few types of beer glasses that you can add to your bar and pair with the appropriate beer.

Wine Glasses

Wine lovers know that the right glass can make all the difference. From red wine glasses to white wine glasses, having a variety of wine glass options allows you to properly serve different types of wine.

Whiskey Glasses

For those who enjoy a good whiskey, having a proper whiskey glass is a must. From traditional rocks glasses to trendy snifters, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Metal Beverageware

Stainless steel tumblers and copper mugs are becoming increasingly popular in bars. These durable and stylish options are perfect for serving up cocktails like Moscow mules.

Reusable Plastic Beverageware

For outdoor bars or establishments that want to limit breakage, reusable plastic beverageware is a great option. These glasses are durable, dishwasher safe, and come in a variety of styles.

3. Bartending Tools

Stock up on bartending supplies to elevate your bar service and impress your customers. Make sure to invest in high-quality supplies that will last you for years to come. Here are some essential bartending tools that every bar should have:

an assortment of cocktail glasses

Cocktail Prep Supplies

Invest in foundational cocktail tools to create perfectly mixed drinks that are sure to impress your customers. These include shakers, strainers, jiggers, liquor pourers, and condiment bars.

Bottle Service Supplies

If you offer bottled drinks or a wine service at your bar, you'll need supplies like bottle openers and corkscrews, wine buckets, decanters, and wine stoppers. These items will help you create a memorable experience for your customers.

Bar Mats

Bar mats are essential for keeping your bar clean and organized. They help to catch spills and drips, and they also provide a non-slip surface for your bartenders.

Bar Caddies

Available in multiple materials and configurations, bar caddies are perfect for organizing your bar supplies. Stock your caddies with drink stirrers, napkins, garnish picks, straws, and drink umbrellas.

Bar Utensils

Help your bartenders work more efficiently with durable and reliable bar utensils. Create an eye-catching drink menu by using bar spoons, cocktail stirrers, glass rimmers, and whisks. Used bar knives, zesters, and muddlers to prepare flavorful garnishes for your cocktails.

Speed Rails

Speed rails are great for keeping your most commonly used liquors within easy reach. Attach a speed rack to your bar to hold several bottles at once and prepare best-selling well drinks for your customers.

4. Bar Ingredients and Garnishes

To run a successful bar, stock up on or make your own bar ingredients and garnishes. These can make all the difference in creating a perfect drink and enhancing its appeal to customers. From drink mixes to concentrated flavors, use these bar ingredients to elevate your drink game and keep customers coming back:

an assortment of cocktail glasses

Drink Mixes

Whether you're making classic cocktails or creating your own signature drinks, having a variety of drink mixes on hand will make your job easier. From margarita mix to Bloody Mary mix, you can offer a drink menu with options for everyone.

Flavoring Syrups

Adding a flavored syrup to a cocktail can take it from ordinary to extraordinary. Stock up on syrups like simple syrup, grenadine, and flavored syrups like raspberry and vanilla to add a little something extra to your drinks.

Rimming Salt and Sugar

Rimmed glasses are a popular way to add flavor and texture to cocktails, especially margaritas. Stock up on a rimming salt and sugar to give your drinks that extra whimsical touch.

Soda and Juice

Having a variety of sodas and juices on hand is a must for any bar. Not only are they essential for making mixed drinks, but they're also great for customers who prefer non-alcoholic beverages.

Drink Garnishes

Cocktail garnishes like citrus wedges, olives, and cherries can add a pop of color and flavor to any drink. Make sure to have a variety of garnishes on hand to accommodate different types of cocktails.

Bitters and Concentrated Flavors

Cocktail bitters are a key ingredient in many classic cocktails, and adding a few drops can completely change the flavor profile of a drink. Concentrated flavors like vanilla and almond extract can also add depth and complexity to cocktails.

5. Bar Food

When it comes to running a successful bar, serving great drinks is only half the battle. Customers may also expect delicious and satisfying food options to go along with their beverages. By offering a variety of bar food options, you'll keep your customers happy and turn them into regulars. Plus, the added revenue from food sales can help boost your profits and keep your business thriving. Consider adding some of these options to your menu:

buffalo chicken wings with celery and carrot sticks

Bar Snacks

Simple yet satisfying, bar snacks like nuts, popcorn, and pretzels are a must-have for any bar. They're perfect for customers who just want a little something to munch on while they enjoy their drinks.

Bar Appetizers

A good selection of appetizers can make or break a bar's reputation. Classic options like wings, nachos, and mozzarella sticks are always popular, but don't be afraid to get creative with your offerings. Consider adding items like loaded fries or mini sliders to your menu.

Bar Entrees

If you have the space and equipment, grilled items like burgers, hot dogs, and sausages can be a great addition to your bar menu. They're easy to prepare and can be customized with a variety of toppings and sauces.

6. Bar Furniture

Having the right furniture in a bar is just as important as having the right drinkware and ingredients. By investing in quality bar furniture, you can create a welcoming and comfortable space for your customers. Furnish your space with the following bar furniture:

barstools around a bar with drinks on it

Bar Stools

Comfortable seating is a must for any bar, and bar stools are the classic choice. Look for stools that are sturdy and easy to clean, with a height that matches your bar top.

Bar Tables

If you have the space, adding a few bar tables can provide additional seating and create a more social atmosphere. Make sure your tables are the right height for your bar stools and that fit the overall style of your bar.

Restaurant Seating

If your bar is part of a larger restaurant or space, you'll need to consider the seating options for your diners as well. Booths and tables are the most common choices, but you can also look into more unique options like communal tables or outdoor seating.

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