What are the bare minimum types of liquor you stock at home?

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
Adelaide, Australia
Brands don't really matter so much, but maybe get some:

  • Red wine - Merlot, Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon are good starters.
  • White wine - Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris are both pretty inoffensive.
  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Whisky

Your friendly local liquor seller will be able to help you more specifically with good prices for decent booze. :)


macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
I've currently got:

Jura Legacy
Oban (2 bottles)
Balvenie Doublewood
(All single Malt Whisky)


a couple of bottles of wine

And some beer


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2006
Carlisle, Up Norf!
Vodka (But good stuff, the cheap stuff could be used to clean toilets and isn't good for the next day) and Black Absinthe. Anything less isn't worth talking about. :)


macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
sitting on your shoulder
You can't just have "a" whisk(e)y, you will need, at minimum: a bourbon (Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark, Knob Creek), a scotch (ask someone else), an irish (Jameson's, Bushmills, Tullamore Dew etc.), and a tennessee (there are only two. Jack Daniels, and 5 points to whoever names the other). You might want a Canadian (Crown Royal, Canadian Club, one type of Seagram's) in there as well. And don't get cheap gin (Poland Spring), go for Tanqueray or Beefeater. Also, rum is handy.

I almost forgot, get two tequilas. Cuervo for mixing, and something good like Patron, Don Julio, or the like.


macrumors 68020
Aug 30, 2006
I've currently got:

Jura Legacy
Oban (2 bottles)
Balvenie Doublewood
(All single Malt Whisky)


a couple of bottles of wine

And some beer
You should always have some Absinthe lying around just for the sake of it. :D

Personally I normally just have a bottle of red wine (Merlot) in the cupboard and occasionally a bottle of home made Elderflower wine.


macrumors member
Mar 5, 2004
The basics...

If you keep a bottle of Vodka on hand, you will always be able to cater to a variety of tastes. Vodka serves as the basis for many great drinks. It mixes well with any type of juice or liquor. Whenever I expect company, I make sure there is plenty of Vodka that way I can make Cosmopolitans for the ladies - which also requires Cointreau, Lime Cordial and Cranberry Juice - and Vodka Martinis for the Gents - which requires Vermouth. Black Russians are also popular - which requires Kahlua. Or you can keep it simple and just mix it with Orange Juice or Soda, both refreshing drinks. I personally don't really drink the stuff but as you can see, Vodka is very versatile. If you want a nice Vodka for your personal enjoyment try Grey Goose, if you are mixing it for the masses just get any old brand.

It all comes down to personal taste but I think Gin would be a good second choice for keeping in your stock. Gin makes a better Martini in my opinion. It also mixes well with Tonic or Juice. Tanqueray No.10 is my choice for Gin.

Wine is also good to have on hand, but it can be a bit touch and go. Some people will only drink White others only Red. Beaujolais is pretty inoffensive and will suit most peoples tastes. If you want a desert wine find a Late Harvest Reisling, it will cost less than an Icewine and has a fuller taste.

If this is just for your personal stock go to a bar and try before you buy. There are plenty of great Scotches out there, same with Port and Cognac - but have yourself a glass before you buy a whole bottle. Just because someone recommends a drink, doesn't mean you will like it.

Absinthe is mentioned above, if you like anise this might be a good choice - that or Sambuca - it may also be difficult find depending on where you live. The only advice I can give you on selection is to stick to Western Europe when picking one. Central/Eastern European brands like Hills should be passed over.

That being said Central/Eastern Europe has plenty of its own unique finds. My favorite from the Czech is Becherovka - though most people I know won't go near it. The Hungarians have Unicum which is also an original. And if you ever get a chance to try some sljivovica from the former Yugoslavia - don't pass it by, it will put hair on your chest.

Hope that helps. In the end it just comes down to your personal tastes.


macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
My absolut ;) bare minimum would be:

Jack Daniels (love it with diet coke)
Vodka (plain) (add cranberry/pomegranate/lime)
Lemon Vodka (for Cosmopolitan)
Cointreau/Triple Sec (for Cosmopolitan)

In addition I usually also have Kahlua, Baileys and other flavoured vodkas

Plenty of other crap in my drinks cupboard but I wouldn't consider them essential!


Mar 4, 2006
We have a 32 bottle wine rack stuffed with various white and red grapes, optics in our kitchen for Vodka, Rum and Whiskey, and always three or four bottles of Verve in the fridge. We don't actually drink that much, but it's nice to have it there if we decide we want to.

Oh yeah, we've got a big red and blue neon sign that says "BAR" too. We light that up when we're on the lash :)


macrumors 68000
Aug 12, 2005
Nashville, TN
IMO, you should have...
  • A bottle of red wine
  • A bottle of white wine
  • Beer (it's your house, so what kind is up to you)
  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Some kind of whiskey (bourbon is my personal favorite)

That should cover almost anyone who comes over. Oh, and you'll need a few mixers as well (club soda, tonic, etc).


macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2007
What i always have:

Cachaca for caipirinha's
Havana Rum (3 years) for mojito's
Case of Heineken (24x0.3l)
Bottle of rose wine (syrah), good for hot days
And have wine rack with maybe 10 red wines...


macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2006
Baltimore, MD
i can't really stand vodka myself, but i'll be buying a bottle to keep on hand for guests. my bestest loves vodka, and she's been visiting a good bit. :)

my stash consists of:
~ a handle of Southern Comfort
~ Johnny Walker Black
~ Bacardi Gold
~ Captain Morgan
~ Seagram's 7
~ at least one red wine with a nifty/fun label
~ a random bottle of margarita mix that i will use someday...really.

i don't make many fussy mixed drinks...i'm an "on the rocks" kinda girl. the only mixing i do is one of the liquors with either a cola (the SoCo or the Captain) or a lemon-lime soda (the 7).