For your own home bar, here's how to start.

Normally, this time of year means parties, gatherings, and special events. Of course, you will have none of that.

I remember growing up, my family had functions just about every weekend from Thanksgiving to the Super Bowl. My parents always hosted a couple of their own.

The one thing I learned, a good way to stock your own liquor supply is to hold a holiday party. You were guaranteed at least a couple of guests would bring booze as a gift.

I also learned if you do not have your own stockpile of alcoholic beverages, just throw a bash, and again you will be gifted plenty.

Unfortunately, that is not going to happen anytime soon. So, if you are looking to get smashed over these festive few weeks, you are basically on your own. That could be costly and not fit in your budget at this time.

Well, do not worry. I did a little research to help you out.

According to

"Here's a list of at-home bar cart essentials that allow you to buy local while being your own bartender. No need to rush out and buy a bar cart—free counter space or stylish side tables also work for your at-home bar. And while stocking up on liquor can be a bit pricey, you can start with the staples and build your bottle collection at your own pace."

Okay, where to begin. When starting from scratch, pick up some gin, bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth. That will get you going with the standards. Drinks like an old fashioned, martini, and negroni. If you plan on making mixers, you should include bitters on the shopping list.

You are also going to need some ingredients like sugar cubes, soda water, tonic water, demerara sugar, citruses, lemons, limes, oranges, Demerara sugar, olive spears, and a jar of maraschino cherries. It is always good to have a bottle of champagne on hand just in case.

When your bartending experience is limited to a beer and shot, you're going to need some help. Who has time to take a class? Not too many folks. You can always use the great Google machine but it might be nice to have a drink handbook. Much more professional.

Do not forget, you will also need the tools of the trade. Hit the store for these items including shaker, jigger, julep strainer, muddler, citrus press, zester, bar spoon ice bucket with tongs, set of highball and lowball glasses, martini glasses, coupes, champagne flutes, coasters, signs, carts, and silicone ice cube trays.

This may seem like a lot at first but once you're all set, it will be well worth it.

It is suggested if you are new to making beverages, you should experiment on your own before going public.

You should be able to get most of this stuff local to help out the businesses in our community too.

Just think, once things are back to normal. You'll become the party master.

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