Angostura bitters, orange bitters
Even when stocking a budget bar, be sure to include a bottle of bitters. It opens up a world of cool cocktails: old-fashioneds, slings, punches, shandies - and more.
Many classics call for it: Rob Roy, Negroni, Manhattan, martini.
Coca-Cola, ginger ale
Got a bottle of rum? Someone will ask you for a rum and coke. A bottle of rye? You're sure to get a request for a rye and ginger.
Juices (orange, lemon/lime, cranberry)
They give you the options for vodka and cranberry drinks, screwdrivers and gimlets, and they're a key ingredient for mai tais, cosmos, daiquiris, etc.
Hosting a hangover party? Caesars are a must.
Club soda, tonic
Just about anything goes with soda, and what's gin without tonic?
A simple slice elevates a two- or three-ingredient drink into a cocktail.
Make your own by dissolving granulated sugar into hot water. Perfect for when you need a little sweetness.