The Essential Bar Cart Shopping List

The Essential Bar Cart Shopping List

Whether you're drying out or taking a few time outs from drinking, this Dry January we've got your back!

This shopping list will help stock your bar cart and make the process of making mocktails more fun!

Components of a great bar:

  • Back bar spirits
  • Bubbles
  • Herbs, Fruits and other Botanicals 
  • Gear

Back Bar Spirits

These base-flavor spirits are called back bar because - quite simply - they line the back bar shelves. These spirits are the first building blocks used to make great cocktails, regardless of the proof! 

Unlike other zero-proof brands, you've probably noticed that Sandhills Elixir is not trying to be a fake gin or fake vodka. Why set you up for disappointment?

Rather, we opted to make a great spirit that contains all the burn and none of the aftermath. This intentional design lends itself beautifully to creating a strong foundation for your cocktails.

Some tasting notes on our current batches:

Sage Sandhills Elixir

  • Savory with Strong Herbal Undertones
  • Earthy and Slightly Peppery
  • Crisp like Mint and Eucalyptus

Elderberry Sandhills Elixir

  • Subtle and Delicate
  • Sweet like Dark Fruits
  • Berry and Floral Notes

Ginger Lemon Sandhills Elixir

  • Ginger Forward
  • Spiced Pepper with Citrus Undertones
  • Warming with a hint of Sweetness


Used to add volume and robustness to your cocktail, these bubbles go by many names - tonic water, soda water, sparkling water, ginger beer, ginger ale - but all deliver about the same thing with varying degrees of acidity and sweetness. 

To balance out sweetness, we use Topo Chico and Perrier. To give you bubbles but not overpower other flavors, we use plain La Croix or Sanpellegrino. If you need to add sweetness, look no farther than Ginger Beer. Support Nebraska-made Brickway and get their Ginger Beer!

Herbs, Fruits and other Botanicals

Many a debate has been had over the whether adding garnishes to your cocktail actually make a difference in taste. Regardless of taste, they always make that drink look more sophisticated. We say go for it! 

Add some of these to your bar inventory:

  • Citrus: oranges, blood oranges, lemons or limes
  • Fruits: cherries, pomegranates, blueberries, raspberries
  • Herbs: thyme, rosemary, sage, basil
  • Spice: ginger knobs, cinnamon sticks


If you want to make yourself look like a pro, here are the essentials.

  • Ice molds: square, round or more clever. It all elevates the entire cocktail and helps ensure your drink doesn't water down too quickly. 
  • Shaker
  • Cocktail mixing glass
  • Stir stick
  • Jiggers or shot glasses
  • Peeler
  • Strainer

Now, all you need is recipes!

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