Here is a list of the basic barware you need for a great cocktail station. The basic list of alcohol is as follows; Bourbon, Brandy, Canadian Whiskey, Dark or Spiced Rum, Gin, Light Rum, Scotch, Tequila, Vodka, Rye Whiskey. Obviously if you have a favorite drink or friends that fancy a particular flavored liquor, you might want to keep that in stock as well. The basic list of liqeuers are as follows; Amaretto, Irish Cream, Creme de Caco, Coffee Liqueur, Dry Vermouth, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Liqeuer. Mixers are a long list and depending on your preferences, you may need feel the need to stock each one although the most common are light and dark sodas, juices, tonic water, and of course ice. And last but not least, the list of garnishes ranges from margarita salt to orange slices for a Blue Moon (a personal favorite!).
Additionally, make sure that you avoid a serious party foul by having enough glasses for the party. Whether you choose red cups or martini glasses, ideally each guest should keep the same glass for the same type of drink but it is always safe to have extra glasses available. Wine charms are a great way to identify different people's drinks in a fun way. If you are having a more formal party, like an engagement party or an upscale birthday dinner, a great idea is to hire a bartender for the event. Think of your friends' younger-but-of-legal-age siblings who would be willing to learn a few cocktails for some cash. It will take the stress off the host to know that the bar is in good hands. Cheers!