Five Drink Additions Every Bartender Should Have On Hand

September 26, 2022

Being a bartender requires you to know how to make custom cocktails that captivate your guests. To operate a smooth and efficient bar shift, every bartender should have the basic requirements of making cocktails recipes and drink mixing techniques.

To stand out from other bartenders, check out this list of drink additions you should always have in your bar. These will make sure you are able to make a drink for any and everyone: 

1.  Bitters and Soda

Bitters and soda give people that cocktail taste but contain no alcohol and require little effort to make a tasty drink. The drink has a refreshing, simple taste better than flavored sparkling waters. Since it contains the digestive qualities of bitters, it is known to be a tremendous after-meal drink.

Do you frequently serve guests that do not drink alcohol and do not know what to make for them? Bitters and soda are the perfect options for them.

2.  Jalapenos and Peppers

Jalapenos and pepper are commonly used to make spicy margaritas which come in different varieties and flavors- the more creative bartenders get, the better. Spicy margaritas are usually mixed with blanco tequila, but can be made with reposado or anejo if that is what the guest prefers.

Another popular recipe includes hot peppers, ripe mangoes, lime juice, orange liqueur, sugar- blended with ice to make a tasty and refreshing cocktail. The critical element in making this drink is to use fresh jalapenos or peppers to add spicy notes to the cocktail.

3.  Tonic Water

It is primarily a carbonated beverage with flavorings such as quinine, giving them a dry bitter taste. Bartenders can add it to bitters and soda drinks to produce fizzy soft citrus, herbal and spicy notes. A bartender should always keep tonic water on hand and infuse it in different cocktails and drinks- especially for those who love their gin and tonic.

4.  Dry Vermouth

Martinis are among the most common cocktails made by bartenders. Made with equal parts of gin and dry vermouth, it is normally garnished with a lemon twist or lime wedge. They are the easiest cocktails to make and are ridiculously popular. It is definitely a strong drink and some people prefer to have it on the rocks to balance it out. Nonetheless there are countless other cocktails made with dry vermouth including the infamous Manhattan.

5.  Orange Juice

This is an ingredient every bartender absolutely has to have. This is your golden ticket to making any fruity cocktail you can think of. From Bahama Mamas to Mai Tais, to brunch mimosas. Stocking your bar with Orange Juice will ensure you are always ready to mix up a popular cocktail or get creative and freestyle a tasty cocktail.


Knowing how to mix the right proportions of liquor, juice, and other ingredients is essential to creating a popular drink or freestyle cocktail. Sharpening your pouring smd blending techniques will keep you on your toes- and make you a favorite bartender among the crowd. You can even read books on mixology and art if you want to take your skills to the next level.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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