How to Stock Your Bar for Game Day

Watching the game? Here's how to stock up your home bar to make sure no one goes thirsty.

Beer: You’ll need this. You know your friends' tastes (and appetites) better than we do, but if you have enough drinkers, a small keg (or a large keg) makes everything more festive. Check out our beer buying guide for more.

Cider: This is optional, but it seems like everyone has one gluten-free friend, and it's nice to have on hand. If you don't anticipate much interest, a six-pack would be more useful than a 750-mL bottle, which will go flat once it's opened.

Liquors: If you're serving punch, you'll need whatever goes in there. Then pick a couple of the following to have on hand: vodka, gin, whiskey, rum or tequila.

Other strong things: You probably don't need much in the way of liqueurs for a game day party. Consider orange liqueur for margaritas (if you can afford it, go with brand-name over generic Triple Sec) and sweet vermouth for Manhattans.

Spicy and savory: These items are handy for micheladas, pickle backs and Bloody Marys. Stock up on your preferred hot sauce, pickle juice, olive brine, tomato juice, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce.

Mixers: Buy juice, tonic, club soda and other soda, too, if that's your thing. Get little bottles, as 2-liter bottles can go flat before they are drained.

Bitters: If you're making cocktails, bitters will come in handy. Angostura and Peychaud's are the easiest to find; artisan options are available in gourmet/specialty stores (by law, not in liquor stores in some states, as they're considered a food item) or online.

Ice: You'll need lots of ice—half pound per person if you're serving cocktails, less for just beer.

Equipment: Get more bottle openers and corkscrews than you think you need; they always go missing. A cocktail shaker or mixing glass doesn't hurt either.

Keep Reading

Next Up

7 Pairings to Supersize Your Big-Game Wine Experience

Make the most of your football viewing experience with these wine pairings that are perfect for your favorite big-game foods.

Best Game-Day Beers

The best game-day beers are the ones you want to drink while watching the game. If you're going to spend it drinking midnight-black stout, fine. Super-hoppy IPA? No problem. But if you're hosting, think about stocking up on a wide variety.

Game Day Across America

We asked chefs across the country for their favorite game-day recipes.

On the Road Eats: Best Game Day Wings

Make a play at these top chicken wing spots for the best game-day grub around.

Game Day with Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell

Celebrate the big game with football bites from Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell.

50 Game-Day Dips

For the biggest game of the year, you can never have too much dip.

Wine to Get the Party Started

Having a party next week and don't know which wine to buy? Or how much? Follow these wine tips to make your party tops.

50 Super Bowl Snacks

Food Network Magazine has game day covered! Choose from dozens of easy dips, snack mixes, sliders and more.

3 Sizzling Wine Types for Barbecue

The aromatherapy of summer is the sweet perfume of a fired-up grill, accompanied by wine that complements whatever happens to be sizzling and smoking above the coals.

Happy Pairing of Wine and Hot Dogs

Given my passion for both hot dogs and wine, it's only right that I reveal how the two can get along for a summer barbecue.
More from:

Drinks for All

Get Cooking