The holidays are all about good times. And let's get real for a sec—they're also about stress and all-day affairs that very likely involves family members with whom you may not see eye-to-eye when it comes to, say, politics. But good or bad, it all leads to booze, right? Of course, most casual drinkers don't keep a fully stocked bar year-round. As we head into the thick of party season, a small but smart bar setup is essential. Make sure you're stocked with all the bottles to ensure your thirsty houseguests are properly lubricated for a jolly evening.
In the Refrigerator
This is an occasion to go beyond the everyday bottles. Breweries around the country are making some spectacular holiday-inspired brews. Like this tasty brown ale infused with citrus rind, spices and a touch of spruce needles.
$11.99 for a six-pack by Anchor Brewing Co.
An easy drinking beverage for those who aren't beer lovers. This crisp hard cider also makes a great mixer for seasonal cocktails as well.
$10.49 for a six-pack by Stella Artois
Sparkling wine will lose its effervescence if it's open too long. Plus, these individual bottles are just so damn fun for everyone.
$2.49 each by Martini & Rossi
Festive, rich and decadent but non-alcoholic. It's best to leave the level of spiking to guests.
$6.79 by Straus Family Creamery
Ginger is a great holiday spice to add to cocktails and balances out stronger spirits. Or it can be drank on its own.
$5.99 for a four-pack by Bundaberg
Citrus season is in full swing in the winter and grapefruit pairs particularly well with spirits like gin and tequila.
Cold-pressed grapefruit juice,
$11.94 by Lakewood Organic
A great winter fruit that adds a tropical vacation vibe. There's a reason why it's on so many winter bar menus.
Organic pineapple juice,
$6.62 by R.W. Knudsen
An easy mixer that can stand on its own as well. Spring for the small bottles so each drink is fresh and bubbly. We like Schweppes because of the velvety, microscopic bubbles.
$4.99 for a six-pack by Schweppes
Note: We didn't include regular wine on this list as it's our experience that many guests will show up with a bottle.