One of the cornerstones of southern hospitality is the home bar (the other being a fresh pitcher of sweet tea). A big part of making people feel welcome, is offering them a beverage to unwind with. To me, hospitality is about warmth, and cultivating an environment where people can feel free to release some of the stresses of the day.
So what makes a good home bar? Well obviously the booze is important. I try to ensure I always have a decent bottle of bourbon (while many a bourbon connoisseur swear by Pappy, personally, I prefer Colonel E.H. Taylor. I feel Pappy is generally overrated. Colonel Taylor Single Barrel is my go-to for a great bottle of bourbon). Also, the basics- vodka, tequila, gin, wine.
Next you need mixers. Soda. Tonic. Ginger Ale. Juice. Lemons, and limes. With those basics you can make a multitude of beverages.
Cocktail napkins, and wine stem charms are great accessories to add to your bar… the charms are especially handy when hosting a party!
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly- good glassware is so important. Personally, I am a big fan of crystal. Nothing elevates a beverage like quality glassware. Oftentimes, you can find beautiful crystal at great prices at your local antique store, or Homegoods. Just beware if buying vintage of chips. Nobody needs a cut lip when you’re hosting!