How to Stock Your Bar for the Holidays

How to Stock Your Bar for the Holidays
Photo Courtesy of Miracle on Ninth Street

Stocking your bar for the holiday season doesn’t need to break the bank. The key is striking a balance. Assess what you already have and build upon that with only the seasonal products needed for specialty cocktails and holiday flavors. 

To find out exactly how to stock your bar and please your customers without spending a fortune, Nightclub & Bar reached out to Drew Levinson, Director of Strategic Activation at Wirtz Beverage Nevada for insight.

How do you go about choosing the right spirits, beer and wine for the holiday season to stock your bar?

The holidays are an opportunity to give your customers a special experience. Make it memorable by incorporating exciting and unique products into your bar program. This time of year, customers are more open-minded and experimental. We recommend adding fuller flavored products that complement the season, such as:


·         Brasserie Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux Christmas Saison
·         Gulden Draak Brewmaster’s Reserve Belgian Strong Ale
·         Petrus Winter #9 Flemish Spiced Strong Ale


·         Royal Tokaji
·         Fonseca Port
·         Dow’s Port


·         Angel’s Envy Bourbon
·         Old Forrester “Birthday” Bourbon
·         Knob Creek Rye
·         Compass Box “Spice Tree” Scotch
·         Balvenie 14yr “Caribbean Cask” Scotch
·         Ancho Reyes Liqueur
·         Martini “Gran Lusso” Vermouth
·         Punte e Mes
·         Bacardi 8
·         Zaya Rum

What other product will a bartender need for preparation?

Seasonal modifying flavors that work in a variety of capacities are also a must to create great holiday beverages. We recommend also stocking your bar with:


·         Cinnamon
·         Nutmeg
·         Clover
·         Anise

·         Pomegranate
·         Honey
·         Agave
·         Vanilla
·         Carmel


·         Pear
·         Apple

·         Lemon
·         Lime

When and how should bartenders highlight these particular products?

We recommend creating a seasonal menu that’s available through New Year’s. Offer 4-6 options and price them so they’re an attractive option for your customers. Educate your staff on the new offerings so they can explain and sell them. Think about creating cold and warm recipes such as punches and cider drinks and get creative, incorporate spices into wine to create holiday sangria or use beers in new cocktails. Remember that an enjoyable experience creates a memory, and a great memory leads to repeat business.

How can bar managers keep cost under control with additional ordering from the holiday season?

To control costs, we suggest cross utilizing products and ingredients. For example, incorporate seasonal beer and wine into your cocktails and cocktail ingredients into your wine. You can also use these items in the kitchen in seasonal food menus.

Also, plan ahead. Pick brands that will roll seamlessly into your winter menu that runs until March. Use syrups and spices with a long shelf-live so they can be used in the next season. And, look for ways to integrate products you already have into your special holiday offerings.

When in doubt, consult your distributor. Wirtz Beverage has an entire team dedicated to supporting our customer partners and helping them succeed.