Having your own home bar is a dream for many – it’s cool and fun, and it means you can enjoy some great times with your friends and family without the need to go out and spend a lot of money. You can play host and make cocktails and pour drinks, and even set up some bar snacks if you want to. What are the essentials when it comes to setting up your own home bar?
If you’re planning a home bar, you’re going to need drinks to serve in it. It depends what you like to drink yourself, and what you know your friends and family will enjoy. A good range would include beer, wine, spirits and a variety of mixers so that you can create cocktails. Spirits can cost a fair amount, so stick to the main cocktail bases such as vodka and gin. Once you’ve got your bar ready to go, you can always add more types of alcohol as you go long – perhaps buying one bottle a month until you’ve got everything you need.
If you’re planning on making cocktails that people will enjoy, you will need to use a jigger to be able to stick to the tried and tested recipes. A jigger is a measuring tool and pourer that will give you the exact right amount of liquid for your mixtures. The problem with free-pouring is that you can make the drinks either too strong or not strong enough, and no one will enjoy them. Get it just right with a jigger and you’ll be the king of the cocktail!
Again, if you’re going down the cocktail route, you’ll need a cocktail shaker so that you can provide the best flavored drinks. Shaking a cocktail is essential for three reasons – first, it chills the drink down. Next, it dilutes it to the required level, and finally, it aerates the drink, which makes the flavors more intense. Simply pouring the mixture into a glass and stirring it won’t have the same effect (no wonder James Bond liked his martinis shaken, not stirred).
To go the extra mile, you will need to invest in some beer glasses and mugs, wine glasses, and tumblers. Keep these glasses separate from the ones you use at home every day, because these are your special glasses, your bar glasses. If you really want to differentiate them from all the rest, you can even get personalized beer glasses that have your name or the name of your home bar (if it has one) on them.
Spill mats are little rubber mats that sit on the bar and gather up all the little (and large) spills that occur. These mats are easy to clean, removable, and they will save your bar from getting stained by carelessly placed glasses or accidents involving spilled drinks.
If you’ve set your home bar up correctly, you should have a small, under counter fridge to keep your beer and wine cool. If you’re really savvy you can get one with a small freezer shelf too, so that you can always have plenty of ice to hand – a couple of cubes in a cocktail can make all the difference.
You are now ready for your friends to join you in your bar: let the good times begin!