Bars and restaurants are back open as normal and we can finally meet up with friends and family for a nice cold pint or glass of wine. But times have been tough this past year and people have been really missing the bars, so what have they done? They have made themselves a home bar, did they do it right? Probably not.
Most people have an old cabinet stocked with a few spirits and that will do, but now that we can have guests again, you may as well make it work and make it look good so that you can show it off to your friends when they come to visit. Remember, you want your bar to be an extension to your home and not just a cabinet in a corner. In this article, we will go through some of the key items that you need for a well-stocked home bar with all your favourite spirits.
A Good Quality Bar
Firstly, when I say a good quality bar, it doesn’t mean that it needs to be something like the bars we go to or even have half the bells and whistles. But it does need to be able to hold your favourite spirits, a bar fridge, glasses, cocktail making equipment and maybe even a pump if you are going all out. All these are necessities if you are going to have your friends and family around. It should also be big enough so that you can fit a few stools on there.
If you are going to be having people around then you are going to need ice, there is no ifs or buts about it, a good host always has ice. This doesn’t have to be an expensive cooler but if you are looking at buying a bar to make, you could make sure that there is room for an ice well, if not, an ice bucket will do. This is a vital piece of equipment for the summer as you can also put extra drinks on the ice to keep them cold.
If you are wanting to show off your skills and get like Tom Cruise then you are going to need a wood quality shaker, I say a good quality one as the cheap ones are hard to get the lid off when it is cold so it’s always best to get a Boston shaker ad a Boston glass as these are much easier to use and you will stand less of a chance of the carefully prepared drink being all over you rather than in the glass. It is always a good idea to have a theme in mind for your bar so you can match your accessories.
Cocktail Making Tools
So as well as the shaker, you need the other bits to go with it, if anything, it will make your life much easier and you will be able to do much more. Bar tools include a bar knife, a strainer, a fine strainer, jiggers, speed pourers, a bar spoon, a waiter’s friend and a bottle opener. These can all be purchased as sets, so you don’t need to go looking for each separate thing. I would recommend before purchasing these that you have a mental image of how you want your bar to look so that you can match them with the bar.
When you have a bar, it’s a good idea to have at least 6 of each so that you won’t have to mix and match mugs for everyone. For a well-stocked bar, you need highball glasses, coupes, rocks glasses, wine glasses and pint glasses. If you have other glasses that you need for brandy or port then go ahead but the standard glasses will do nicely. You can have so much fun finding these different glasses as you can go as elaborate or as minimalist as you like. Remember that some might get smashed so it’s always worth having a backup so that you can carry the party on.
If you don’t have your home bar in an area where you have nice comfy seats, then it could be worth picking up some decent, comfortable bar stools. There’s nothing worse than going to a bar, having half of your drink and you have a dumb bum from the terrible seats they expect people to sit on. Well, this is where you do things right, we want comfort, not old hard uncomfy seats as your guests just won’t be able to sit on them for long.
A Wall Mounted TV
If you like to have people around for the sports then you are obviously going to need a wall-mounted TV so you can sit at the bar and watch it with your friends. This is a great way to stay out of the way of people when others don’t like to watch it. The TV doesn’t have to be huge but as long as you can all watch it, then that will be fine.
Wall Art & Decorations
Like I said at the start, it’s best to have everything colour coordinated and for everything to look like it should be together so it’s always a great idea to get some decorations for the home bar, whether that be wall art prints, a 3D portrait of your family or even some plants. This will then tie everything together perfectly and you will have a bar that you will be proud of.
So when we say draught we don’t mean a proper one, obviously. These days you will be amazed at what you can get online. There are new innovative devices where you can actually have a portable draught pump that pours proper pints. You can also choose your favourite lagers as they do more than one flavour. This is a great little addition to your home bar without breaking the bank, it will definitely impress your guests when you’re pouring them an ice-cold pint.
You can’t have a bar without alcohol unless you’re making a juice bar, and in that case, you’re definitely in the wrong place. It’s best to go simple and then just keep adding when you are wanting to try a new cocktail. But as it stands, I would stick to the basic tequila, vodka, gin, triple sec, whiskey, rum, amaretto and obviously some wine and a few bottles of prosecco. This will make a great start to your home bar.
There you have it, if you stick to these basics you will have a fully functioning, well-stocked bar to serve your friends and family your speciality cocktails. Just remember to keep the bar stacked so that you don’t run out next time.