If you love entertaining friends, hosting dinner parties and having the neighbours in for drinks, a beautiful home bar will really up your hosting game.
- First, you’ll need somewhere to set up your bar. If you don’t have room for an actual bar, you can create one easily with other furniture. Buy a vintage drinks cabinet, or take over the top of a sideboard to display for drinkware. Versatile bar carts and drinks trolleys are a great pick too, as you can move them to where your guests are.
- Invest in the right tools for the sort of drinks you want to make. If you’re mixing cocktails, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, a muddler and a strainer. For spirits, a jigger is helpful. For the basics, start with a good bottle opener and a corkscrew.
- Treat yourself to some beautiful glassware. Start with the glasses for the drinks you serve most. Buy good pint glasses, glasses for red and white wine, lowballs and highballs for spirits and mixers. Add a few shapes of cocktail glass, and a glass for serving fizz. If you love to host parties, some cocktail pitchers or a punch bowl could be a good addition too.
- Stock the bar with versatile spirits. Start with your favourites and some good cocktail ingredients, like gin, vodka, rum and whisky. You can add more spirits later on with some more unusual options. For cocktails, invest in some bitters.
- Add some mixers. As with the spirits, start with your favourites. Tonic, fruit juices, lemonade and coke are good places to start. You can add on more mixers for making cocktails as you go, like ginger ale, more unusual juices or more flavours of tonic water.
- Add to your basic set up with some special pieces. Tailor these choices to the sort of thing you enjoy drinking most. If you’re a wine drinker, add a beautiful wine rack. If you like a cold beer, add a mini fridge. If you love mixing cocktails or drinking spirits, you could rack your spirits in an optic to make adding measures easier.
- Learn some basic cocktail recipes to impress your friends. Buy some bartending and cocktail recipe books to learn some new recipes and bartending techniques.
- Upgrade to some more advanced bar tools. If you love slush cocktails, add a blender to the bar so you can make your own version at home. If you’re a wine fan, an electric corkscrew or a red wine aerator could be a worthwhile investment.
- Set up some drinks garnishes. Ice cube trays can be used to freeze garnishes in small portions to keep them fresh instead of wilting in your fridge. As well as the classic wedges of lemon or lime, slices of other fruits, berries, basic herbs and even peppercorns go well in lots of drinks.
Once you have your bar set up, make sure you keep it clean, tidy and well stocked. Clean the bar area after you’ve used it and make a note of anything you’ve used up so you can add it it your next grocery list.
**This is a collaborative post**