In the list of essential things a functional adult must have in his/her house, a home bar is usually an important mention. I mean, let's get real for a minute here. Heading to a bar for over-priced alcohol every time you're in the mood to booze or visiting a wine and beer shop each time you have friends over can get real old real quick. This is where the need for a home bar comes in!
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In addition to saving heaps of money and time, a home bar is also a great way to entertain guests, network with and influence people as well as turn your home into a party spot without any hassle. In addition, if you have an affinity for experimenting with alcohol, a personal laboratory will only serve you well!
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Having said that, planning your ideal home-bar design can be a challenging feat. What are the essential items you must own, what should the layout be like, what about the counter? There are a lot of questions that arise.
Fret not, for we'll answer then all. We present to you, a one-stop guide to creating the best home bar for yourself!
Home Bar Counter/Cart
Obvious, but important, the first step to building a home bar is allocating a dedicated space to your new set-up. Pick a comfortable spot with enough space for you to move around as you make a drink. Consider factors like lighting, seating and surrounding decor while choosing the ideal area for your home bar.
Next up on the list is the structure and layout of your home bar. Depending on how extravagant you want your home bar to be, you can opt for any of the following:
Bar Carts are compact, convenient and very cutesy! Investing in a cart will cost you an acceptable amount, while also providing you with a comfortable space for mixing drinks. They are also unassuming, and hence welcoming enough for acquaintances to walk up and make themselves a drink. Be mindful of organising your bar cart neatly, and add vibrant, stand-out pieces such as figurines and indoor plants for quirky bar cart decor!
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You can also transform any console or hall table into a compact and functional home bar! Use existing shelves or additional storage units to house your alcohol and top the table with a large tray to dedicate space for glassware and bar tools. Leave room for lamps, planters, or vases to add that extra decorative element. You can also create this bar nook atop a bookshelf, or wooden rack.
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If you've been dreaming of having your very own home bar for as long as you can remember, and wish to go all out now that you finally have the time and space to create one, you should set out a perfect bar counter asap! Depending on your budget and preferences, you can pick a size, material and layout from the wide assortment of bar counters available online as well as offline. Invest in a bar counter with plenty of storage space, functional features such as a miniature sink, and a display area. While picking a bar counter, be sure to be mindful of factors such as seating and bar top overhang.
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Home Bar Essentials
Essential Foundation Spirits For Your Home Bar
The first rule of making liquor choices while stocking up your home bar is to invest in spirits that you enjoy. This is important as it will furnish you with the right incentive to start experimenting and whipping up your drinks. The second rule is to be practical, and cost-effective. You don't need to purchase an entire liquor store for your home bar. Instead, pick certain basic spirits that are versatile enough to be incorporated in a wide variety of cocktails and drinks, such as:
For: Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and Whiskey Sours
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For: Daiquiris and Mojitos
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For: Martinis, Gin and Tonics and Tom Collinses
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For: Margaritas, Sunrises, and Palomas
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For: Cosmopolitans, Screwdrivers and Bloody Marys
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Again, while choosing mixers for your home bar, the chief rule is that of functionality. Avoid investing in rare mixers apt for a specific kind of drink. Instead, pick basic mixers that can be blended into an array of drinks and cocktails. If you don't know where to start, some basic mixers you can stock up on are:
- Club Soda
- Soft Drinks
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It really wouldn't be much of a home bar, without anything to drink the alcohol out of. Invest in a set of 4 or 5 of each of the following essential home bar glasses:
- Glass Tumbler
- Long Glasses
- Shot Glasses
- Wine Glasses
- Champagne Flutes
- Martini Glass
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If you want to be praised as the go-to-guy for whipping up amazing cocktails, you have to stock up on the tools necessary for the job at hand! Some of the essential tools your home bar must have are:
- Mixing Glass This is an absolutely vital item for mixing drinks, and you should invest in one with thick glass and a spout.
- Bar Spoons Pick a bar spoon with a long, spiral handle and a small, deep bowl.
- Shaker You can either go for a traditional cocktail shaker or a Boston shaker, the latter usually preferred by most.
- Strainer Hawthorne is the most commonly used type of strainer and is an essential tool for producing delectable cocktails.
- Jigger Necessary for measuring and mixing the right amount of alcohol.
- Muddler You'd need this to crush fruits and ice, as well as extract flavours from ingredients
- Ice Bucket, Ice Scoop and Ice Cubes
- Blender Self Explanatory
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Dos & Don'ts
- Do pick alcohol you personally enjoy
- Don't go overboard in an attempt to look fancy
- Do include plenty of storage in your home bar
- Don't forget to include some seating in your home bar area
- Do pay close attention to lighting and home bar decor
- Don't forget to make sure there is easy access to electrical outlets
- Do keep stock of garnishes such as olives, mint, lemons, Tobasco sauce, salt and sugar
That brings us to the end of this comprehensive guide on creating your own home bar from scratch. Now that you know exactly what you need, it's time to start investing and stocking up! Have fun, and don't be afraid to put a little bit of you, in your very own home bar!