Setting up the Ultimate Home Bar

21st April 2019

Why queue at the bar when you can have your very own home bar in the comfort of your own surroundings, and for anyone who enjoys entertaining, a properly stocked bar is a must.

Every ‘grown-up’ home should have a proper home bar, even if you don’t drink it can become a design feature and a gathering point in your home when entertaining family and friends, whether it be to make the latest fashionable cocktail, gin and tonic, or a cool glass of wine or beer.

Setting up a home bar may seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be - the choice of style and design will depend on the size and interior design of your home.

You might be thinking about where your guests are going to sit - but don't worry. If you don't have much space and have to rule out a dedicated bar are, then you will have seating within your living or dining rooms.

If you are lucky enough to have space to spare, consider a few bar stools where your guests can sit while chatting.

Console Table

Firstly decide on the type of bar your home would suit. If you have a small space then a freestanding Console Table would be a good starting point.

Simply add a tray to the top and arrange your bottles and glasses neatly - any essential bar tools and accessories may be placed in the drawer.

The Bar Cart

If you are restricted by the space in your home, a Bar Cart could be the answer as it makes a dedicated area for mixing drinks.

A Bar Cart is one of the most popular modern choices of the day, a dedicated area for mixing drinks, they’re welcoming enough that guests may feel comfortable walking up and mixing there own drink.

If the Bar Cart is of an open style be mindful of organizing it neatly and keeping it uncluttered.  One of the advantages of a Bar Cart is that it is freestanding and can be moved if you wish to restyle your interior design.

Cocktail Cabinet

Perhaps the choice of a Cocktail Cabinet would appeal.

These can be small pieces of stylish furniture that can be put up against a wall, they are often used as a gathering point when entertaining and can hold quite a collection of alcohol and glassware.

If you are lucky enough to have a larger property and enjoy being a ‘home mixologist’ then creating a permanent bar in your home is a must.

Wet Bar

If space is not an issue then choose a Wet Bar (Bar with a sink).  An area whereby you can arrange your own complete bar area with all the accessories needed.

You may wish to create an ultra glamorous bar with glamorous bar stools,  or perhaps a monochrome look to blend in with the rest of your home. A Wet Bar has room for a fridge, and plenty of room for glassware, and spirits, and  'totally decked out' as an area for relaxing, entertaining, and total enjoyment.   A Wet Bar Area is a set up sure to impress.

Bar Stools

A Bar Stool is a singular seat, usually taller than the average chairs and designed to place in front of a bar top.

Bar Stools are commonly found in pubs and clubs or in the home at the kitchen / breakfast bar.  Why not have bar stools around your own home bar.  Bar Stools are available in numerous styles and colours.

Contemporary Bar Stools have a single column with a wide round base for added stability.  Most modern bar stools have a gas lift swivel mechanism, to allow change of height and direction.

Seats can be made from moulded plastic or a well-padded seat perhaps upholstered in an easily maintained faux leather.

Styles can be Classic, Modern and Contemporary, Funky and Retro, upholstered in Faux Leather, or formed in Plastic, Rattan, Metal or Acrylic. Some Bar Stools are designed with fixed armrest, some with no armrests.  Cool and contemporary, they will enhance your own Home Bar Area.

Choose Bar Stools to create an elegant design or to create that ‘WOW’ effect to your own stylish Home Bar Area.

What Alcohol to Stock

Once you have decided which bar would suit your purpose best, the next step is to have fun in choosing all the accessories.

One of the first steps is choosing which alcohol to stock in your bar area,  pick alcohol you enjoy imbibing, not what you think other people might choose, if you do not drink it may never be used.

While a home bar is a welcome addition to your home for entertaining family and friends, the main person to benefit from it will be you, whether it be to mix an exciting cocktail while relaxing at the weekend or to enjoy a chilled beer or glass of wine after a long day at work.

Stocking a home bar is considered to be a marathon not a race, and it is suggested that it is better to start out on a small scale, and grow at a steady pace.

The basics for properly stocking a home bar are considered to be:-

  • Gin- it is one of the base spirits for many popular cocktails, and is today popular as one of the latest ‘trends’ of drink, with lots of different flavours and varieties, but a basic London Gin is the most suitable for cocktail bases.
  • Vodka- an excellent liquor for ‘doing shots’ or mixing into popular cocktails.
  • Bourbon Whisky - an American Whisky for the ‘Southern Gentleman’,  another great spirit for cocktail mixing.
  • Scotch Whisky -  Although occasionally used in mixing cocktails scotch whisky is a popular drink taken on its own.
  • Tequila and White and Dark Rum are must haves for cocktails.  To complete these spirits a choice of popular mixers should be stocked.

Glasses

The first rule of stocking your bar is to choose spirits you enjoy, which will help to develop the skill of making cocktails you enjoy.  Once you ‘nail’ a few favourite cocktails your interest and knowledge will expand.

When learning the art of cocktail making you will realize each cocktail you make should be poured into a specific glass type.

High Ball Glasses, Coupe Cocktail Glasses, Champagne Flute, Wine Glasses to name but a few. When you are having a party for friends and family, choosing the correct cocktail glass is not only about presentation but taste also.

Wide rim glasses are perfect for sipping strong cocktails and can be accessorised with cocktail decorations and fruit slices, while taller glasses are ideal for layered cocktails and also leave plenty of room for ice.

A classic cocktail glass made famous with the quote “shaken not stirred" is the Martini Glass, commonly called a ‘cocktail glass’.

As well as serving up a variety of Martini cocktails the fluted design makes it ideal for strong small cocktails such as Cosmopolitan or Manhattan.

Optics

To ensure you get an accurate measure for your spirits and cocktail ingredients a range of optics and measures are available, coming in 25ml 35ml and 50ml for dispensing spirits.  For that professional appeal a rotary spirit bottle stand would hold your spirits, with brackets for 75cl, 1 litre and gallon bottle.

Garnish

Garnishes add a decorative panache to your drink.  Tequila-based cocktails often use citrus garnishes like a lemon or lime, Gin based cocktails use olives.

There is a saying which says “A man should never add garnishes to a Scotch - that is sacrilege“...

Sugar cubes or fine white sugar, a basil plant, and a mint plant, olives and cocktail onions will create a good selection.

Don't forget some bar snacks like peanuts or crisps for your guests to  nibble on.

Bar Tools to develop your mixology skills

Soda Siphon, Jigger to accurately measure the cocktail ingredients, a Corkscrew, Citrus Juice Press, Serrated Paring Knife, Cocktail Shaker, and to perhaps start you off on your new hobby a Cocktail Making Book to help with a list of ingredients.

Ice Maker

An Ice Maker is a must have for any home bar, for mixed drinks or iced beverages.  Built In or Freestanding Models are available, depending on the size and style of your bar.

An Ice Bucket and Tongs to sit on the bar for easy use of the ice.

Home Bar Coolers

Bottle coolers, A Mini Bar Chiller, or a  Single Door Cabinet for the smaller bar area, or a Double Door Cabinet if you have the space, they can be purchased in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours to compliment your home.  While black, white and stainless steel are the most popular choices, chrome and brown options are available, if you wish them to blend in with your existing decor.

A temperature controlled WIne Fridge is an excellent solution for storing wine at the correct temperature, allowing the wine to age better than if kept in a wine rack.

Choose from undercounter or freestanding wine coolers / fridges.  Many units come with stylish wooden shelves and tinted glazed display doors to protect the contents and provide that extra design element.

 

 

One good point to remember is your home is not a bar, but to add a Home Bar can be an exciting venture.

 

 

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