There is something very grown-up about fixing your own drink at the end of a long day. And what better way to do this, than in your own home bar! Having a home bar is a great way to enjoy (responsibly!) drinking at home and an opportunity to invite friends over and spend some time together.
Setting up your own home bar doesn’t have to be complicated, all you need is designated space in your kitchen or living room, stock it with your favourite drinks and mixers and to complete the look, why not splash out on professional barware to impress your friends.
Having everything in one place will also make it so much easier to prepare your favourite drink and you can show your friends your newly acquired cocktail making skills.
So, here are my top tips on how to create your very own bar at home.
Creating your home bar
This will very much depend on how much space you have in your house or flat. While it’s very impressive to have a designated area where you can build your own bar, not everyone has space or can afford it.
If you don’t have space, you can have a designated area in your kitchen which is for your drinks and accessories only. Another option includes having traditional drinks trolley, which could easily be placed in your living room.
Having a specially built-in drinks bar will truly impress your friends and make ‘nights in’ that much more special. All you need is designated cupboards, storage space, some wall shelves and you have a ready made bar! If you have the space, it’s great to include a separate sink, waste bin area and a small fridge, which can be stocked with your favourite mixers.
To make your home bar even more authentic, why not add a speed rail, which is what professional bartenders have to keep the most used drink bottles to make drink preparation quicker. To complete the look, why not add your favourite posters or vintage adverts depending on what bar theme you are going for.
If you don’t have the space to have your own built-in home bar, you can buy a sideboard or a longer chest of drawers to turn into your designated cocktail bar space.
A budget-friendly option includes a drinks trolley, but unless you go for a modern stylish design, it could feel a bit dated. Still, a drinks trolley is a great space saver and you’ll have all your cocktail making accessories in one place.
How to stock your home bar
Now that you’ve set up your own home bar, you’ll also need to stock it with essential ingredients, glassware and bar accessories.
- Drinks & Spirits
- Cocktail Making Books
- Bar tools & accessories
Start building up your collection with the spirits you enjoy drinking. There is no point buying something that is currently in fashion if you are not going to drink it. If you are not sure what spirits to choose here is a list of basic spirits which can be turned into a variety of exciting cocktails.
Essential Cocktail & Drinks Glassware
Each drink is traditionally poured into a specific glass, so make sure you stock up on some essential glassware. To start your home bar, choose your glasses based on the drinks you like to drink most and then add to your collection as you go.
- Champagne Glass
- Tumbler Glass
- Highball Glass
- Lowball Glass
- Wine Glass
Bar tools and accessories
To complete your home bar look, I would recommend buying professional barware and accessories. This will not only look more authentic but also help you to create the perfect drinks with ease as professional barware tools are designed for accuracy. To start off you will need a shaker, strainer, bar spoon and fruit squeezer. It’s also useful to get a jigger (for measuring your spirits) and practical accessories like an ice scoop, bottle stoppers, wine coolers, bar mats and serving trays.
Since mixers are inexpensive, it is a great excuse to stock up on all the ones you enjoy drinking. Mixers are best kept in the fridge, or if you don’t have space, somewhere very cold. You can, of course, drink them on their own or use them to make mocktails (alcohol-free drinks) for your guests.
- Tonic water
- Soda water
- Ginger beer
- Orange juice
- Tomato Juice
Additional ingredients & Garnishes
The worst thing you can do is to run out of lemons halfway through making your drinks, so make sure you stock up on lemons, limes and oranges. Herbs, such as basil, mint or thyme are also widely used in making drinks and they look lovely as potted plants on a windowsill. You will also need fine sugar for decorating your glasses and olives for cocktails.