The home bar is the center of your social life. It’s where friends meet and conversations start. It’s where you can be as creative or as simple as you want with your cocktail creations. And it’s all yours, just waiting to be set up with all the right tools, ingredients, and equipment so that you can mix up any drink under sun—or moonlight.
Here are some tips for getting started on building your dream bar:
Choose a Theme
Think about what you’re trying to achieve, and then choose a theme that fits your personality, space, budget, and style. For example: if you’re looking for something fun and whimsical, consider going with an Alice in Wonderland-themed bar.
On the other hand, if you want something more elegant and sophisticated, consider getting mirrored backing on your walls or a vintage bar cart and using them as displays for your liquor bottles.
This will create plenty of visual interest while also making it easier to see exactly what’s inside each bottle without pulling them out individually.
Choose a Location
Selecting a location for your bar is the first step in setting up your home bar. Ideally, you should place it in a room away from the kitchen and living room—this will separate it into its own space so your guests can relax while they enjoy their drinks.
You may also consider placing it near other home entertainment areas, such as a family den or media room. Remember: if you want people to come over and spend time with you, ensure they can find their way around.
Get a Bar Cart
Once you’ve selected a location for your home bar, it’s time to start setting it up. The first thing you’ll need is a bar cart—a large, rolling cart that will hold all of your bottles.
You can buy one online or at a local liquor store; they’re usually available in both stainless steel and wood finishes. You can also go with a vintage bar cart to give your home bar a more classic feel.
When choosing a bar cart, consider how much space you have in your home bar. If you only have room for one bottle at a time, get a smaller model that holds up to 20 bottles; if you’d like to store more than that, look for one with two or three shelves.
Figure Out What to Stock
Once you have a general idea of your bar, think about the drinks you’d like to serve. Consider the types of events you plan to host and what kind of drinks will appeal to your guests. A home bar is a great place for experimentation, but it’s also important to know what your guests might expect from their experience at home.
When deciding what ingredients to use for your bar setup, remember that you can make most alcoholic beverages with just three ingredients: alcohol (or spirits), sweetener (such as sugar), and water. As long as these three things are present in some form, you can create any drink at home.
You can buy additional ingredients depending on how much variety and complexity you want from your cocktails. This includes a wide range of liquors, bitters, citrus fruits such as lemons or limes (to make garnishes), syrups such as grenadine syrup (for more complex cocktails), and the list goes on.
Keep in mind that while these extras may enhance certain drinks, they won’t necessarily make them taste better if used incorrectly; some extra effort needs to go into learning how all these different components work together.
Have the Right Tools to Make Drinks
For a home bar to be truly successful, you’ll need the right tools. Try to purchase a shaker, jigger (for measuring), muddler (a wooden spoon used for crushing fruit), and strainer—all of which can be found at any kitchen store or large grocery chain.
These items will vary in price but are relatively inexpensive and essential in making many drinks. The good news is that they can all be cleaned easily by washing them with hot soapy water after each use or simply rinsing them out with water if your drink doesn’t require much mixing together.
Store these tools in an easy-to-reach place so they’re ready when you need them.
Setting up a home bar is not a difficult task. With the proper tools and some basic knowledge of how to mix drinks, you can enjoy a variety of delicious concoctions at home. With these simple tips, you’ll find yourself with a fully stocked, beautiful home bar in no time at all.