Let’s get you on your way to becoming a master entertainer, well-versed in the art of making guests feel great in your home. And guess what, there are really only two steps to this.
Step 1: You need a bar
You may already have the perfect nook in your home for a bar—some extra cabinetry, free unused counter space, or maybe that little bookshelf you have no idea what to do with. But if you don’t, be on the look out for a bar cart. Bar carts with wheels are quite convenient as you can whisk them around a party to entertain guests or swivel it over to the couch for a short commute to refill that Old Fashioned. Plenty of furniture stores carry bar carts. For example, World Market, West Elm, and Ballard Designs all have different types of bar carts available in their dining/entertainment sections. Feeling a little more hands-on? Browse ideas from others who have gone before you and create your own—most likely the cheaper and more unique option that will give you endless bragging rights.
Step 2: Stock it
Let’s start with the good stuff—the alcohols. Keep two things in mind here: what you enjoy drinking and what your guests, family, and friends might enjoy. Start with the basics and identify the top five things you’ll be consuming (Sazeracs? Martinis? Rye whiskey on the rocks?). Purchase your favorites plus the additional liqueurs and mixers you will need to construct your cocktails. These will most likely include Vermouth, Campari, bitters and the like. Place a bowl of fresh citrus on the cart as well so you can really impress with fresh slices of citrus rind topping off those drink creations.
Glassware and mixing tools. Think variety here. You’ll want the basics as far as drinking vehicles go: red and white wine glasses, high quality heavy-bottomed tumblers, a few shot glasses, and martini glasses. In addition to glasses, you will need an arsenal of mixing tools. The basics include a cocktail shaker, some type of strainer (the Hawthorne strainer is one of the most popular), stirring utensils, and a measurer also known as a jigger. You may also want to invest in a decanter or two for wines and hard alcohols. Decanters have the important job of aerating beverages like wines, but they also just help tie the whole look of your cart together.
Lastly, let’s consider the extras to top off your home bar. Additional items to take up space at your bar could include mixology books. Take a trip to your favorite bookstore and head for the food and drink aisle. Other items to take up space and add aesthetic appeal could include a box of your favorite cigars, a plant in a vase, or colorful drink napkins.
There you have it: the basics in the quest to create your own unique home bar. Now, get ready to entertain. Cheers!