Create a bespoke bar reminiscent of the roaring Twenties
The cocktail has been enjoying a much-deserved renaissance for some time. However, hopping from bar to bar is a pricey proposition, which is why more of us are investing in the indulgence of a proper home bar. Far removed from our parents’ retro wet bar, or the not-so-stylish ‘man cave’ set-up, 2016’s hot trend is inspired by the chic designs and glamorous parties of the roaring Twenties. So, channel your inner ‘bright young thing’ and follow these steps to enjoy happy hour at home…
Begin with an Art Deco liquor cabinet or hostess trolley. Harking back to the home bar trend of our grandmothers’ time, these stylish space-savers are making a comeback. With their good looks and mobile features, it’s a wonder that they haven’t made an appearance sooner. As such, more than kitsch designs can be found these days. Modern interpretations are widely available in design boutiques, and even mainstream stores, but if you can get the real thing at an antique store, even better!
Get the gear. Don’t do things by halves – to recreate that authentic cocktail experience you’ve got to invest in the tools of the trade. First things first, you’ll need to get your hands on some basic glassware. At least four of each of the following glasses is ideal: a tumbler (or Old Fashioned glass), a tall glass (like a highball), and stemware, including martini glasses, snifters and wine glasses.
Once you’ve got your glassware sorted, you’ll need barware essentials. Don’t be distracted by gimmicky gadgets though. You only need a few key items to get started, including an ice bucket, bar spoon, muddler, jigger, cocktail shaker and strainer. Continuing with the Art Deco trend, try to look for pieces at antique shops and boutique stores made of silver, chrome, frosted glass or Bakelite that feature simple, geometric forms and details.
Stock-up on essentials. What’s a bar without the booze? To make a fabulous cocktail there’s no need to splash the cash on expensive spirits and obscure liqueurs. A streamlined collection of base spirits and mixers are all you need to make the most of today’s home bar trend and create a wide range of classic cocktails. The building blocks of any great cocktail begin with at least one of the following liquors: cognac, white rum, gin, bourbon/whiskey, vodka and tequila. And, workhorse mixers include Cointreau, vermouth and bitters. Round things off with juices, tonic water, seltzer, lemons and limes and, there you have it: a home bar worthy of a Twenties cocktail hour!