Create a bespoke bar in the comfort of your own home
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 the not-so-stylish ‘man cave’ set-up, today’s popular trend was inspired by chic designs of much more sophisticated home bar experiences. So, read on and follow these easy steps to setup happy hour at home – the best place to be.
Buy a liquor cabinet or hostess trolley
This goes without saying, but if you’re creating your own home bar, you’ll need a place to store the goods. Consider going for the space-saving functionality of a hostess trolley to stack your alcohol. With their good looks and mobile features, it’s a wonder that they haven’t made an appearance sooner. 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. Be sure to check your local classifieds to pick up a bargain.
Get the mixing and serving gear
Don’t do things by halves – to create that authentic cocktail experience in your home, 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. You also might want to invest in a mini bar fridge to store your mixers and ice.
Once you’ve got your glassware and cooling 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 classic-looking 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 great 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 the real thing.