If you are thinking about starting your first home bar, you may not know exactly where to start with it all or what it is worth including. It also depends on how much you want to spend, how much space you have and what you tend to drink regularly.
We’ve put together this blog post so you can work out all of the essentials you’ll need, from home bar equipment and drinks to home bar accessories. If you don’t have the room in your home for a full-blown home bar then we also have some great ideas on how to make your kitchen or living room into an entertaining space with all the essentials of a home bar.
The Home Bar Essentials Upgrades You Need to Make
Learn about the home bar essentials and related goods you’ll need to get your home bar up and running, such as alcohol, mixers, non-drink items, and more. If you’re interested in learning how to mix cocktails at home, the basic home bar setup will allow you to create your favorite drinks.
After that, you may personalize it to your liking and purpose. If you enjoy a lot of vodka-based cocktails, build your bar selections in that direction. Make sure you have enough of the glasses, mugs, and tumblers required for entertaining guests (of course) or unwinding after a long day at work.
It should go without saying that this post is for those who are at least 21 years old. If you are, then let’s get started!
Essential Home Bar Tools
Whether it’s a built-in bar or a mobile bar cart, you’ll need the following mixological tools:
Shakers are available in a variety of forms and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: making fantastic cocktails. Larger shakers enable you to make a larger quantity for pouring out numerous drink servings that taste identical.
For example, you may not want to make the same drink three times if your goal is for people to taste a particular flavor profile. This also assures that they’re identical, which is crucial if you’re hosting a tasting or want feedback from friends. For when you begin developing your own recipes or improving classics.
It’s simply a pestle, with tiny teeth or texture on the bottom to help grind garnishes like mint to release more flavor (essential oils) into your mojito.
The long handles are both entertaining and useful. These spoons allow you to check that the cocktail is well-mixed, especially if you don’t want to use a shaker, since they reach all the way down to the bottom of highball glasses. It’s also useful for scooping out garnish from the bottom of the glass.
These measuring cups ensure that the taste and strength of your beverages are constant.
You’ll need an easy technique to strain the herbs and citrus garnishes into the glasses without losing half your drink once you’ve muddled them in there.
A good strainer swiftly separates the solids from the liquids, bringing a bartender touch to your cocktail that screams “upscale lounge.”
Cocktail glasses, like the drinks they contain, are available in a wide array of shapes and sizes. The following are some of the most popular types:
A martini glass has a wider mouth to allow the drinker to detect the aromas of the cocktail, and its triangle form makes it simple to add garnishes.
It’s a little more forgiving to spills than a triangular shaped martini glass, and it can be used in place of cocktail glasses for the majority of beverages. It may also be used to serve frozen cocktails and champagne cocktails.
A highball glass is a tall, straight glass that’s ideal for spirit and mixer mixes.
The Collins glass is the same height as a highball glass, but it’s narrower. You don’t need both highball glasses and Collins glasses at a home bar, so choose one or the other.
A double rocks glass, sometimes known as a rock glass or lowball glass, is meant to be used straight from the bottle, or “on the rocks.” However, on a budget, it’s actually a twin double rocks glass that will be more useful for your home bar. Not only bourbons and whiskies, but margaritas and Manhattans may be enjoyed in these unique glasses.
Vodka is an essential ingredient in many mixed drinks and cocktail recipes. It’s a requirement behind the bar because it’s used in so many mixed beverages and cocktails. If you know ahead of time that the guests coming over have a lot of vodka drinkers, be sure to prepare accordingly.
For mixed drinks, get a budget brand and something top shelf (or close to it) for vodka-based cocktails. There are also many flavored vodkas that appeal to certain drinkers.
A classic London dry gin, such as Beefeater, will come in handy when making Martinis, Gin & Tonics, and other beverages. Consider getting a more botanical gin for sophisticated connoisseurs if you want to serve something a little more unique at your next party.
Some prefer brown liquor neat, while others like it in mixed drinks. That is why you should keep at least two distinct varieties of whiskey on hand.
You’ll need a bottle of scotch whiskey for the cocktail drinkers, and a bottle of Canadian or bourbon whiskey for those that want to sit by the fireplace and drink. (You might also need to purchase a fireplace).
You’ll need both a dark and a white rum on hand. White rums are fantastic for mixed drinks (Rum & Coca-Cola), mojitos, and daiquiris. A decent dark rum is just what the doctor ordered if you’re going to make any tropical or tiki cocktails.
If your visitors are expecting Margaritas on the drink menu, you’ll want to stock tequila on hand. You should also study up on the growing appeal of Tequila-based cocktails, including the Paloma and Tequila Sunrise, as well as variations on classic drinks utilizing Tequila rather than their original spirit. Grab some limes and salt in case things get out of hand during the party, since your guests may want to do some tequila shots.
Other beverages you may want to keep on hand include red wine and white wine. Stocking a variety pack of craft beers is another excellent choice. If you’re not sure what kinds of craft beer to offer, consider buying a sampler pack.
Many of the most famous mixed drinks and cocktails include this liqueur.
- Amaretto is a light almond-flavored liqueur.
- Kahlua is the most well-known of these.
- Sweet vermouth and dry vermouth are two types of vermouth. They’re both required for making martinis.
- Baileys is a good example of an Irish cream liqueur. Of course, Baileys is the gold standard.
- The Benedictine is a liqueur made from herbs and honey, the sweetness of which comes from sugar.
- The correct term for what most people know as Kahlua is Cacao. It’s a wonderful smooth flavor, not overly sweet like many other liqueurs of the same style.
- Crème de Menthe or Peppermint Schnapps.
- Drambuie. A sweet, scotch-based liqueur.
- Frangelico. Hazelnut liqueur in the monk-shaped bottle.
- RumChata . Coconut rum liqueur.
Mixers are used in a wide range of mixed beverages that would be significantly different without them. Here are the essentials:
You should be prepared to use ice in almost every drink you prepare. It may seem obvious, but you’ll employ it in nearly every cocktail you create.
All of these benefits are obtained from drinking fruit juice. Fresh-squeezed juices are the best, but they aren’t always accessible. Purchasing a container of orange, cranberry, pineapple, or tomato juice is more practical and easier.
Lemon and lime juice are used in a variety of mixed drinks. If you don’t have access to lemons or limes, consider using lemon juice or lime juice instead. Orange juice is used in tequila sunrise, screwdriver, fuzzy navel, and other beverages.
Cranberries are used to make the cocktail Cranberry and Vodka, as well as the Cosmopolitan. The rest of these cocktails include cranberry juice.
For just about any tropical drink, pineapple juice is a must.
Simple syrup is a simple combination of equal parts sugar and water. It’s easy to make at home.
A sour mix may be used to flavor tropical drinks as well as prepare yourself.
Grenadine is a cherry-like syrup.
The White Russian, for example, is made with milk, cream, and half-and-half.
Ginger beer is an excellent ingredient in the Moscow Mule Cocktail, which is a delicious and powerful coffee. It’s also used to make a number of fantastic mixed drinks.
Black tea is a popular drink that can be made with many different ingredients, including fruit juice. Tea may also be enjoyed as a hot or cold beverage; however, black teas are the most adaptable.
Tabasco sauce is most frequently used in a Bloody Mary, and Worcestershire sauce adds a savory touch to many mixed drinks.