These days cocktails at home is the name of the game and boy, are they getting us through these crazy times! So, until we can get back to our regularly scheduled lives and happy hours at our favorite local watering holes, we’ll be mixing up margaritas in our own casas. And while we have some extra time on our hands, why not plan and create our very own bar at home in which to do it!
Planning and Assembling
The first step is deciding what type of bar is best for your home and your needs and where you’ll place it. In-home bars tend to be one of two types. The first is what designers call a “walk-up”, which is typically situated against a wall and allows people to serve themselves. Usually it’s in the form of a bar cart or small cabinet- something that doesn’t require a lot of space and can be incorporated into any room. A cart with castors, like this one on the left, is fantastic for mobility in case you need to re-locate it. Online retailers like Wayfair, Amazon, and Crate & Barrel have great options for any aesthetic and can be delivered right to your door.
Calling all DIYers! The second type are stationary, built-in bars that become a fixture of your home. For example, a wet bar fixture in a living room or butler’s pantry may be built-in to a space or a basement bar with a counter to serve drinks behind. These, of course, tend to involve more planning, can be elaborate and may even incorporate a theme of some sort, like a sports bar with a flat screen TV or a poolside tiki bar. With this type of beverage station, you can include things like a wine/beer fridge or built-ins to house glassware and mixers.
After your bar is assembled, it’s time to stock it. This, of course, depends on your taste and the size of your bar. If you went big, you can go all out with everything from wine to beer to liquors so that you and your guests have an array of options. If a cart or small table was your choice, think about what your go-to drinks will be and only buy what’s needed. Be sure to also have available the glasses required for the drinks you’ll be have on hand.
No matter how large or small your bar, every home bar needs these essential tools.
- A jigger
- A corkscrew
- Citrus press
- Paring knife
- Cocktail shaker
- Bar spoons
- Julep strainer
- Cocktail strainer
- A muddler
If you go the bar cart route, and it’s open, be mindful of organizing it neatly. Some stylish glasses, decanters, an ice bucket, etc. are items every bar cart should have. Add other items depending on space, but you may even want to store your less frequently used items in a pantry, so it doesn’t look too cluttered or messy.
If you turned a table or cabinet into a small bar (we do love a DIY!), a tray is a great way to corral your bottles, decanters, bitters, and glasses while storing your essential bar tools in the cabinet or in a nice vessel. We also love the idea of a nice cocktail table book for even more bar style and some inspiration.
It’s a whole different ball game if you went with a full-blown bar. The storage and decor possibilities here are endless and depend on your theme and placement. Most bars of this type have an abundance of shelving and cabinetry to display what you like and store what you want hidden.
Do you have a bar set up in your house? If so, we’d love to see it! Share it with us along with your favorite cocktail recipe and your IG handle and we’ll share it for inspiration!