Bar Essentials Everyone Needs
Nothing makes a house feel more like a home than a fully stocked and loaded bar. A home bar is a great addition to a man cave, she-shed, basement, or even the living room if you’re serious about your cocktails. Here are a few tips for creating the perfect in-house bar and some essentials you’ll need to make it happen.
How to Stock Your Home Bar
The More Variety, the Better: This goes for a lot of things, but mainly alcohol. To have the crème de le crème of bars, you don’t have to stock the entire contents of your local liquor store. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have a little bit of everything in case the cute guy from class wants to come over or your aunt decides to pop in for a surprise visit. A few drinks you might want to have on hand include gin, vodka, bourbon-whiskey, scotch, tequila, rum, beer, wine, and even soda for those who will be driving.
It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Sure, sure, sure. You were just told to stock a variety of spirits to properly entertain your guests. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t go out and blow your rent money just so you can have a bar that’ll make you look like Tom Cruise from Cocktail. Build your bar gradually until you have the large variety mentioned above.
Mixers are Life: Some like to drink their liquor straight, but more often than not people will want a blended drink to take the edge off the alcohol. Having a selection of mixers dramatically increases the amount of drink recipes you can make. Some good mixers to stock are club soda, tonic water, cola, Sprite/7 Up, ginger ale, orange juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine.
Garnish Everything: You wouldn’t eat your fries without ketchup, so why on Earth would you drink your Bloody Mary without a stalk of celery or your martini without olives? Garnishes get a bad rep and are forgotten way too often. Go the extra mile and finish what you started. Some good garnishes to have on hand are sugar, pepper, salt, hot sauce, horseradish, cocktail onions, lemons, limes, olives, oranges, cherries, and celery.
Glassware for the Win: No one is going to get anywhere if they don’t have a glass to drink from. Red solo cups have a special place in our hearts, but past the age of 23 you should probably invest in a few martini glasses, red and white wine glasses, highball glasses, rocks glasses, and beer mugs/pint glasses.
Tools for Success: Sure, you can always jerry-rig yourself a drink shaker, but if you prefer to keep your clothes dry and your countertops clean, it’s better to buy yourself a basic bar kit. You’ll want a bar mat, a drink shaker, a strainer, toothpicks, napkins, a bottle opener, a wine opener, and wine corks.