Whether you invite friends over for a casual game night or coworkers for a dinner party, fumbling for wine glasses, and figuring out what kind of ingredients to run to the store for to make cocktails can be a hassle. Let’s put an end to that by embracing that 20s style in 2020 by being the perfect hostess with your own bar set up right in your home!
Here are a few simple tips to craft a stocked and chic set-up ready for any shindig or hootenanny that comes your way!
Go for something that’s both fully functional and serves as a great decor piece in your home. First thing is to figure out what your needs are for the bar and which space in your home you will be utilizing. Do you have a man cave downstairs that allows for a larger countertop addition with a built-in sink and fridge? Maybe your dining room has the perfect corner for a delicate vintage bar cart on casters you can easily move to a larger room when needed? Also, think about the types of social events you plan to host and the most common headcount you’d be hosting. It’s important to estimate what needs to fit within your home bar ahead of time to avoid having to constantly restock mid-event.
While variety is important, don’t let anyone give you the impression that the day you set up your home bar is the same day you are fully stocked on supplies. Alcohol can add up quickly and many locations have regulations around how much you can purchase within a given time frame. Give yourself permission to take your time stocking your bar and have some fun in the process filling it with a great assortment. Your basic list may want to include Vodka, Cognac, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Whiskey, and Scotch as well as a few red and white wines. You can also add some great liqueur options such as Amaretto, Irish cream, or Vermouth to your collection. These will provide you with lots of stand-alone options as well as great ingredients for cocktails to enjoy.
Speaking of cocktails, you don’t want to forget about mixers! While the cost on these can definitely be more forgiving than the alcohol itself, again, there is no need to overstock too quickly. Take your time learning which mixers are your most loved and best quality and go from there. A few things to consider adding to your shopping list are Club Soda, Ginger Beer, Simple Syrup, Bitters, and a few fruit juices like pineapple or cranberry. These will allow you to have several beverage options to offer your guests at a moment’s notice and even dish out an impressive before-dinner cocktail for you and your partner before dinner is ready during the week!
Can you imagine your cheeseburger without the ketchup and mayo? How about your nachos without the ooey-gooey toppings? When it comes to crafting the perfect drinks, you definitely don’t want to leave out the garnishes! This is where the flavor really comes through and you get those special nuances that make it stand out. While many garnishes are of the time-sensitive variety with expiration dates close by, they will not only add a great flavor but a beautiful visual touch to your set-up. Gather up oranges, lemons, limes, cherries, and fresh herbs like rosemary, mint, and basil, but be sure to add these ingredients to your list to purchase right before you’ll be needing them.
Don’t forget that if you’re ready to channel your inner bartender at home, you’ll need a few essentials to make it happen! There are some basic bar tools to help make your mixed drinks with ease, such as a cocktail shaker, long bar spoon, muddler, strainer, jigger, and of course, some great glassware. Nowadays, a simple Google search can point you in the direction of several stores that sell all-inclusive bar tool sets with everything included. These are also often less expensive; however, quality can sometimes be up for questioning. When it comes to glassware, don’t limit yourself to the one aisle of the store where you’ve purchased everything else. Have some fun and add personality to your home bar by choosing a variety of different glasses from your local thrift store!
The Best Part
As much as you may look forward to setting up a special space for entertaining, don’t forget to enjoy it yourself from time to time. Think about the family member who only takes out the fine china for that special holiday meal once or maybe twice a year. Don’t treat your home bar the same! Pour yourself a drink, sit back, relax and, of course, always drink responsibly.