14 Essentials for Your Home Bar!
These days, drinking at home can be more practical than going out. Serving cocktails at home is almost always cheaper than at your local bar. Setting up a home bar doesn’t need to require a large space or wallet. This article shares the essentials you’ll need, from home bar equipment and drinks to home bar accessories.
Essential Home Bar Tools
Let’s start with the basics. These are the items you’ll need the following mixological tools:
1 – Shakers
Shakers are available in a variety of forms and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: mixing fantastic cocktails! Larger shakers enable you to make a larger quantity for pouring out numerous drink servings that taste identical. This also assures that they’re identical, which is crucial if you’re hosting for friends.
2 – Muddlers
It’s simply a pestle, with tiny teeth or texture on the bottom to help grind garnishes like mint to release more flavour (essential oils) into your mojito.
3 – Bar spoons
A spoon with a long handle allows 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.
4 – Jiggers
These measuring cups ensure that the taste and strength of your beverages are constant.
5 – Cocktail Strainer
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.”
6 – Cocktail Glasses
A martini glass has a wider mouth to allow the drinker to detect the aromas of the cocktail, and its v-shaped form makes it simple to add garnishes. A coupe glass, on the other hand, is less likely to spill and offers a more contemporary feel.
7 – Highball Glasses
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. They are both useful for soft drinks and everyday use as well.
8 – Rocks Glasses
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. Like the highball glass, these glasses can be also used for soft drinks and fruit juice.
9 – Vodka
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 flavoured vodkas that appeal to certain drinkers.
10 – Gin
A classic London dry gin, such as Gordon’s, 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.
11 – Whiskey
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).
12 – Rum
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.
There are a few other drinks you may want to keep on hand. If your visitors are expecting Margaritas on the drink menu, for example, you’ll want to stock tequila on hand. A decent bar will also keep a red wine and white wine, and perhaps a few bottles of craft beer.
13 – Essential liqueurs
Many of the most famous mixed drinks and cocktails include liqueurs. 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, served on the rocks or in cocktails. Also consider Amaretto, a light almond-flavoured liqueur, and Kahlua for your coffee liqueur needs.
14 – Essential mixers
The list of potential mixers is almost endless. When stocking your home bar, you’ll want to start with those that are essential and add to them as the need arises.
Lemons, limes, and ice. A huge number of cocktails call for “ice and a slice”. As an alternative to freshly squeezed juice, you can keep bottled juice instead. Other fresh juices like pineapple and tomato juice are also worth buying occasionally.
Club Soda, soda water, or carbonated mineral water are all frequently used when mixing drinks. The mineral content of these varies although they are generally interchangeable.
Tonic Water is essential for the classic G&T. There are a vast array of brands to pick from.
A few cans of Coca-Cola or Pepsi should always be in stock for those who like to mix it with their whiskey, rum, or vodka.
Ginger Beer is worth keeping handy for making vodka cocktails such as a Moscow Mule, or whiskey mixes.
Bitters are used in so many recipes that it is worth keeping a bottle in your home bar. Your Gin Sling and Vodka Sour fans will thank you for it. The botanical-infused neutral spirit adds depth and aroma to the drinks they are added to.
Syrups are blended with citrus juice to make sour drinks. The best ones will add sweetness without affecting the flavour profile of the drink.
Simply start with the items you’ll need to make the drinks you like. If you enjoy vodka-based cocktails, build your bar selections in that direction. Gradually build your stock to cater for family and friends. Soon, you’ll have a great little entertaining space, in the comfort of your own home!