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22 March 2021 | 6 min read

How To Set Up An Amazing Home Bar

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Considering the pandemic is still not over, we’ll probably be spending more time at home. Which invariably means – it’s time to stock up that home mini bar. This time, it’s wise to be more futuristic and upgrade to curating and building a wholesome home bar. You know, in case of emergencies. After all, bar hopping with a virus around the corner is not as comfortable as night capping with pyjamas.

Two significant outcomes: Your home bar has to reflect your style, and your hosting game needs to get stronger. Besides, there cannot possibly be anything more comforting than knowing that you have a gorgeous home bar set-up for all those spontaneous after-parties. And for other days, you could casually fix yourself a cocktail on a Monday night. How empowering does that sound!? 

Whether you want to transform your kitchen counter or create a whole new home bar, here’s a list of essentials, mini bar ideas, inspirations, tips, and styles highlighted to suit your taste. Indulge in this one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about making a stunning home bar

Home Bar Decor

Mini Bar – Live More Zone

Step no. 1 is to figure out the location, size and space for setting up a home bar. You’re not just stocking bottles, and you must also consider the other essentials like glassware, mixers, bar tools, and garnishes.  It might sound like a task, but as an adult, it’s probably the best kind of home-made luxury you can work with at home.

  1. Transform your furniture:  You can use a shelved piece of furniture like a sideboard, the cabinet in your living room, the block of furniture under your TV space or your credenza into a bar. This can simply be done by placing a tray with bottles on it, while your glasses, bitters and decanters can be placed on top of the table. Lastly, the other essential bar tools can be stored in a nearby drawer or a bowl. Bonus: Don’t miss out on accessorising the counter and make some space for lamps, fairy lights or other bar décor items on the console.
  2. The Royal Tray: Just like the furniture transformation, you can quickly turn the surface of a bookshelf into a home minibar. All you need to do is segment your way through with glasses on one shelf, spirits on another, and continue this rhythm for the rest of your essentials. In-case you don’t own a bookshelf, just use a beautiful tray and place it on any tiny piece of furniture around your home. Bonus: Try surrounding your tray or bookshelf with photo frames or other wall paintings as bar decor to make it look like a fancy set-up. This will take away the focus from your bartending tools in-case that’s your concern. Furniture transformations can be done very creatively, and they make for the best mini bar ideas and bar decor elements.
  3. That Fancy Built-in Bar: If you’re game for the whole shebang – bar with a sink, built-in wall bar, that sleek marble or wooden finish, then gear up. Besides the usual, make sure you have a knife and chopping board, a hand towel, and a trash can to place under the sink. Bonus:  You have no reason not to sharpen your mixology skills, so get your hands on a cocktail making book to make the experience impressive and wholesome.

Tip: Get some amazing discounts on digibank debit cards while shopping for your home Bar.

Liquor For Your Home Bar

Liquor – Live More Zone

This one’s the real deal. To begin with, don’t take the load of stocking up your home bar all at once. Allow yourself to build your inventory slowly and buy bottles based on your preferred cocktails. For example: If you choose a new drink each month and acquire the spirits and modifiers required to make it, the number of cocktails you can make will increase exponentially. Although, for the ones who want to splurge on setting up a home bar once and for all, here’s the list of basics:

  • Scotch – Whisky cobbler, Sazerac, on the rocks
  • Vodka – Vodka tonics, screwdrivers, and the vodka martini.
  • White Rum – Mojito and Daiquiri
  • Bourbon – Manhattan, old fashioned, and whiskey sours.
  • Gin – Martini, Gin and flavoured tonics, Tom Collins, etc.
  • Tequila – Margarita, Sunrise, and Paloma
  • Cognac – Sidecar, Crusta, brandy milk punches Daisie and smashes

Bonus:

  • Wine
  • Beers

Store the above liquor away from direct sunlight in a cool place. As the liquid level reduces, try consuming it faster as the bottle’s air will leach out the flavours. (This is not an excuse to take the alcoholic road, though) However, store corked wine horizontally and try using a wine cellar instead of your regular fridge.

Bar Tools

Bar Tools – Live More Zone

All the equipment required to mix a basic and gourmet cocktail is easy to master and little to own.

  • Ice bag
  • Bar spoon
  • Muddler
  • Jigger
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • Ice cube trays

Bonus:

  • Attach a wall mounted beer opener
  • Keep a wine opener handy
  • A little hand juicer would let you add citrus, so keep one at hand
  • A sharp vegetable peeler

Glassware

Glassware – Live More Zone

As a part of your home bar’s daily usage, all you need is about six to eight of each of these three basic types: a tall glass, a shot glass, and a stem. Moreover, if you’re a wine fanatic, you must invest in eight to twelve essential stemmed wine glasses. They could either be of the same shape that suits both red and white wine, or you could purchase separate sets of glasses for each type. You could even go for a flute glass.

Bitters

Bitters  – Live More Zone

Bitters are usually infused with herbs, spices and roots, mostly used as dashes as a botanical addition to drinks. From coffee bitters to rhubarb bitters, many variations can be found in your local liquor stores. After all, people consume from their eyes first, and that is why it’s crucial to get your garnishing skills right in-case you’re setting up a home bar or mini home bar to impress. Automatically, this enables you to present clean, attractive twists while leaving bitter essence behind.

Mixers

Mixers – Live More Zone

Pick and choose the mixers you relish as per your taste buds and some common ones when you’re entertaining and hosting guests. In time, your collection will evolve.

  • Water: Mainly used for Scotch or Bourbon Soda water. As per Aficionados, it helps enhance the flavours.
  • Cola: Mostly used for rums and whiskies. No need to use your shaker. Just mix with a spoon or sticks.
  • Tonic and Club Soda: Mostly used for Vodka and Gin drinks but can intensify a Margarita too. Use a stirrer and try some flavoured brews that have been booming in the gin market
  • Fresh juice/Sweet and Sour Mix:  Be it Whisky sours or Margaritas, all the classic cocktails require sweet and sour mixers. As you slowly turn into a bartender, consider making your recipes!

Garnishes

Garnishes – Live More Zone

Lemons and limes have been a versatile and essential part of our kitchen for a long time now. Feel free to use them in your cocktails as they add a touch of flavour and balance them out. Refined white sugar or cubes are also a must for every home bar. Moreover, it’s nice to keep basil and mint leaves or even cinnamon handy for some herbal flavours on your menu. Other herbs like thyme and sage are also great garnishes. If you’re a fan of Bloody Maris or Martinis, cocktail olives, onions, salt, pepper, and hot sauce can also be essential.

That’s how simple it is to create your edition of setting up a home bar. Give it your touch of style with some bar décor elements that suit your personality and catch hold of a couple of simple cocktail recipes to up your game! So, what are you waiting for? Cheers!

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