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Starting Your Home Bar – The Essentials

Home bar

Do you want to start a home bar? In this blog, we cover the essentials you’ll need, from home bar equipment and drinks, to home bar accessories. Don’t have room in your home for a full-blown home bar? No worries. This article will give you some great ideas on how to make your kitchen, or living room, into an entertaining space with all the essentials of a home bar.

Upgrades You Need To Make

Learn about the home bar essentials and related goods you’ll need to get your home bar up and running, such as alcohol, mixers, non-drink items and more. If you’re interested in learning how to mix cocktails at home, the basic home bar setup will allow you to create your favourite drinks.

After that, you may personalise it to your liking and purpose. If you enjoy a lot of vodka-based cocktails (for example), you could build your bar selections in that direction. Make sure you have enough of the glasses, mugs and tumblers required for entertaining guests and unwinding after a long day at work.

Essential Home Bar Tools

Whether it’s a built-in bar or a mobile bar cart, you’ll need the following tools:

1) Shakers

Shakers are available in a variety of forms and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: making fantastic cocktails. Larger shakers enable you to make a larger quantity for pouring out numerous drink servings that taste identical.

For example, you may not want to make the same drink three times, if your goal is for people to taste a particular flavour profile. This also assures that they’re identical, which is crucial if you’re hosting a tasting, or want feedback from friends. For when you begin developing your own recipes or improving classics.

2) Muddlers

It’s simply a pestle, with tiny teeth or texture on the bottom to help grind garnishes like mint. Doing this will release more flavour (essential oils) into your mojito.

3) Bar Spoons

The long handles are both entertaining and useful. These spoons allow 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”.


Cocktail glasses, like the drinks they contain, are available in a wide array of shapes and sizes. The following are some of the most popular types:

1) Cocktail Glass

A martini glass has a wider mouth to allow the drinker to detect the aromas of the cocktail and its triangle form makes it simple to add garnishes.

It’s a little more forgiving to spills than a triangular shaped martini glass and it can be used in place of cocktail glasses for the majority of beverages. It may also be used to serve frozen cocktails and champagne cocktails.

2) Highball Glass

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.

3) Rocks Glass

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.

Base spirits

1) 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.

2) Gin

A classic London dry gin, such as Beefeater, 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.

3) 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…

4) Rum

You’ll need both a dark and a white rum on hand. White rums are fantastic for mixed drinks (rum and 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.

If your visitors are expecting Margaritas on the drink menu, you’ll want to stock tequila on hand. You should also study up on the growing appeal of tequila-based cocktails, including the Paloma and Tequila Sunrise, as well as variations on classic drinks utilising tequila, rather than their original spirit. Grab some limes and salt in case things get out of hand during the party, since your guests may want to do some tequila shots.

Other beverages you may want to keep on hand include red wine and white wine. Stocking a variety pack of craft beers is another excellent choice. If you’re not sure what kinds of craft beer to offer, consider buying a sampler pack.

Essential Liqueurs

Many of the most famous mixed drinks and cocktails include this liqueur.

  • Amaretto is a light almond-flavoured liqueur. Kahlua is the most well-known of these
  • 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. You can also buy different flavours

Nice-To-Have Liqueurs

  • The Benedictine is a liqueur made from herbs and honey, the sweetness of which comes from sugar
  • The correct term for what most people know as Kahlua is Cacao. It’s a wonderful smooth flavour, not overly sweet like many other liqueurs of the same style
  • Crème de Menthe or Peppermint Schnapps
  • Drambuie. this is a sweet, scotch-based liqueur
  • Frangelico. this hazelnut liqueur comes in a monk-shaped bottle
  • RumChata. This is a coconut rum liqueur

Essential Mixers

Mixers are used in a wide range of mixed beverages that would be significantly different without them. Here are the essentials:

  • You should be prepared to use ice in almost every drink you prepare. It may seem obvious, but you’ll employ it in nearly every cocktail you create
  • Fresh-squeezed juices are the best, but they aren’t always accessible. Purchasing a container of orange, cranberry, pineapple, or tomato juice is more practical and easier. Orange juice is used in tequila sunrise, screwdriver, fuzzy navel and other beverages. For just about any tropical drink, pineapple juice is a must
  • Lemon and lime juice are used in a variety of mixed drinks. If you don’t have access to lemons or limes, consider using lemon juice or lime juice instead
  • Cranberries are used to make the cocktail Cranberry and Vodka, as well as the Cosmopolitan. The rest of these cocktails include cranberry juice
  • Simple syrup is a simple combination of equal parts sugar and water. It’s easy to make at home. Alternatively, you could buy some Grenadine, which is a cherry-like syrup
  • The White Russian  is made with milk, cream, and half-and-half
  • Ginger beer is an excellent ingredient in the Moscow Mule cocktail. It’s also used to make a number of fantastic mixed drinks
  • Black tea can be made with many different ingredients, including fruit juice. Tea can be enjoyed as a hot or cold beverage; however, black teas are the most adaptable
  • Tabasco sauce is most frequently used in a Bloody Mary, and Worcestershire sauce adds a savoury touch to many mixed drinks

We hope that we’ve given you some inspiration to start your own home bar. If you’re currently working on the interiors of your home, then check out this guide to choosing the best (and most affordable) options.


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