Friends gathered and drinking together

I love having people over to my place. Whether I’m making brunch, cooking dinner or just having coffee with friends and family, there’s nothing I enjoy more than having a good time in my own home with people I love. Lately, I’ve been scouring home décor magazines and Pinterest to find new ways to entertain when it hit me: I should install a bar in my house!

If you like to entertain, there’s no better way than with an at-home bar. It’s easy and convenient, and it’s an attention-grabber. Use these three tips to create your dream bar in the comfort of your own home.

Pick a Type

What’s the first step to creating the perfect home bar? Choosing which type to install.

Whether space is at a premium or you have a plenty of room just begging to be filled, there’s a home bar option for you.

The Bar Cart

It could be because I have a small place myself or because I just love the look of them, but my personal favorite is the bar cart. They’re stylish, classic and a real space saver.

Try a sleek black cart for a modern design, a trendy gold one for a feminine touch or a wooden version for a rustic look.

The Built-In

If you have a kitchen nook or a built-in cabinet that you’re not sure what to do with, try using that area for your bar. A built-in bar utilizes space you already have, gives you more tabletop room and offers more storage. It’s a win-win situation!

The Full Bar

If you have extra room, a full bar is the perfect option. You’ll have the most table space and storage, and you can have extra seating. And don’t think you have to keep it inside: A full bar outdoors is perfect for backyard dinner parties, pool parties and barbecues.

Select Your Stock

Cocktails

Some people feel like they need to have a fully stocked bar at home, with every kind of spirit and mixer, but I say stock up for the drinks you know you’ll want to make frequently.

Instead of buying the cheapest version of every spirit, buy your favorite brand for two or three drinks you know you’ll love. Try selecting a few of these classic cocktails and buying the ingredients for them:

Old Fashion

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon fine sugar
  • 2 – 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • orange peel and cherry for garnish (if desired)

Martini

  • 2 ounces dry gin
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters (optional)
  • olive or lemon peel for garnish (optional)

Manhattan

  • 4 ounces rye whiskey
  • 2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 Maraschino cherries for garnish (optional)

Sidecar

  • 2 ounces cognac or brandy
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • sugar for garnish (optional)

Bloody Mary

  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 celery stick

Whiskey Sour

  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg white (optional)

Gin and Tonic

  • 3 ounce gin
  • 4 ounces tonic water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • lime wedge for garnish (optional)

Mint Julep

  • 2 to 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 – 10 mint leaves
  • crushed ice
  • mint sprig for garnish (optional)

Mimosa

  • 5 ounces orange juice
  • 5 ounces champagne

Margarita

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • salt for the rim and a lime wedge for garnish (optional)

Pick Up the Tools

 

Bar tools making cocktail Shaker jigger Food beverages vintage

Now that you have the bar and your ingredients, it’s time to get all the tools you’ll need to craft your favorite cocktails. Some, like glassware and a bottle opener, you probably already have, but there are a few items you may still need to buy:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Ice bucket
  • Glassware
  • Bar spoon (for cocktails you need to stir, not shake)
  • Jigger (for measuring out ingredients)
  • Muddler (for any cocktails with herbs or fruit mixed in)
  • Strainer (for straining your cocktails, keeping them smooth and eliminating little bits)

And there you have it! Everything you need to create the at-home bar of your dreams. So kick back, have a drink and check out some other ways you can make your home stand out.

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