There’s no reason to hibernate because colder weather is on its way.
A home bar is a perfect solution for your winter entertainment woes.
A full-on wet bar is nice to have, but you don’t need all the frills to enjoy good times while entertaining at home.
You can turn even a small space into a functional home bar when you have the right tools.
These are the home bar must-haves you need to get up and running.
1. A Bar Fridge
A bar is not a bar without cold drinks, making a bar fridge the number one item on the list of home bar essentials.
White wine, champagne, and beer are best stored and served at 49-55°F.
This is at least 10 degrees warmer than the average setting for a household refrigerator. So, it makes sense to have a separate appliance for your bar.
The best kind comes with an electronic display so you can adjust the temperature when needed.
Another thing to consider is the size fridge you need. If you’re going to be storing a range of different-sized bottles, you’ll need more space. Beers also take up less space than wine.
Glass-fronted fridges are great if you want to be able to see the contents easily, but a solid door may blend into your decor better.
Take a look at these products for some more ideas about what’s available and what you can expect to pay for each type.
2. Home Bar Decor
Whether you prefer an old English style pub theme or a glitzy modern look, you should try to reflect a little of your personality in your bar.
Place some personal items on display. If you enjoy traveling, mementos from all the places you’ve visited are always a good fit. You’ll enjoy telling your guests about the stories behind them.
Bar signs, beer cap maps, and shadow boxes are popular bar decor items.
You can buy these online, search for them in thrift shops, and get them new from your local gift shop or liquor store.
3. Lots of Glasses
You don’t need to stock your bar with glasses to serve every drink known to mankind.
However, it’s a good idea to have plenty of rocks glasses, stem glasses, and highball tumblers. Keep a few red and white wine glasses handy, too.
Long-stemmed V-shaped cocktail glasses are great for martinis and other cocktails that you serve without ice.
The long stem helps to keep warm hands away from your icy mix.
Shot glasses are essential if that’s the way your parties go.
4. Cocktail Shaker
A Boston shaker is the most popular kind of cocktail shaker with working barmen, but it takes a little getting used to.
It has two main components, namely a metal tumbler and a pint glass.
To mix your cocktail, place all the ingredients inside the glass part and place the metal vessel on top of it upside down.
Tilt the metal shaker slightly to create a tight seal before you start shaking.
Cobbler shakers are easy to use if you’re a newbie cocktail maker.
They’re made up of a stainless steel cylinder with a lid that does double duty as a jigger.
Some of them have a strainer built into the top for ease of use.
French shakers are similar to cobbler shakers, except the lid is as wide as the bottom section.
5. A Strainer
A strainer is essential for keeping ice out of your drink when you’re pouring it from a Boston shaker.
The Hawthrone strainer comes with prongs that fit against the sides of a standard shaker to prevent spills. The wire coils trap any solid items like pieces of fruit.
Sometimes you need something a little more refined. A fine mesh strainer ensures that fruit cells don’t make their way into your tropical drinks.
6. Bar Implements
On the subject of fruity drinks, a juicer is the best way to add fruity flavors to your concoctions.
They’re perfect for pressing the essence out of limes, lemons, and even oranges on the spot.
Seriously, you can’t mix drinks with a teaspoon or a skewer.
A stainless steel bar spoon with its long handle and elegant design ensures you keep your cuffs dry and look cool while mixing tall drinks.
It’s also perfect for when your cocktail recipe calls for a spoonful of some or other ingredient.
A muddler looks like a small, thin baseball bat. You use it to crush mint leaves, spices, and fruit to add to your drinks.
A jigger is a double-sided tot measure with different capacities on each end.
They’re available in ½ fl. oz. and ¾ fl. oz. or 1 fl. oz. and 2 fl. oz versions.
Unless you’ve got a steady hand, using a jigger can get messy.
Measuring Shot Glass
A measuring shot glass has the same purpose as a jigger, except you can measure various quantities using the same glass. It’s basically a small measuring jug.
7. Ice Cube Trays
Unless you’re posh enough to afford an ice machine, you can never have too many ice cube trays.
It’s easiest to wrest ice cubes out of flexible silicone ice cube trays. Old fashioned plastic ice trays tend to cling to their cargo and you’ll end up with cracked or chipped ice a lot of the time.
The larger your ice cubes are, the longer they’ll take to melt so always buy ice cube trays with large compartments. Unless you like watered-down drinks.
You can get ice cube trays to create ice shaped like the best golf balls or in novelty shapes to suit your party theme.
Get The Party Started
Now that you know the basic bar set up, the next step is to find a suitable space in your home and start designing your perfect home bar.
Shop around for a bar counter and shelves or DIY your creation.
Before you know it, your home could become the hottest place for friends to gather all year round.