How To Set Up a Home Bar

full barI have always loved to be prepared for visitors. I like to have something cool to offer when people come over. Having a fully stocked bar isn’t something most people do at home, and maybe that’s why I think it’s so fun. Plus, you know, I like drinking 🙂

This is what my bar looks like. I couldn’t find an actual bar that I really liked, plus they all looked kind of lame and didn’t fit in our great room. I had been begging for one for ages, and J and I finally agreed on this sideboard from Dania. It works well because I just keep everything on top, and use the cabinets for extra dishes and cookbooks. However, you can use anything. In my old studio apartment I used a cool wine rack/cart (similar) that I got off craigslist for $20. You could also use a shelf in your kitchen, the counter top, and old dresser- anything!

starting a barWhen you’re starting out, just go basic. Liquor and supplies are really expensive! I drank cheap liquor until I was about 25, and then I started feeling really hungover from it. Apparently when you get old you need that extra filtering! If you’re young, you can probably get away with it 🙂

This is a basic starter kit idea. You’ll need glasses of some sort. I’ve seen cool glasses at the Dollar Store for $.50 each. The most important are rocks glasses, shot glasses, and martini glasses (add wine glasses if you drink wine). I added a shaker because they are so useful for so many drinks, a wine/bottle opener for obvious reasons, and straws. Having straws takes your drinks up a notch!

Pictured here are vodka, light rum, whiskey, and a specialty liquour. Start with what you like to drink, and then expand by watching what your friends drink or what looks cool on drink menus. With vodka, rum, and whiskey you can make a lot of stuff. A specialty liquour just makes things more fun. You can get fruity flavored things like peach schnapps, or something creamy like Bailey’s Irish Cream (I personally buy cheaper Irish cream because I think they all taste the same).

Let me know if you decide to stock your bar! It’s also a really cool idea to have a “stock the bar” housewarming party. Just have everyone bring their favorite bottle and mixer, then you keep what’s left over. Happy mixing!

What’s your favorite cocktail recipe?

Jillian