It’s Saturday night, after hours, and you have a few friends over. You open up your cupboard, and have mix match pint glasses, coffee mugs, plastic cups, coffee mugs (?). Who the hell drinks out of coffee mugs in this house? – That’s when you realize, it’s time to grow up and make your home bar a great bar.
Here are a few things to start your home bar.
The first item you’ll need, probably the most important part – Liquor.
Buy good bottles, this is for your house, not “house bottles” to save money, you’re not a profiting bar, it’s your own space, so don’t be cruel to yourself, drink the good stuff. The key in the bottles you have is not only that they’re good, but they’re conversation pieces. There’s really no need to have many, but just one of each key category will help you have great conversations and great drinks.
A good gin comes in handy. It may not be the main thing you drink daily, but having a good one on your shelf is important. Pour out with tonic, mix as a martini, your call.
An incredibly fun gin with very complex flavors (47 in all!). Haling from the Black Forest in Germany, the name comes from the number of botanicals that go into this unique gin, and the fact it’s bottled at bedtime-inducing 47% proof. The flavors are robust with woody, spicy, fruity and herby. Pretty much everything a gin can be, plus holds one of the coolest bottles you can purchase, everyone will be asking you to try it.
It is important to try different brands to determine what style of whiskey you like. There’s no rule in this, but if you spend a little money on it, usually means it taste great. Try it neat for yourself, when you’re out and about, try different ones to see what would be a great purchase for your bar. There are many to try out, we’re only listing two that can really make your bar stand out from day 1.
Strathisla 12 year Old Whiskey
The quiet malt in the Chivas Brothers stable, a fruity, sherried dram that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. A favorite of blenders and single-malt connoisseurs alike and for the price, you can’t beat it!
EH Taylor Straight Rye
In the days of former Buffalo Trace Distillery owner Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr., whiskey was bottled, uncut and unfiltered, right from the barrel. This pre-Prohibition method is used today for E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof, a strong, smooth blend with hints of rye. A cooked berry aroma is followed by lightly floral notes and caramel. Coffee, burnt sugar and oak flavors precede an astringent, woody finish.
Like Whiskey, there are killer tequilas on the market. We recommend getting a solid sipping tequila, one that is smooth, yet a great conversation piece. Again, try them out at the bars, see what works for you.
Gran Dovejo Reposado
Although not as pricey as other tequila’s, Gran Dovejo Reposado comes from a long established pedigree. The fine spirit hails from Jalisco, Mexico and is distilled by master Leopoldo Solis Tinoco, one of the most well-respected tequila distillers in the industry. The plants are grown by the Vivanco family, who has been producing top-of-the-line tequilas for five generations. Aged six to nine months in American white oak barrels, this tequila has a smoky bouquet with notes of spice, alongside flavors of creamy vanilla, burnt orange and a bit of toffee. Overall, this reposado is a softer tequila, elegant and sophisticated, but with enough bite and smokiness to turn heads.
Every bar needs good glassware, but your standards of glassware you will need to purchase to get started. Remember, your glassware represent you, so make sure they carry your personality.
Rocks Glasses – These are your statement glasses. Make sure there’s some weight to them.
Martini Glasses – Sleek but fashionable. Look for unique shapes and sleek design.
Wine Glasses – Millions on the market, so be original on your wine glasses. These will get people talking.
Coupe Glasses – Classic and cool to make mixed drinks. Cool coupe glasses could be found in antique shops. We like the idea of repurposing glasses for this style.
Points for extra things in your bar:
Ice Bucket – a cool ice bucket just makes everyone feel special! Trying different materials, be unique and open to unique designs.
Coasters – First rule of tending bar is make sure you lay down the napkin before the drink. If you get some awesome coasters, that’s half the battle. Slate coasters are great looking, but die cut coasters, or branded coasters always keep everyone talking.
Whiskey Stones – they don’t bring much to the table, but they do provide conversation.
Now show us your home bars, let’s hear your recommendations.