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Beginners Guide to Setting up Your Home Bar

Beginners Guide to Setting up Your Home Bar

A home bar is one thing every adult should have. So whether your preference is cocktails or mocktails, it can be nice to mix up a drink after work or to have something on hand while you entertain. Not to mention, a home bar adds a fun twist of style and design to elevate any space.
 
Whether you’re just learning to make cocktails or you're a veteran behind the bar we want to show you how to set up a space that not only has all the essential tools, but is beautiful and inspires you to create and try new things.


Set the Stage

The good news is you don't need to borrow your neighbours woodworking tools to create an epic home bar, but having something chic to stock your supplies is a great idea. Whether you have room for a single tray or a built-in bar, these home bar ideas will get your imagination going and prove becoming your own bartender isn't as daunting as it may seem.

Convert a Closet
There are a myriad of under-utilized closets out there just waiting to be transformed into something beautiful. Why not revamp yours into a swank little space to mix up some libations. Remove the closet door, line the back of the closet in funky wallpaper, grab some mirrored trays, and display your barware for a trendy and functional space.

Buy a Bar Cart
Nothing says ‘adulting’ quite like having a bar cart on display. From gold to rattan, bar carts can add a touch of “Je Ne Sais Quoi” to any space.  Not to mention, investing in bar cart makes the perfect excuse to go buy a few nice bottles of booze to add to your collection. Look here for tips on how to style your bar cart.
 
Side Table
Don’t want to break the bank? Any side or console table can quickly become a bar with the proper layout. Display some of your best cocktail glassware, a stylish shaker and select bottles of your favourite spirits.


Select your Bar Tools

The first step to making a great cocktail is having the right set of tools. Cocktail creation is an art and just like an artist needs a paint brush, a mixologist needs a shaker. It may look daunting, but you don't need to own everything the most impressive bartender has to make a killer cocktail. Start small and add more as your passion increases.

Let's go through the 5 basic bar tools that will allow you a lot of creative freedom and have you crafting mouth-watering cocktails that will have your friends confusing your living room for their favourite lounge.

Shaker
A cocktail shaker will be your most-used bar tool when it comes to creating mixed drinks. A cobbler shaker, also known as a Manhattan or three-piece shaker, is a go-to shaker for home bars. It’s an all-in-one solution that features a tapered tin, a lid with a built-in strainer, and a cover that doubles at a 1 ounce jigger to close the strainer.
 
If you have experience mixing drinks and are looking for something a little more advanced, you may prefer a set of
boston shaker tins. Shaker tins tend to hold a larger volume than most cobbler shakers and can help reach cold temperatures quicker, reducing dilution. 
 
Jigger
Budding mixologists and experts alike need something to measure out their ingredients. We recommend choosing a jigger that has all of the precise markings. No guessing required, so you can measure the perfect portions every time.
 
Hawthorne Strainer
Most cocktails require fine straining to avoid ice, pulps and other tidbits from getting in the drink. A Hawthorne strainer fits shakers and mixing glasses perfectly, thanks to a tight steel coil on the outside and creates a smooth pouring experience. 
 
Bar Spoon
Stirring is one way to mix a cocktail and a bar spoon is not your average spoon. The long-twisted handle of a bar spoon makes it easy to stir in a smooth circular motion to get just the right dilution without breaking down the ice. While the spiral allows you to create layered cocktails that are visually appealing.
 
Juicer
A citrus juicer is a mainstay for any bar. The use of fresh juice has revolutionized cocktails, making all the difference in terms of taste and quality. We recommend going with a hand juicer that will fit both a lime and a lemon. Nothing beats freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice in your drinks. 
 
If you want a uniform look to your cocktail set-up,
invest in a bar set rather than picking and choosing from different collections. Not to mention, bar tools make an excellent present! Wrap up a cocktail shaker, a set of glassware and a pre-made cocktail kit and you've created the perfect gift and an entertaining evening. 

 
Select your Glassware

When it comes to cocktail glassware, the choice is vast and the variety endless. The proper glass can enhance your cocktail and elevate your drinking experience. The good news is, buying cocktail glassware doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.  Most bartenders use just 4 types of glasses to make 90% of their drinks.
 
Rocks and Double Rocks
If you prefer to drink your spirits neat or on the rocks, get a set of rock glasses, also called Old Fashioned tumblers. These are low ball glasses that are usually used for stirred spirit-forward drinks like a Negroni, Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Double rocks glasses tend to be more versatile holding 12–14 oz while a single rock glass generally holds 8-10 oz of liquid. 
 
Coupe
These glasses are stemmed, to prevent your hand from warming the cocktail, with a broad, shallow saucer. Coupe glasses are typically used for cocktails that are shaken and stirred until chilled and served without ice like a side car or an aviation.
 
Nick and Nora
Theses glasses are also stemmed, similar to a coupe glass, but with a bell shaped saucer that shape resembles a small wine glass. Nick and Nora glasses tend to hold slightly less volume than a coupe (4-5 oz) and are perfect for cocktails that inspires small and elegant sips. 
 
Highball
Highballs are tall and slender glasses used for long drinks that contain a larger proportion of non-alcoholic mixer such as tonic or soda. Perfect for a G&T and other fizzy cocktails, this glass shape helps to keep drinks cold and to preserve carbonation.
For the full 101 on cocktail glasses check out the selection listed here.

 
Pick your Poison

No amount of beautiful barware and crystal glasses will make up for a bar that isn't stocked. Start with your favourite cocktail, learn to make it perfectly, and branch out from there.

Not sure whether you have a preference yet? Here are five spirit staples that taste great in a spirit or on their own:
Test your cocktail skills on friends by asking them what drink they'd like you to learn for your next get-together. 

 
Mixers, Syrups, and Bitters Are Your Friends

Fresh citrus, syrups and bitters are the key to creating a mouth-watering cocktail. Traditionally, cocktail ingredients included spirits, sugar, water and bitters.  This definition later evolved throughout the 1800s, to include the addition of a liqueur.
 
With an endless variety of syrups and bitters available, sour, sweet, savoury, spirit forward, easy drinking there is a cocktail out there for you. 
 
Not sure where to start? There are countless
mixology books that will take you on a journey into the history of craft cocktails, showcase classic and adventurous recipe guides and make for a stunning coffee table book.
 
But if this still feels a little daunting, no worries, Cocktail.Club is here to be your cocktail guru. Consider us your spirit guide. Whether you’re a veteran or just looking to get started, our menus have something everyone can raise a glass to. With recipes crafted by an award-winning mixologist, we will provide you with the fresh citrus, syrups, bitters and garnish to create a professional level cocktail from the comfort of your home. All you need to provide is the spirit. 
 
But watch-out. Becoming a master behind the bar might result in your place becoming the new hot spot in town.
 
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