You’ve got your own home. You’ve got a stable job. The next step in the path to adulthood and success is to have a well-stocked home bar. And “well-stocked” doesn’t just mean liquor. It also means having the right bar accessories.
There are a lot of home bar accessories on the market and some of them you can easily skip while others are essential. Learning to tell the difference can be difficult for someone who is just starting to build their home bar.
A bar accessories set is a great way to get the basics covered easily. But you should still know, piece by piece, what you are buying and why. This guide will discuss everything you need to know from which of those cool bar accessories you should buy to which liquors you absolutely need to be stocking.
Here are the basics for putting together your first home bar:
A “bar” for the home doesn’t need to be as large or elaborate as a bar at an actual, well, bar. It can simply be a small, neat cabinet. The important thing is to have an enclosed section where you can store your liquor in a cool, dark place so that it keeps for a long time.
It should also have a decent amount of room on top for preparing drinks and if you want a totally self-contained bar, it should also have space for storing your other bar accessories.
Tumblers are the serving vessel of choice for many liquors—especially scotch. If you are going to invest in a full home bar, you shouldn’t be serving your drinks in coffee mugs and big gulps.
These are an essential to making sure your home bar feels and looks complete. Short tumblers are fairly standard for many cocktails and drinks that are served on the rocks. There are a surprisingly wide range of different kinds of glassware to completely stock your bar but for starters, you can get away with just having a nice set of tumblers.
Decanters are glass bottles. At first, you might think “but my liquor already comes in a glass bottle. What’s the point?” The point is this: decanting an alcohol oxidizes it. For alcohol, this is desired.
This is why you let your wine “breathe” before drinking or, at least, why you know you should be letting your wine breathe. It opens up and brings out the many complex nuances of a good alcohol. You should pour your liquor into decanters as soon as you get them home. The longer they breathe, the better they get.
Sphere ice molds are an essential. It’s not just that a sphere ice cube looks cooler, it literally is cooler. Their shape makes them melt at a slower pace so that you get all the chilling effect of ice without the wateriness that dilutes the flavor.
It has a much more aesthetic look and it’s more effective at doing its job. What more could you ask for?
This is a fairly common bar tool that is used like a pestle to mash up (or, you might say, “muddle”) your fruits and herbs in a cocktail. Muddling is a very different process to chopping or leaving the ingredients undisturbed and imparts a very unique flavor and aroma to the cocktail.
So if you want to take your cocktails from “meh” to “wow!” this is an accessory you cannot do without.
This is that silver container used to shake together the ingredients for a cocktail. Unless you only intend to serve your liquor neat, you’ll need one for making cocktails.
Often called a shot glass, this is a regulation sized measuring cup for measuring liquor. You need one to make well-balanced drinks. Even if you aren’t too picky about perfect proportions, it’s good to have on hand just in case.
This is just a bare essential even if you don’t own a bar at home. And when we say bottle opener, we mean both corkscrew and cap opener. Even if your bar is mainly for liquor with bottles that can be opened by hand, you will likely need to open wine or beer at some point.
And it will look pretty strange if you have a fully stocked bar but you can’t open a bottle of wine.
A classic home bar should always have these essential ingredients on hand so that you are ready to prepare any drink your guests (or you) want:
These are the bar essentials to have a well-stocked bar. You should, of course, also add in your favorites. If you are a tequila drinker, keep a bottle of your favorite brand on hand at all times. If whiskeys are your passion, you will likely find it shameful to have just one kind of whiskey stocked.
So use this list as a basic starter guide and then customize it to suit your own home bar.
With the right accessories and a great collection of liquor to compete your home bar, you’ll be the best and classiest host among your friends. It’s the best way to make your home feel more put together and complete.