Food and Drink

How to Set Up and Stock Up Your Own Home Bar

home bar
What’s better than getting all your friends together for a night on the town to unwind from the workweek? Hosting everyone at your place!

Being the host doesn’t always have to be a big deal. All you need is a bit of food and some drinks to go around, as well as good company, of course.

To make hosting even easier, stop going to the grocery store every time you want to have people over. Instead, stock your fridge with a few go-to party foods and set up a home bar.

Having a bar at your house makes everything from casual get-togethers to big barbecues much easier. You just have to set up your bar in a way that makes the most sense for your home and entertainment style.

Here’s a breakdown of all the basics to make this happen.

Finding a Place for Your Home Bar

To get the most out of your bar, you’ve got to put it where it makes the most sense. Consider whether you want this to be a communal area for everyone to gather or more of a place to prepare drinks and then bring them out to your guests.

To help you decide, think of your home’s set up and all the places you may be able to add a home bar.

Inside Options

The kitchen or the living room are the most common places in which to put a bar.

In the kitchen, you’re able to set it up for yourself or as a way of getting people together. This depends on how big this room already is and other things you may have in there.

For example, your home bar can be as simple as a liquor cabinet that is right next to the kitchen island. You can turn the island into an entertaining area for guests, then use it as normal when you’re not hosting.

Or, set up a full bar in your living room. If you have multiple living rooms, choose the one that is most likely to have all your guests gathered together.

Outside Hosting Fun

Instead of putting your bar inside, you may opt to take the party outside.

The best way to do this is to set up a bar where your grill is. This is kind of like the kitchen approach inside – it puts all the entertainment items in one place so your guests don’t have to go searching for everything.

You can also put a home bar by the fireplace, on the patio, or even in your pool! This is entirely up to you, but remember, where you put the bar will determine which area of the home most of your future hosting events will take place.

Choosing the Liquor

Finding a place for your new bar is actually the easy part. Things get a little more complicated when you have to decide what kind of liquor to stock it with.

Of course, make sure you have all of your favorites. But, be considerate of your friends and family if you know they like drinks that are different from your go-tos.

You should have all the basics to entertain every classic whiskey-lover, tequila-shooter, and cocktail-maker in your close circle. As a general rule of thumb, it’s not bad to have a few bottles of wine and some beer handy, too.

Glasses and Drinkware

While you’re making a list of all the liquor you need, don’t forget all the proper accompaniments. If you only ever drink your favorite drink, this may be unfamiliar territory.

Not to worry, though, there are some simple mixers that can never go wrong. These include:

  • limes
  • classic sodas – Coke, Sprite, Ginger Ale
  • water bottles – flat and sparkling
  • salt
  • a few fruit juices – cranberry, orange, and/or lemonade

If you really want to make a fancy home bar, grab a jar of olives or some hot sauce and maybe some Bloody Mary mix or Margarita mix. This ensures you’re prepared to make everything from a classic cocktail to a round of fun drinks for everyone.

Keep in mind that different drinks should be served in different glasses, too.

There’s the classic drinkware for wine and beer, as well as short glasses for things like whiskey, ryes, and bourbon. Have a few taller ones handy for vodka and tequila. For cocktails and margaritas, get wide-rimmed tall glasses.

Bar Tools and Snacks

Speaking of making drinks, you need the right tools to mix everything together!

Your home bar should be fully-stocked with everything from wine and beer openers to cocktail shakers, drink sticks to mix with, and glass identifiers for every guest to claim their drink.

You can take this a step further with things like decanters and special ice cubes.

Make sure you have a place to put everything, though! Between the liquor, the accompaniments, and all the drinkware, the space in your home bar will quickly fill up.

Not to mention the room you’ll need for a mini fridge to fit and some sort of ice bucket – or a taller fridge with an ice maker. If you still have room after all of this is accounted for, get a few classic bar snacks.

Some great bar snacks to get are:

  • nut mixes
  • chips
  • pretzels
  • dried fruit

Keep a few bowls handy for these so that you don’t end up mixing your bar dishes with your regular kitchen items. It’s also a good idea to have basic items like napkins and coasters.

Everything should have a place. The better you organize your home bar, the easier it will be to run the show or to let your friends and family have at it when you host.

How to Get the Ultimate Home Bar: Make Every Detail Count

From where you put your bar to everything you buy to stock it up with and how you set it all up, every detail matters. The more you’re aware of these things as you shop and set up, the better it will all come out.

If you find you still have room on your bar for more, don’t be afraid to get a few top-shelf liquors as well as your go-tos. Maybe, invest in special containers for some spirits, like whiskey barrels or flavor essence kits to create your own signature blend.

For details on these things and more, click here.

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