A DIY home bar takes more than just a cocktail shaker

A well-stocked bar is an essential item for just about any home. Having your own home bar will make entertaining guests a breeze and will make your home feel more complete and inviting.

However, a DIY home bar takes a bit more effort than just having a cocktail shaker and a few bottles of liquor lying around. In this article we will show you the essential tools and ingredients you need to complete the perfect home bar.

Carts and trays
Bar carts are a stylish and essential item for entertaining at home. Unlike a built-in bar, they also give you the option of trying them out in different areas of your home to find a place that fits. Most bar carts are open and have limited space, so make sure you only put the essentials on it and place other items in your pantry. Otherwise the cart will begin to look cluttered. Alternatively, you can use a bar tray, which offers less space but can be conveniently placed on book shelves, kitchen counters, or anywhere else with a flat, easy-to-reach surface.

Built-in bar
If you have the resources, getting a built-in bar will make your home the envy of the neighbourhood. You will have to choose between a dry bar and a wet bar, the difference being that a wet bar has a sink and a dry bar doesn’t. While a wet bar is certainly more expensive, having a sink makes mixing drinks and cleaning up afterwards easier. A dry bar is, however, an impressive addition to any home, so you shouldn’t feel like you’re missing out just because your bar lacks a sink. When building a bar, choose a style that will work in the corner of the house where it is going. A deep, rich mahogany, for example, may give a bar a great traditional feel, but it could look out of place in a living room that is otherwise light and contemporary.

Tools and glassware
You will need a few basic items to mix and serve your drinks, including a cocktail shaker, jigger, strainer, ice cube tray, muddler, bar spoon, and something to serve your ice in. If you have a built-in bar then a mini-fridge is also a great option. Cocktail umbrellas to add to your drinks may not be essential, but they are an inexpensive way of adding some flair to your drinks. In terms of glassware, you will need at least half a dozen each of stem glasses, short glasses, and long glasses. Martini glasses are also a good choice and they look great on display.

Alcohol
When stocking your bar, focus on the basics first. Have one bottle each of gin, vodka, whiskey, bourbon, tequila, and rum. For mixing, at the very least you should have cointreau, vermouth, and bitters. These are your essential items. Over time you can add more variety. Also, if you are new to the world of mixing, buy a mixology guide to help you out.

A home bar is a great idea whether you want to put on a fantastic party or just need a place to unwind. While some home bars can cost tens of thousands of dollars, you can get started on your own at only a fraction of that price by focusing on the essential ingredients that make up the perfect bar.