Tips for owning a home bar
Step 1 — Get all the bottles in stock
It’s easy to get all the bottles you need with one trip to the store. Here’s the selection that will satisfy almost any casual drink order. This is your recipe for entertaining…
- Start with big 750 mL bottles of the standard liquors: Bourbon, brandy, rum, scotch, Canadian whisky, dry gin, tequila and vodka.
- Next, go with 375 mL bottles of the liqueurs: Triple sec, crème de menthe, amaretto, Drambuie, Kahlua, crème de cacao, Benedictine, Cointreau.
- You’ll also want sweet and dry vermouth, a few different types of beer, a couple bottles of wine (red/white/rose), and a bottle of champagne for spontaneous celebrations.
If you’re a specialist – a scotch connoisseur for example – you can disregard the above and go with your own personal taste. There’s nothing wrong with a home bar that has 31 bottles of scotch and one bottle of Jack.
Step 2 — Get your mixers
This list could go on and on, but there’s an easy way to stock your bar. Go to the mixer aisle of your grocery store and buy one bottle of everything.
- Carbonated mixers: Coke, ginger ale, club soda, tonic water, lemon-lime soda, Red Bull and seltzer.
- Juice mixers: Cranberry, OJ, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon juice, lime juice, and tomato juice.
- Cream mixers: Milk, light cream, cream of coconut, and piña colada mix.
- Other mixers: Coffee, spring water, Kool-Aid.
Step 3 — Make sure you have ice
If you don’t have ice, your party will grind to a halt.
Whether you go with an ice machine or lots of trays in your freezer, your bar needs to be stocked with ice. Or maybe you just want to buy it in bags from those coolers in front of the convenience store.
Ice is a versatile ingredient – you can use it to chill a glass, shave it, crush it, blend it, or just throw it in old-school style.
Step 4 — Put it all in the right glass and garnish it
Having the right glass is crucial. Who wants a martini in a rocks glass? A beer in a martini glass? Glasses have been perfected over the years to actually make the drink taste better.
Garnishes give your drink that last touch of authenticity. Olives, lemons, cherries, celery sticks, salt, pepper, whipped cream…
More to come next month…
So there’s the intro class. Next time we’ll talk about how to pick the right bar for your style of entertaining.
In the meantime, visit us at our showroom and we’ll answer all of your questions about owning a bar. We’re located one mile north of Route 22 in the Lehigh Valley. Take the exit for Route 191 N or set your GPS for 224 Nazareth Pike, Bethlehem, PA. Or, give us a call at 610-614-1617.
See you soon!