Setting up the perfect bar at home

With New Year on the horizon, a party is certainly on our to-do list and how we all wish we can have that home grown bar to entertain our guests and relatives and ahem! Show-off a bit as well :)

Now whether you are a rookie in making cocktails or have just started appreciated spirits or you have been mixing for years, we will help you set up that perfect home bar with all the essentials which will be both beautiful and inspirational.

Let’s start from how to actually arrange a bar followed by the must have essentials such as mixers, bar tools, cocktail books, spirits, glassware and garnishes. Regardless of the space you have at home, setting up a home bar isn’t as daunting as it may seem to be.


Setting up the bar:

Depending on the space you have, here are three ways to setup your bar.

Buy a BAR CART


If you have space, get yourself a Bar Cart. Bar carts define a great dedicated area for mixology and your guests will feel very welcome in walking up and fixing a drink on their own. Be sure to organize your cart neatly and store items used less frequently in your pantry.


Repurpose your CONSOLE TABLE


You can practically transform any console table into a bar by simply topping it with a tray! Arrange your bottles, decanters, and glasses on your tray. Your essential bar tools can be stored in an easy to reach drawer or in a container.


There is always some space in a BOOK CASE :)


Go ahead and create some space in your bookshelf. You would probably need 2-3 shelves for arranging items by category.  For e.g. spirits on one shelf, glasses on another, and so on.

 

Bar Tools:

If you are a rookie bartender you need only a few essential bar tools to develop your skills. Here is our recommendation.

Jigger


Use a jigger to measure the volume of spirits, syrups, and juices you pour into your cocktail shaker.

Corkscrew


Use a corkscrew to open bottles of beer or wine.

Citrus Press


Use a citrus juice press to press fresh lemon or lime juice into your cocktails.

Paring Knife


A paring knife is very handy to cut lemons, limes, and other fresh fruit and vegetables for your cocktails.

Cocktail Shaker


A cocktail shaker is essential to every home bar as it serves as a mixing tin for drinks that only require stirring and for cocktails that require shaking.

The general way to go about using a cocktail shaker is by pouring non-alcoholic ingredients and any herbs, produce, or syrups that need to be added or muddled. Then you'll top with ice and your liquor, and shake until there's condensation on the outside of the shaker.

Barspoon


Use a bar spoon to stir your ingredients together in your glass or a mixing tin.

A Hawthorne Strainer


The Hawthorne strainer, as this is called, features a disc or "rim" with two stabilizing prongs, and on its underside is a metal coil spring that fits snuggly into a mixing tin, filtering the ice out. Traditionally, this is used with a mixing tin, rather than a glass.

A Muddler


A muddler is a long handle wooden pestle-like tool used to mash or "muddle" herbs and fruits together with simple syrups and citrus juices to combine the flavors together.


Helpful Books (easily available on online shopping sites)


Cocktails & Dreams: The Ultimate Indian Cocktail Book 1st Edition
Difford*s Encyclopedia of Cocktails: 2600 Recipes
The Essential Bar Book: An A-to-Z Guide to Spirits, Cocktails, and Wine, with 115 Recipes for the World's Great Drinks


Foundation Spirits


You can actually go about by first choosing spirits you really enjoy.  As you start appreciating the art of making cocktails, your interest and palate for other spirits will grow.

We also don’t recommend stocking up everything at once as premium spirits are expensive. All you need in the beginning is one signature cocktail to impress your guests. You can add to your collection of liqueurs and mixers over time.

Most of the classic and popular cocktails require very few spirits. Here are the basics you can begin with:

White Rum
For daiquiris and mojitos.

Gin
For martinis, gin and tonics, Tom Collins.

Bourbon
For Manhattans, old fashioned, and whiskey sours.

Vodka
For vodka tonics, screwdrivers, and the vodka martini.

Tequila
For margaritas


Glassware

Lowball Glass


Lowball Glass are ideal for serving whisky on the rocks and mixed drinks that are "built" in the glass (i.e. not made in a shaker).

Highball Glasses


Highball glasses are used for drinks that are cold and refreshing with a lot of ice such as a gimlet, a gin and tonic, or a Dark 'n' Stormy, Mojito.

Cocktail Stems or Coupes



The cocktail glass, stem glass, or coupe can be used instead of a martini glass as it suits more varieties of cocktails and doesn't spill as easily! You can use this type of glass for any cocktail that has been shaken or stirred but doesn't have ice, such as a martini, a Manhattan or a daiquiri. The advantage of the stem is it keeps your hands away from the bowl of the glass, so they don't warm the glass.

Champagne Flutes


As the name suggests Champagne flutes should be used with Champagne or any type of Champagne cocktail.

Wine Glasses


It's nice to own a collection of red wine glasses and white wine glasses, but for your everyday use, any type will do.

 

Mixers


As you learn to make new cocktails, the list of mixers in your collection will gradually expand.
But here is the list of mixers to generally begin with.

Soda water, Ginger beer
Fresh juice, such as orange or grapefruit

Cointreau
A bar essential -- clean, full of natural orange flavor, and not too sweet.

Red Vermouth
For Manhattans.

White Vermouth
Essential for truly sublime martinis.

Bitters
Bitters are used not to make the drink taste bitter but to help other flavors blend.


Garnishes


Lime which is always there in an Indian kitchen is very essential to many classic and favorite recipes. Alternatively you can buy bottled fresh lemon juice. Sugar cubes, or fine white sugar, mint are all very useful ingredients again readily available in Indian kitchens. If you like martinis or Bloody Marys, cocktail olives, salt, pepper, and hot sauce such as Tabasco and Worcestershire can also be essential.

As we promised the task of setting up a home grown bar is not as daunting as it seems. Now that you are ready, shake or stir up some of the all time favorite cocktail recipes.

Comments

  1. Awesome info, all in one place! thanks guys!

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