For those who are just getting into mixology, creating a home bar for the first time can seem daunting. But there is no need for intimidation. After all, making and drinking cocktails ought to be fun. The key is to keep it simple by investing in only the essentials at first.
There is no way of getting around the need for a sturdy surface to craft your cocktails on, and plenty of storage space for all your spirits, tools, and glassware. You can certainly purchase a dedicated bar or liquor cabinet, but when you are just starting off, it may make more sense to buy a multiple-use piece like a server.
The Bar Tools
You can spend a fortune on buying bar tools and still feel you are missing a lot of gadgets. Or you can get just the basics and add to your toolbox as you gain bartending skills. Most amateur barmen opt for the second option. At the very least, all home bars will need a bar spoon, a mixing glass, a Boston shaker, a jigger with an ounce and a half and a three-quarters ounce measurements, a Hawthorne strainer, a muddler, a hand juicer, and a cutting board with a knife. Don’t forget an ice bucket and tongs if you plan on making multiple drinks at a time.
The Drink Ingredients
It is easy to go overboard with stocking up on alcohol and mixers. Most people will find a bottle of vodka, gin, light rum, dark rum, and a whiskey is plenty of spirits to get started. Stock up on orange juice, tonic water, cola, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, sour mix, simple syrup along with limes and lemons. Don’t forget any additional ingredients for your top-three must-have personal favorites.
Unless you are trying to impress your guests, you only need four of each of the following glasses: Old-fashioned, Collins, and coupe glasses. Wine drinkers will want to ensure they have glasses for white and red wine, and beer drinkers will want to purchase pint glasses.
Don’t let your limited bar from serving up fun, as long as you do it responsibly.