A home bar is a focal point when you’re entertaining, and it can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. There are some basic tools you’ll need to get started, and you’ll need a few good recipes and a little bit of an adventurous spirit. Invite some willing friends over to help you practice and hone your skills, and soon, you’ll be showing off your bartending prowess with the best of them!
Liquors, wines and beers. Bourbon, scotch, brandy, vodka, gin and rum are the basic liquors you’ll want to have on hand. The non-flavored liquors are the most versatile; you can always add those with flavorings as you choose. You don’t always need to stock all top-shelf liquors, but you probably will want to stock the more popular brands. When it comes to liqueurs, start off with some Schnapps, perhaps a coffee liqueur, and let your own taste be your guide. You can always start small with liqueurs and keep adding until you have a nice selection. Mixers to have on hand begin with soft drinks, ginger ale, club soda and you can keep single serving sizes of fruit juices and mixers. Then of course, ice and water.
Basic wines to have on hand would be a couple reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, some whites like PInot Grigio and a sweeter Riesling, and White Zinfandel tends to be popular. Add your favorites, and experiment once in a while with a new wine, as recommended by reliable sources.
Keep one or two popular brands of domestic beer on hand, along with a couple six packs of medium to dark ales. And again, you can always add more to your collection, in time.
Go all out and splurge on your glassware. The glassware they’re served in is what will really make the difference in the drinks you mix. Have fun selecting styles from fun and funky to sleek and sophisticated. It’s good to have a little of both. Get wine charms...they make great conversation pieces. Then come the napkins...the same goes for these. Pick a fun yet sophisticated theme.
It’s your bar, your way. Create the ambience you most prefer, then invite some friends over, and begin the party. Enjoy your new avocation as bartender...soon you’ll be a pro!