We are going to show you how to create the perfect home bar. With the national shutdowns of bars and restaurants likely to continue for the foreseeable future, it is worth it to invest in your own home bar. We’re here to help you navigate through the process and outfit yourself with the perfect equipment.
Alcohol | What You Need To Create The Perfect Home Bar
It’s imperative that you stock your home bar with a variety of alcohol so that you won’t be limited in your cocktail creations.
Having a strong foundation of alcohol to build upon will help make your bar feel complete and ready for at-home entertaining. These are the alcohols that make up the base of most cocktails and should be found in any home bar.
Vodka is one of the most popular spirits in the country, especially among young people, due to its relative lack of flavor which allows for it to be mixed with basically anything.
The uses of vodka range from a simple mixer with orange or cranberry juice to a more refined cocktail like a Moscow Mule or White Russian. Whatever you use your vodka for, it is a necessity when you are trying to create the perfect home bar. Here are 27 vodka cocktail recipes to get you started!
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Tequila is another wildly popular spirit across the country known for its versatility and guarantee for a good time. Everyone has heard some crazy story that begins with a shot of tequila, but if you’re looking to class up your drinking habits a bit, there are plenty of cocktails that incorporate tequila and are also delicious.
While the margarita is undoubtedly the most famous tequila cocktail, the Paloma, the tequila sunrise, and the tequila sour are all delicious and refreshing tequila-based cocktails.
It's worth taking a few minutes to understand the difference between tequila and mezcal. You may want to have both on hand if you like the smokey flavors in mezcal. Remember, you want to create the perfect home bar to suit your tastes. Make sure the liquors you choose meet your personal standards.
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The ultimate home bar most have a good bottle of gin. Gin pairs really well with bright, citrusy flavors and it is perfect for the summer. The addition of gin and a little lime juice to soda water (a gin rickey) is a wonderfully refreshing summer cocktail, but you can also experiment with some really fun flavor combinations with gin.
Negronis are perfect for anyone who enjoys a bitter and herby cocktail, brambles incorporate sweet blackberry and citrusy lemon flavor to create a perfect spring cocktail. For anyone feeling adventurous, the sloe gin fizz incorporates egg white into the cocktail to create a fun frothy head on this classic.
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Whiskey has a number of varieties which make this spirit an exciting one to have in your home bar.
Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, Irish whiskey are the most common varieties of whiskey and can be used to make tons of cocktails. If you have a preference for one of these varieties then stock your bar with that variety, but it won’t hurt to have some other varieties in stock for when your friends can safely come over for a drink. To create the perfect home bar, we suggest you have at least one solid bottle of bourbon and one nice bottle of scotch.
Popular whiskey cocktails include the manhattan, the whiskey sour, the old fashioned, and the mint julep.
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It's always a good idea to have a nice bottle of rye. Click here to find a good one.
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Rum is another incredibly versatile spirit that pairs expertly with fruit, ginger, and mint. Whether you prefer light or dark rum- which has a slightly bolder flavor along with its darker hue- rum is a perfect spirit for summer. It can be paired simply with Coke and lime juice for a Cuba Libre or can take a fruity turn in piña coladas, hurricanes, and strawberry daiquiris.
If you’re looking for a fun wintry rum cocktail, try the hot buttered rum which consists of sugar, hot water, rum, a pad of butter, and a light sprinkling of nutmeg on top.
A Step Up
If you want to step your home bar up a notch, you need to expand past your basic liquors. Incorporating other components such as flavored liqueurs and less popular liquors will really round out your bar.
Next, we move on to some liquors that will separate an ordinary home bar from a perfect home bar. Campari is a red, bittersweet liqueur which can be used in negronis, americanos, and a Campari spritz.
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Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur that can be added to a variety of cocktails for a sweet, nutty flavor.
Another key mixer is vermouth. You need to think about the most popular cocktails when you are creating the perfect home bar. There are two categories of vermouth:
Sweet vermouth is used in manhattans, negronis, and the martinez. Dry vermouth is used in martinis as well as variations of other cocktails such as a dry manhattan. These fortified wines add a nice herbaceousness to any cocktail or can be drunk straight.
Another great mixer to have in your arsenal is Triple sec. This is an orange liqueur that can be used in tons of cocktails, ranging from margaritas to sidecars to cosmopolitans.
Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that can be used to make white russians, espresso martinis, or any other coffee-flavored cocktail.
St-Germain is an elderflower liqueur that can bring lovely floral notes to any cocktail. Splash it in a glass of champagne to add a sweet, floral twist to your glass of bubbly.
Brandy is a form of distilled wine that is frequently drunk straight as a digestif. Cognac and Armagnac are two of the most popular forms of brandy.
Absinthe is an anise-flavored liquor surrounded by folklore and mystery. This spirit is high in alcohol content and can be enjoyed using an absinthe drip or used as an aromatic in various cocktails.
It is imperative that you have all of the necessary tools to outfit your home bar. There are tons of bar kits available online that usually contain all of the essentials, but it can be fun to find individual pieces to add to your bar. For example, this shaker glass has cocktail directions on the side for a seamless bar experience.
The Cocktail Glasses You Need For A Home Bar
If you want to create the perfect home bar, it is important that you have the right glasses for the drinks that you’re going to be mixing. There are dozens of glasses needed in professional bars, but if you’re not trying to break the bank, there are a handful of glasses that work for many cocktails.
The highball glass can be used to serve most mixed drinks in a pinch. They are longer than an old fashioned glass but shorter than a Collins glass.
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An old fashioned glass is perfect for serving spirits straight or on the rocks. They are relatively short and have a heavy base which allows for easy muddling.
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Martini glasses have a long stem and wide mouth, allowing the drinker to appreciate the aromas of their drink and also keep their warm hands away from their cocktail.
Margarita glasses are used almost exclusively for margaritas, making them somewhat impractical to stock your bar with. However, you never know when a day is going to call for some margaritas, and then you will be glad that you have these glasses.
Flutes are perfect for serving bubbly drinks and are the perfect glasses to break out on special occasions.
Hurricane glasses are known for serving hurricane cocktails, but they can also be used to serve other mixed drinks as well as beer.