While some might think a home bar belongs in a Fraternity house and not a family home with a white picket fence, the fact is no home is truly complete without one. While you might be hard pressed to impress your friends with a few pieces of plywood with a kegerator, a more modest bar can be the highlight of your next event and give your guests something to talk about on their way home. If a water cooler can get your office coworkers to make small talk, a fully stocked bar is sure to start a tidal wave of lively conversation.
You might be thinking “Where do I start? What kind of bar is right for my home? Should I get something to hold just a few bottles of wine, or do I want to serve elaborate cocktails?” This decision is certainly more fun than picking what shade of Eggshell to paint your walls. Choosing the right bar for your home is an investment in a lifestyle that will bring a level of elegance unlike anything else. Bar none.
BARdon me, there –
If a grand setup is more than your living room can handle, a more compact model might be for you. When you’re short on space, or want the flexibility to bring the party wherever you may go, a compact and portable model might be the way to go.
With a sleek briefcase-style guaranteed to make your guests grin more than Vincent and Jules, the J56 lets you bring the party to any room in the house with its matching mahogany stand. With room for your favorite cocktail and a sleek leatherbound ice bucket, you can rest assured your guests will never be too far away from a cool drink.
Shake and Bake –
For those looking for a stationary bar to headline their furniture lineup, the J55 might be more your style. This bar’s double decker design is perfect for snacks and glassware on the bottom and a full array of bottles on top, leaving room in the base for a wine fridge, assuring you will never run out of drink options with this beauty. I’ll take my martini shaken, not stirred.
Step Right Up –
If by now you’re sold on the home bar lifestyle, the J36 will do the job. Despite its size, this piece can fit right against the wall and blend into the woodwork on more inauspicious nights, or open up to become the focus of the room.
The copious drawer space in the J36 gives you more than enough wiggle room to fit your favorite Margarita blender or coffee maker so all your favorite drinks are never out of reach.
Stocking Your Bar –
When it comes to stocking a bar of this style, keep it simple. Nobody’s going to be asking for a Caribou Lou or Tokyo Tea here. A few nice bottles of wine and a few spirits will go further than you might think. When stocking your liquors, keep it modest and stick to the six essentials:
For liqueurs, they’re a great way to tailor your cocktail menu to your circle’s favorites.
If your sister likes a mean Margarita, a bottle of Triple Sec will get you far. If your brother Jim likes a stiff White Russian, don’t skip out on the Kahlua. Cousin Mike likes a straight up Manhattan? Well then Bitters and Vermouth are your best friends. Stock your garnishes and mixers appropriately to the same tastes.
Last, be mindful of economizing your glasses. While you might think it would dazzle your guests to have a wide array of chalices to display in your arsenal, it can be quite embarrassing to run out of Collins glasses while serving a party of four and serve your last couple of Gin and Tonics out of martini glasses.
With so many glass options out there, it can be hard to choose which ones to stock at your bar, but we’ve found that the majority of standard drinks can be served out of one of the following glasses:
- Highball/Collins Glass
- Rocks Glass
- Standard Wine Glass
- Martini Glass
Typically stocking four to six of each of these glasses will fit your needs and fill your shelves, but If you find yourself with a little extra room in your cupboard, having some special-occasion shot glasses on hand can make for a fun night, if that suits your fancy.
Get Ready to Party –
Over and above all, you know the kind of bartender you are, and you know what makes your parties hit or miss. A home bar might be a great way to draw them in, but your style keeps them there.