The perfect drink, served in an elegant glass, has all the power to transform the mundane into something special. Embrace the ritual of pouring a drink for a guest or for yourself, and properly prepare your home bar and keep the good times flowing! Here’s our guide to building your home bar:
First, find your space. Whether you want to build a bar in your home, or want to find the perfect bar cart, dedicating space is important. Contact us and we can help you build your dream bar to fit perfectly into your space. On the other hand, if you’d like to keep it subtle, all you really need is a tray placed on top of another piece of furniture! We can’t forget to mention the bar cart-- this chic piece of furniture is just right, having a relatively smaller footprint while offering up a dedicated station to mix up a drink. It’s much more casual than having to get behind the bar, so your guests can feel free to walk up and pour what they need.
Second, stock up on spirits. Variety is important here-- we’d recommend having a bottle each of vodka, gin, bourbon, tequila, whisky, and rum, with which you’ll be able to potentially make hundreds of different cocktails. Equally important to variety is quality: if a sip of it alone makes your face scrunch up with unpleasantness, it’s probably not going to mix very well into your drink!
Third is tools: there’s a few essentials that you definitely need. A jigger to measure out your liquor, a shaker to combine everything, a bar spoon for stirring, and a strainer if your shaker doesn’t already have one in the lid. A citrus squeezer is also highly recommended: using freshly squeezed juice does make a difference. Vegetable peelers and cocktail picks take your garnishes to the next level for an elegant presentation.
Fourth, choose your mixers wisely. Bitters are an integral part of mixology: high-proof alcohols infused with a mixture of botanicals (think spices, herbs, roots, and fruits), originally used for medicinal reasons. Bitters can be focused around a few main botanical flavors such as El Guapo’s Vanilla Bitters (one of our favorites.) Carbonated mixers like soda water and tonic water are widely used in cocktails, so make sure to have those on deck. For any other mixers, choose a few cocktails to make for the night, and plan accordingly, our go-to’s are El Guapo’s Mojito and Hurricane Mixers. If you need some help choosing, let the experts give you a hand and try our craft cocktail mixers-- made with quality ingredients to simplify your drink situation.
Fifth is your glassware. Each cocktail has an ideal glass shape to be poured into, which will enhance the aromas and help keep the ideal temperature. The following three shapes are the classics: rocks glasses for drinks served over larger ice cubes (on the rocks), cocktail glasses or coupes for drinks without any ice at all, and highball or Collins glasses for drinks with lots of ice. Hot cocktails (such as an Irish coffee or a hot toddy) are best served in Irish coffee glasses, which have a handle so you can hold the drink comfortably-- if you often drink hot cocktails, you’ll want to add them to your collection. A good glassware collection isn’t just functional, but stylish too! Pro tip: if you’re not a huge fan of the label on one of your bottles, transfer the alcohol to a stylish decanter for an elegant look. A crystal decanter with a cut design gives your bar a vintage vibe, while a smooth glass decanter subtly enhances the color of the liquor.
Sixth is snacks-- you can’t just go on drinking all night without a little something to absorb your alcohol! Keep a few options for snacks on hand-- something simple but elevated, such as uniquely flavored roasted nuts, artisan crackers, or one of our favorites: wine chips. These bold chips are packed with cheesy flavors designed to pair with your favorite alcoholic beverages.