Seasoned entertainers are not stressed when they have guests, particularly impromptu guests. This is mainly because they always stock their home bar. In addition, they make appetizer ideas in advance to use when required. The word home bar means different things to different people.
Some people see it as a bar cart that can be rolled easily from one room to another, some see it as an actual built-in bar, some like me have an armoire-turned-home-bar while others see a home bar as a kitchen cupboard used to store liquor bottles. Regardless of where you put your home bar, it will make it easy for you to entertain your home guests. Here are tips to help you have a great home bar:
- Always Have A Few Staple Liquors in Your Home Bar
You don’t have to stock your home bar with a wide variety of liquor like that local bar in your neighborhood to have a stocked home bar. A few mixers and key base spirits are enough to entertain your home guests. Apart from the most common spirits, you should consider a few bottles of red and white wine and a sparkling option.
Vodka: Consider trying it in Cranberry-Jalapeno Martinis and Refreshing Cosmopolitans.
Dark rum: Spiked eggnog is a good option for Christmas as it is easy to make and liked by many. Dark rum is good, particularly around the holidays.
Light rum: If you want mojitos, have light rum in your home bar so that you can mix one up any time you wish.
Bourbon: It is essential in beverages such as Cranberry Bourbon and Bourbon Slush
Gin: The traditional Tom Collins which is usually springy can be made wintry by a splash of Campari or grenadine which turns it red.
- Keep an Eye on Your Bar Tools and Glassware
A bar that has been stocked thoughtfully has tools to deal with all types of cocktails regardless of how simple or sophisticated they are. The most common tools include a bar spoon, an ice bucket, jigger (for measuring shots), a muddler, a cocktail strainer, and a cocktail shaker. Wine and beer bottle openers are also important tools that you should have in your home bar.
These tools end up in my kitchen drawers but it is a good idea to store them in your home bar to make it easy for you to access them. Will you be making different types of cocktails? If so, consider having short, tall, and stemmed glasses in your home bar. Basic stemmed glasses are ideal for wine be it red or white wine and are better than 2 separate sets. It is a good idea to take inventory of your glassware. If there are any broken glasses, replace them. Inject a little fun into your barware with a glow in the dark jello shot injector.
- Remember the Mixers and Garnishes
Basic mixing staples like club soda, tonic water, lemon-lime soda and cola, ginger ale and fruit juices offer enough options for many. The number of options you choose to have in your home bar depends on your personal preferences. A cocktail always needs a garnish. A cocktail without garnish is like wearing a nice dress without jewelry as a cocktail looks good with a garnish than without it.
Even though your preferred concoctions will help you choose a garnish for your cocktail, some of the garnishes worth having around include limes, lemons, olives, maraschino cherries, and fresh herbs (basil and mint). Since these items are not long-lasting as liquor, it is a good idea to buy them when shopping for your next party.
- Determine Your Preferred Signature Cocktail
The good thing about having a signature cocktail is that it will get rid of the pressure to play bartender. You can choose a different cocktail for every party or use the same for every party. In fact, choosing your preferred signature cocktail can enable your home guests to make their own drinks and have fun with the garnishes! Besides, it will help you stock the ingredients you need to make a cocktail for your next party.
- Have A Nonalcoholic Version of Your Signature Cocktail
Remember that there may be guests who don’t drink alcohol. As such, it is good to have a nonalcoholic version of your signature cocktail so that these guests will not feel left out. Garnish your nonalcoholic version nicely and label it. Here are the top mocktail ideas that you should consider.
- Splurge on Festive “Extras”
Home bars see the most action at party time. That is why it is a good idea to ensure that your home bar shines. When planning a party try as much as you can to display fun extras like cute beverage napkins, stir sticks, embossed coasters, and toothpicks with flair. (Psst: Use post-holiday sales to your advantage and buy these items more cheaply and display them the following year.)
- Be Creative
Your creativity, when it comes to what you have in your home bar, can make your party more fun. When planning a party, you may be worried that you do not have the right ingredients or flavor combinations. Have fun while making your drinks. Try it. Maybe you can make a cocktail that will become a yearly tradition because it gets people’s taste buds racing.