Home Bar Essentials
There are some things a home bar just needs to have. These are referred to as your “home bar essentials.” Although in theory you could entertain without having all of these items, you won’t be able to provide yourself or others with the expected experience, resulting in more disappointment than joy being created. Don’t be the bar that causes people to frown. Put smiles on faces by having these essentials.
This measures ounces of alcohol. Some cocktails want 1.5 ounces of alcohol, while others want just 1 ounce. Having a jigger that measures both for you is a lot easier than dealing with using a tablespoon. The best cocktails come from precision – not estimation.
The Cocktail Shaker
Not every cocktail should be shaken, but many do have this need. The best shakers have a metal bottom and a metal lid. Look for one that has a strainer to remove pulp and other items from the cocktail for the best results.
You can pick up a good manual corkscrew for under $10 today. For a little added fun, invest in an electric corkscrew that can help you open up any bottle of wine in style.
A Bottle Opener
You might be able to twist off the top of a beer bottle. Sometimes your guests might not be able to do so. Instead of having them use your home bar as an opening tool, just use an opener instead and give them a bottle that’s ready to drink.
You and your guests are going to make messes from time to time at your home bar. You might have a few snacks that get stuck in the teeth as well. There should always be cocktail napkins and toothpicks available to control the mess. The napkins also prevent condensation damage to the bar, while the toothpicks can put garnishes into drinks.
Martini and Wine Glasses
Many liquors and cocktails can be enjoyed from an all-purpose stemless glass. Two exceptions to this are martinis and wine. Martinis are served in the triangle-shaped glass for two reasons: the flavor mixes better and it keeps the garnish in place more effectively. Wine is served in glasses based on the type of wine it is [red, white, etc] to enhance the other senses while enjoying the flavor with each sip.
Lemons and limes are pretty standard fare at the home bar. Don’t forget about the salt – kosher salt works, but consider using pink Himalayan small rock salt as an alternative. Cherries and olives are also good items to have in stock. As for the pickled eggs – we’ll leave that up to you.
The Cutting Essentials
Are you going to give someone an entire lemon as a garnish? Of course not. You’re going to give them a small wedge. Having a cutting board at your home bar with a paring knife can help to make this happen. A freshly sliced garnish is always better than a stale refrigerated one. Consider having a juicer and a peeler available as well.
Certain beverages are better when they are cool. Some should be ice cold. To make this happen, a cooler with your home bar is essential. There are various makes and models available today. From large floor-to-ceiling options that replicate the atmosphere of a wine cellar to a portable counter top option that holds a six-pack(with everything in-between also available) you will be able to find the right size to fit your home bar needs.
These home bar essentials will help you to create the perfect cocktail. Make sure you have them in place when entertaining and you’ll always get that silent nod of approval from a happy guest.