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When you walk into a bar, what do you see? A bartender serving drinks to happy customers. The smell of freshly mixed cocktails. Maybe some tunes playing in the background. And, of course, lots of glasses are being poured and emptied. But have you ever wanted to take that atmosphere back home?
Creating the perfect home bar doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you want to serve drinks for family and friends or just enjoy an ice-cold beverage by yourself at the end of a hard day’s work, it’s important that your space is inviting and functional. Home bars are a great way to entertain guests and create an atmosphere that is perfect for your friends and family. They can be used for parties, get-togethers, or just an evening in with a loved one. The options are endless.
If you want to be the host with the most, and what better way than by creating your very own home bar? Whether you’re just looking for a new hobby or you want to impress party guests, this post will show you how easy it is to create your own custom setup. We’ll cover everything from equipment and gadgets that are must-haves for any home bar, to some top tips on designing and furnishing your space.
What Is a Home Bar Setup?
A home bar setup is a space that is reserved in someone’s home specifically for making drinks. This can be a small or large area, depending on how much you plan to entertain guests. And how often you plan on using it. A home bar can be as simple as a wall-hung optic and a few glasses or a full-blown basement bar room.
Why Do You Need a Home Bar?
You don’t necessarily ‘need’ one, but they are great for parties and get-togethers. A home bar makes the perfect space for entertaining your friends and family as well as create an inviting atmosphere where people can relax after work or on the weekend.
You’ll also find it more convenient if you are wanting to have friends over for drinks as it means you can relax, drink at your own pace, and you won’t have a final call time or be charged ridiculous prices!
Types of Home Bars
There are a few types of home bar setups you can choose from, depending on your preference and the space available in your accommodation.
- Wall-mounted cabinets – These are great if you have limited floor space as they mount onto a wall or cabinet that is built into the room.
- Counter-top bars – these are great if you want to make drinks in an open space or dining area. They usually consist of a countertop and some storage cabinets underneath for bottles, glasses, etc.
- Bar trolleys – these are great for people who want to be able to move their bar around the house, especially if they don’t have a fixed space.
- Custom-built home bars – this is a great option if you have the space and funds to invest in your own personal setup. It allows for full customization so you can get exactly what you want!
What Do You Need For the Perfect Home Bar?
So, once you’ve decided how much space you want to dedicate to your bar, you’ll need to start thinking about what you will need to make the perfect home bar.
Some of the essentials include:
This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re going for a bigger setup, then storage is key. You’ll need somewhere to store your bottles and glasses as well as any other equipment, tools, and bartending equipment that you may need. You’ll also need somewhere to store all your drinks.
The Right Glassware
Glassware is also super important, especially when you’re entertaining guests. You’ll need a variety of different glasses for your cocktails. Martini glasses are great, as well as highballs and lowballs glasses depending on what type of drinks you plan to serve. But, then, don’t forget the classics like wine glasses and champagne flutes.
You’ll want something sturdy in which to shake up your cocktails. A large metal shaker is a great place to start, as well as some jiggers for measuring out the exact amounts of ingredients you need.
When it comes to mixing your drinks, you’ll need an arsenal of bar tools so that no matter what cocktail you want to make, there’s always something within reach to help you out.
- Mixing spoons
- Bar knives and corkscrews
- Straws, stirrers, and swizzle sticks
- Blenders for smoothies or milkshakes
- Juicer if you want to make fresh fruit juices at home
Of course, you’ll also need spirits! You’ll need a variety of different spirits, and which ones you choose will depend on what you’re planning to serve at your home bar. However, some of the most common spirits found in cocktails (and staples for most home bar setups) include:
- Whiskey and bourbon
You’ll also need some liqueurs to make certain types of cocktails as well, such as vermouth – the key ingredient in a Martini.
As well as spirits, you’ll need a selection of different wines for when you’re entertaining guests. Of course, you can’t go wrong with champagne, but don’t forget to have some white and red wine on hand too! And maybe even some rose or prosecco.
Beer and Cider
To serve your friends who aren’t so keen on spirits, why not put together a great range of beer and cider? You can even make your own homemade brews with home brewing kits.
You’ll also need a selection of different liqueurs. These are often used to enhance the flavors in cocktails or as ingredients to create unique drinks that aren’t listed on menus at bars. Popular choices include:
- Coffee liqueur
- Peach schnapps
- Grand Marnier or Cointreau for making cocktails like Sidecars and Margaritas.
You’ll need some mixers to create your cocktails. Or for non-alcoholic mocktails for the designated drivers at the party. You can choose from a range of different juices, sodas, and tonics depending on the type of drinks you’re making for your home bar. Popular choices include:
- Coconut water
- Coke or cola
- Tonic water
- Club soda
- Ginger ale or ginger beer
Next, no cocktail would be complete without some decorative garnishes. You’ll need some fruit to slice up, olives for martinis or margaritas, and even cherries if you’re serving a classic like the Maraschino.
Fridge and Freezer Space
You’ll also need somewhere to keep all those delicious drinks cool! Of course, you can buy a separate fridge or freezer, but if you’re looking for an easier way, then choose appliances with both in one.
Lastly, don’t forget one of the most important aspects of a home bar, but one that is often overlooked: ice. Make sure you have a good supply of ice to go in the freezer, and you could even invest in a small ice maker for when it’s needed. The best way to make cocktails is fresh, and having fresh ice will make sure that each of your drinks is perfectly chilled.
Now you’ve got everything you need to get started. Then, all there’s left to do is mix, muddle, and serve up some delicious cocktails!
Home Bar Equipment Essentials
So, we’ve already mentioned that there are lots of different items or bartending equipment that you’ll likely need for your home bar.
Let’s look into those in a bit more detail and discuss exactly what you’ll need:
A cocktail shaker is a must-have if you want to make more than one drink at the same time. It’s used for mixing, muddling, and shaking drinks together.
If you’re interested in bartending, then you probably already know that you need a cocktail shaker for making cocktails, but it’s also important to consider how many drinks you’ll be making at once and what type of cocktail maker best suits your needs.
You can get three-piece or five-piece shakers. The larger ones will mean you can make more drinks at once, but they’re also bulkier and harder to clean, so it will depend on your space.
A bar spoon is another important bartending equipment item that you’ll need for your home bar. It’s used to mix drinks—especially tall cocktails like long island iced tea or Tom collins.
For those beer and cider drinkers at your bar, you’ll also need a bottle opener. In fact, it’s an essential bartending equipment piece if you want to make alcoholic beverages at home. You can’t open bottles without one. You could opt for a simple handheld opener or go for a more stylish unit that you can mount on a wall.
Corkscrew (if serving wine)
If you’re going to be serving wine, then it’s a good idea to have a corkscrew as part of your bartending equipment. This will help you get those pesky corks out of the top of bottles.
This is a small measuring cup that you can use to get the right amount of alcohol every time. Plus, it’s perfect for making cocktails or pouring shots.
A bar knife is another essential bartending equipment piece, as often they’re used to cut citrus fruits and garnishes into slices or chunks before adding them into drinks. They also double as a stirring spoon and blade for crushing ingredients.
You’ll need a chopping board to prep all those fruits and garnishes. You can either opt for a wooden one or a plastic one depending on what you prefer and how much you want to spend on one. It’s also essential for protecting your kitchen surfaces.
A muddler is needed if you want to make drinks that require fruit or herbs, such as mojitos! It’s used to crush these ingredients together, so they release their flavors into the drink.
Another essential bartending equipment piece for your home bar is a bartender’s guidebook. This will be full of cocktail recipes to get you started and is particularly useful when you’re just starting. It can also help when you’re trying to make cocktails with specific ingredients or if you want inspiration on how to mix drinks in new ways.
If you’re going to be making a lot of drinks at home, the chances are that you’ll need lots of citrus fruits, so it’s definitely worth investing in a press. You can find these online, and some even come with pulp control.
Selection of Cocktail Bitters
As well as the alcohol and mixers, you might also need a selection of cocktail bitters to enhance the flavors of your drinks. These are a must-have for the home bar’s mixer and include:
- Angostura bitters
- Orange bitters
- Peach bitters
Ice Bucket and Scoop
No home bar is complete without ice and, to store it correctly, you’ll need an ice bucket! You can use an ice bucket like this or even go for the more sophisticated option of an automatic icemaker if you want to make lots of drinks quickly. Either way, they’re both great ways to keep your ice chilled. Don’t forget the scoop to transfer your ice into your drinks easily.
These are a must-have in any home bar, as they will help protect the surface of your furniture from getting damaged. They also keep your home bar looking good, as they’ll hide any stains, scratches, and water rings.
Home Bar Design Tips
So, once you’ve decided what drinks to serve, glassware to buy, and what bartending equipment you’d like, it’s time to design your bar space. If you’re short on room, then a corner bar is the perfect option. This will fit into any space and allow you to store all your drinks, glasses, and bartending equipment.
Bar carts are another great way of adding some extra storage if there’s not enough space in your home for one. You can find lots of different styles online at places like Amazon, Wayfair, and eBay. They’re not only great for storing your drinks, but they are portable, so they can be easily moved around and can also be used as a serving station too.
If you have the space to spare, then an island bar is definitely the way forward. It’s perfect if you want somewhere in your home where everyone will gather during parties or social gatherings. You can buy them online, and they come in all different shapes and sizes.
However, everybody’s home is different, and what might work for one person’s home bar won’t work for everybody.
Here are some things to think about when designing your bar location:
Think About the Space You Already Have
If you’re designing your own bar, then you’ll need to measure up how much space is actually available. You might find that there’s not enough room for a full-sized home bar, so it could be the perfect time to try out an L-shape or U shape instead. Think about what makes the most sense for where you want to place it and work from there.
Use Wasted Space
When designing a home bar, it’s a good idea to think about where you can use wasted space. For example, is there a corner in your kitchen that isn’t used for anything or an empty stretch of wall where you could hang some shelving?
Use the Basement
If you don’t have space for a bar in your home, why not consider using the basement? This is an ideal place to make one because it’s normally quite large and has some kind of access point, whether this is stairs or a door leading outside.
Think About the Style You’re Going For
Another thing to consider is whether or not your bar design will match with the existing décor of your home. If this is important, then try looking at some pictures online that have been done by professionals, as they’ll show you how a professional would go about designing a home bar and what kind of style you can expect. You might find that it’s easier to include the whole family when deciding on your design.
Think About How Much Storage Space You Need
If there is lots of free wall space, then adding shelves will be a good idea as this allows for more vertical storage options. If not, then you could think about adding a bar cart like this, which will give you a portable space for bottles and glasses that can be tidied away when it’s not in use.
Think About How Many People Can Comfortably Git Around Your Home Bar
Make sure that the design would work with the number of guests who might visit during parties or other social gatherings. If it’s just going to be used by yourself and your family, then it doesn’t matter so much, but if you need to fit in lots of people, then consider how much space is available and where they can stand or sit.
Think About What Kind of Surface Your Bar Design Needs
Some bars will be placed on top of a table or kitchen counter, which means that there’s not much to worry about when choosing the surface. However, if you’re going to be using a bar cart, then think about the surface, where people will put their drinks once they are poured, and whether it’s enough for what you need.
Consider the Lighting
When designing your home bar, it’s also worth thinking about lighting. If you’re going to be using a lot of bottles for cocktails, then there might not be enough light to see what you are doing when mixing drinks. You’ll need lots of overhead job lights or task lamps so that people can clearly see the ingredients they’re using.
Don’t Forget Seating Areas
It’s good to have plenty of seating areas if you’re going to be hosting lots of guests. This will make it easier for people who are waiting their turn at the bar, but also means that they can relax and enjoy themselves around your home. You could think about adding a sofa or two near the bar area too, which would give them somewhere to sit. You could also consider…
No bar is complete without some bar stools. They’re perfect if you want somewhere to sit, whether it’s for a quick drink or something stronger after work, as well as making your home bar look more stylish too. You can find lots of different styles online, which is great for people who like to mix up their home designs. Plus, bar stools can be tucked underneath the bar and tidied away when not in use.
An alternative to barstools is armchairs, which are perfect if you have a larger home. This is another great option because it allows people to chat during social gatherings and encourages guests to feel more comfortable when they’re at your place. They have a back, which makes them more comfortable, but they are much larger and harder to tidy away.
Pick the Perfect Cabinet
If you’re going to be storing your bottles in a cabinet, then you must pick the perfect one. It should have enough storage space for all of the ingredients you might need, as well as being stylish and fitting with your home design too.
Use Reclaimed Wood
If your home is on the rustic side of things, then using reclaimed wood for part of your design will look amazing. It’s also cost-effective, which means that you can find lots of interesting furniture pieces to go with it too.
Pick a Theme to Decorate With
If you like to decorate with a certain theme, then you can include bits of it within your home bar’s design. You could try bright colors, which are great for creating a fun atmosphere, or something more natural like wood to give the bar an outdoorsy feel.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
Remember that creating your own home bar is supposed to be a fun experience, so don’t let the planning get in the way of this. It’s meant to be something you enjoy doing, and it makes hosting parties much more enjoyable for yourself too. So, try not to stress out about designing the perfect bar and just enjoy yourself.
Our Top Home Bar Equipment Recommendations
AYAOQIANG Cocktail Mixing Set
This cocktail-making kit by AYAOQIANG is perfect for any home bar. It’s a great value set that has everything you need to make your favorite drinks and will look amazing in your kitchen.
It contains a bar shaker, jigger, pestle, bar spoon, strainer, corkscrew, ice tongs bottle opener, whisky stone, pourer brushes, pourers bottle stoppers, pourer caps, and a smart-looking bamboo stand. In total, there are 23 pieces, perfect for creating all of your favorite cocktails, from margaritas to mojitos at home or the bar.
Each piece is carefully made with premium quality materials that are durable and easy on the eyes too. The display stand makes it easier to store and remove all the pieces, keeping things tidy around your home bar.
Save room and keep your home tidy with this sleek-looking set that has everything you need in one place. Whether you’re an at-home enthusiast or even a professional bartender, this bartending kit will have something every cocktail connoisseur will enjoy using.
SoBuy® FKW56-N Bar Serving Trolley with Wine Rack
This beautiful bar trolley is the perfect accessory for a wonderful portable home bar. It can hold up to four bottles of wine and six glasses, making it the perfect accessory for any party. The top shelf has been designed as a food tray so that you can have snacks or sandwiches on hand too!
This stylish trolley features rolling casters, which make moving it around easy even if your home is full of obstacles like stairs or hallways. It’s made from high-quality MDF with wood effect printed onto the wood effect black powder-coated steel frame, giving this serving trolley an industrial look without being bulky or oversized for smaller spaces. This bar cart requires self-assembly but includes detailed instructions in case anything gets confusing during construction (which is unlikely).
The wheels are also lockable at each corner which gives them stability when in place and prevents them from moving when you don’t want them to.
Barbarian 4/6 Bottle Optics for Spirit
Perfect for serving quick shots for mixing, this awesome cocktail optic is a brilliant addition to any home bar.
It features a high-quality 25ml measure with a spring-loaded arm to securely hold even the fullest of spirits bottles so that they are ready for pouring. Made from stainless steel and ABS plastic, this liquor optic is built to last while looking great in any home bar environment.
The quick-release design makes it easy to remove your bottle without fuss or bother. Plus, the wall-mounted design is perfect if you want more space on the bar top for serving other drinks or storing glasses and other equipment. It comes in a couple of designs, including a 4 bottle and 6 bottle model.
Homeasy Ice Bucket, Double Wall Bar Ice Bucket Set
Ice is an essential part of any bar, and with this high-quality ice bucket, you won’t have to worry about not having enough of it. You can chill your drinks with ease using this awesome Homeasy Ice Bucket Set, which comes complete with tongs and an airtight lid for added convenience (and no more annoying spills).
It is made from the highest quality materials – double-walled 304-grade stainless steel – that are durable enough to last through years of use while still looking stylish in any home bar setup. It will keep your ice under 3 degrees for up to 6 hours – perfect for a gathering or relaxing dinner party.
With a capacity of 1.3 liters, there’s plenty of room for filling up on ice whenever needed without needing lots of space or taking too much effort.
The sleek design ensures that cleaning after each usage will be quick and hassle-free, so you’ll never need to panic when unexpected guests arrive unannounced. With such an affordable price and easy to use, this ice bucket set is a great addition for any home bar or pub owner who likes showing off their drinks!
Requena Vintage Bar Stools Set of 2
These comfortable leather bar stools are just what you need to complete your home bar or kitchen area. With a stylish, vintage design and an adjustable seat that can be raised or lowered as needed, they are perfect for any room in the house.
They will look great on their own or grouped around a kitchen island with matching chairs thanks to their timeless appeal, which is sure to match most decor settings making them versatile furniture items.
The stools are also very easy to assemble, so it makes setting up simple whether you want one stool alone or several of them surrounding a dining table, for example. They even come with footrests that make sitting back comfortable after working hard all day long at the office! Plus, they’re made from high-quality materials, including PU leather which ensures durability, while the metal design ensures the stools are easy to clean and maintain.
These stylish bar stools will also arrive conveniently boxed so you can easily unpack them, assemble them by yourself (which is very simple) then enjoy your brand new furniture for years to come.
Tidy Bar, Bamboo Wall Mounted Beer Bottle Opener with Catcher
For a handy design that catches beer bottles every time, this wall-mounted bottle opener makes a stylish addition to any home bar.
It’s also very easy to install, so you can set it up in seconds without the need for tools or an electrician, which is ideal if you’re after something that looks great but won’t cost too much time or money!
This handy beer opener will even include two screw anchors and screws should your existing wall be slightly thinner than normal (many other openers don’t). Just pick out our catcher’s lid, slide over the edge of the bottle top, then lift upwards once released – no mess required! There’s also a magnet built into this piece, making it perfect for saving lids while not using them.
Simply pull apart its magnetic halves when needed and let go while still attached to the bottle top. It will drop back into place effortlessly!
It fits all standard-sized beer bottles & cans, can be used indoors or outdoors, and arrives with two screws for ease of use. Plus, it has a stylish design that’s perfect for any home bar, including pubs, man caves, or even outdoor bars. It makes an ideal gift idea too!
Answer: For the perfect home bar setup, you’ll need a variety of different items. Firstly, you’ll need a home bar design that suits your room and decor. You can do this by installing an island or taking over some kitchen counter space, for example. Then choose the right equipment such as ice buckets to keep drinks cool plus tools like shakers and jiggers if needed, so guests always have what they want when enjoying themselves at home with friends on date night or during special occasions!
Answer: There are lots of different products available today, including some great combinations too, which will save you time trying to find all the necessary pieces separately (and money!). For example, some sets include everything you could need – from cocktail books through to shot glasses meaning there’s no hassle trying to source all the necessary tools. Others focus on a few essentials like shakers or jiggers, for example.
Answer: Before you proceed with your design, it’s worth considering where you’re going to put everything in relation to existing furniture if needed, plus whether there will be enough space around the room should guests need moving between areas of seating or standing. You also want to consider how many people might regularly use this area and what they’ll enjoy most – cocktails, beer, wine or spirits perhaps?!
Answer: A home bar doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you can make yours even better by turning it into a DIY project. For example, look for old furniture at charity shops or online and give them a new lease of life with paint. Meanwhile, if your budget is pretty low, but you still want stylish pieces, then consider using storage containers to store drinks instead. These can be transformed into beautiful cabinets or shelving with paint, stickers, and other decorations, for example.
Answer: A variety of different drinks are available in a regular bar, such as beers, wines, and spirits. You’ll also find cocktails too, which may be served shaken or stirred, plus there’s even an option for mocktails (non-alcoholic) if you want to offer alternatives without the alcohol content. The most common drink served in bars are beers which come in a wide range of varieties and flavors. These include pilsners, lagers, ales, and stouts, for example.
Answer: Everyone knows the classics! However, you can easily jazz up your home bar by adding some personal touches to old favorites. For example, instead of serving these drinks in regular glasses, choose ones with beautiful stemware for an even more elegant look and feel when sipping on classic cocktails together.
Answer: The 6 basic cocktails are probably the most well-known and even feature in some of your favorite movies! These include the Old Fashioned, Martini, Daiquiri, Sidecar, Whiskey Highball, and Flip. You can use a wide range of ingredients to make these cocktails, including different types of alcohol such as vodka or gin, plus various mixers from fruit juice to cola.
Answer: There’s a wide range of different ingredients you can use to make up classic or simple cocktails at home! You’ll need spirit-based alcohols such as gin, vodka, and rum. Plus, you’ll need mixers including soda water, fruit juice (elderflower is popular), ginger ale, and even champagne, for example. You can also use syrup, cream, or egg white too which are often used to make more festive cocktails during the holidays!
Answer: Installing a larger pump at home is actually very easy and only requires a few basic tools. You’ll need to take off the old one, which will be located beneath your sink or in an area where you usually store alcohol, for example. Then, choose the correct size of tap based on measurements from existing ones to ensure it fits correctly into place before mounting it into position.
Answer: Draft beer is a popular choice when it comes to enjoying alcohol at home, and you can easily make this yourself with the right equipment. For example, simply add tap water into an aluminum keg which will be chilled before adding in yeast mixture plus sugar (or dextrose for brewing!) You need to wait around two weeks for it to ferment or “work” before adding in more additional ingredients for flavor. Then, chill the keg again and simply attach it to a tap system which will dispense cold beer into your cup.
Answer: Creating a home bar setup can be done on any budget, and you don’t even need to spend lots of money. For example, one option is buying second-hand furniture or pieces which you can then upscale and decorate with a lick of paint or new handles. Plus, a simple bar shelf in your kitchen won’t cost much money at all, whereas renovating your entire basement will be a little more costly. You can even make your own bottles for homemade wines and beer too to save on costs. However, on average, a home bar setup will cost between $100 and $5,000, depending on how much you want to spend and how much space you have.
Creating a home bar is an excellent way to entertain and share drinks with friends and family. It can be done on any budget, in small spaces or large ones. The most important thing is that you have the right tools for making your favorite cocktails at home. Whether you’re looking for basic ingredients like soda water or want to create draft beer from scratch, our guide will help get you started. Let’s drink to that!