Whether you simply want to treat yourself, impress your guests or build a bar ready for a party – having the right tools at your disposal is key. A decent bar capable of making all the usual favourites from the comfort of your home will make sure both you and your guests are kept happy. We’ve put together a list of essential ‘must-haves’ for anyone looking to build a bar in their home. With restrictions easing, there’s never been a better time to set up a home bar to entertain guests!
Obviously with a home bar, you’re going to need some alcohol. We recommend 3-5 basic quality spirits that will make sure no cocktail or creation is out of reach, and you have the basics to satisfy every taste.
Whiskey and Gin are staples in numerous cocktails and as such are a must-have. In addition to these, vodka is extremely versatile for mixing and should definitely be included also. If you’d like more, you could also consider tequila, rum and even pink gin.
Outside of the basics, there’s plenty of liqueurs that can expand the range of cocktails you can make and add more variety to your flavour. As an ‘essential’ recommendation, we recommend having a few versatile options to get the most from your home bar. These could be coffee liqueur, and triple sec.
In addition to your choices of alcohol, you want to make sure you can maximise the flavour of your creations and cater to all tastes with a solid array of non-alcoholic mixers.
The below are the basics we recommend:
Lemon and lime juice – an ingredient in a huge number of cocktails so you’ll want to have this within reach!
Orange juice – this will be another staple in your cocktail game
Cranberry juice – required for many cocktail favourites such as the plain vodka cranberry or even the cosmopolitan
Pineapple juice – a must-have for tropical drinks and fruity tastebuds
Tomato juice – a necessity if you’re a fan of a bloody mary
Now that you have your ingredients together, the equipment you have will dictate how well you can bring these together, and mastering your equipment will make sure your drinks are always consistent.
A must have is a good shaker. There are two main types: the ‘cobbler shaker’ and the ‘boston shaker’. If you’re a beginner, it’s probably best to go for the cobbler. But if you’re more experienced the boston shakers’ extra capacity will allow you to make more cocktail servings for more guests.
You’ll also want to pick up a bar spoon for stirring your creations. A strainer could also help out with removing any residue such as seeds if you’re mixing fruits into your cocktails.
Lastly, a jigger will help you measure your creations and ingredient quantities, and a muddler will allow you to crush fruits, herbs and spices for cocktails – both valuable additions to your home bar for consistency and precision.
Lastly, a solid selection of garnishes will put the cherry on top (excuse the pun) of your cocktail creations.
Lemons, Limes, and Oranges should be the staple garnishes for your home bar – adding a last touch to your creations. Mint is also a great option to include especially if you or your guests are a fan of mojito’s!
Some other options to consider are olives, which may come in handy if you plan on making a traditional dry martini.
Coarse salt and granulated sugar could also add a professional touch to your creations by adding a sweet or salty rim to your cocktail glasses for certain drinks.
Loki & Co. is an Irish hard seltzer brand providing a refreshing range of low calorie sparkling seltzers. We believe that less is more and thus created Loki & Co. with low calories, low sugar, and natuarally gluten free. Check out our blog section to see our latest ideas, recipes, and expert opinions! Loki & Co. is an alcoholic beverage and should be enjoyed responsibly only by individuals over the legal drinking age. For more information on responsible drinking, see drinkaware.ie.