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Creating Your In-Home Bar

Summer barbecues, block parties, Labor Day gatherings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations – the reasons to throw a party are endless. And we all know, drinks and atmosphere can make or break any party. Get your home bar stocked and ready for any event – impromptu or otherwise – you host this summer.

If you’ve already got a built-in bar or butler’s pantry in your home, then you’re ahead of the game. If not, never fear because adding one is easier than you might think. If you have the time and financial resources to hire a contractor to create a custom bar, this can be a great add-on and increase the value of your home. You can also pick up a free-standing bar or smaller decorative cabinet that will serve the same purpose. Look for lots of cabinet space, doors with a lock, and an easy to clean, flat surface on top.

Putting up shelving behind your bar makes the area appear sophisticated and adds convenient storage. Think open, long shelves that aren’t very deep, just large enough to fit one bottle for best display purposes. Add some rope lighting to the bottom against the wall for a pretty visual effect of “glowing” bottles.

Your barware should fit with the general décor of the room the bar is in. If you’ve got a “man cave” then going with darkly tinted highballs and etched tall cocktail glasses and a few traditional martini glasses will work. Have a few stemless wine glasses on hand as well. If the bar is on the patio, make sure to use plastic for safety.

Now, the most important part of a bar is its contents! The basics include vodka, gin, white rum, and whiskey. You’ll need soda water, bitters and sour mix, and a couple small cans of juice. Keep in mind, while it is important to be prepared for entertaining, the main home bar customers will be you and your spouse. Don’t go overboard stocking up on what you think will impress others or spending money on liquor you don’t like.

Finally, get a nice ice bucket, a shot glass or two for measuring, and a shaker. You’ll be whipping up cocktails just like Tom Cruise in no time!