Assembling your home bar is not an easy task to accomplish. It’s actually a relatively hefty expense and large undertaking.
Let us help you cut through the chaff and make a functional, serviceable bar that will enable you to make exactly what you like — and no more or less.
Shopping for your home bar is a lot like shopping for your pantry. You should only buy things you enjoy consuming.
You definitely don't need to buy one of everything. Identify the drinks you like to make the most, and buy the alcohol for those specific drinks, leaving out the rest.
Once you decide you want to expand your bar's capacity, you can use adjoining recipes that share common liquors. For example, say you really created your bar because you love margaritas. Well, since margs use triple sec, you can just grab a bottle of vodka, and your drink potential has suddenly been raised to two, with the addition of the cosmopolitan.
We think you should ideally be able to whip up 3 to 4 cocktails in your home bar using at least two different types of base alcohols, which will likely satisfy any guest you may make a cocktail for. To increase that likelihood, stick to basics like vodka-, whiskey-, or tequila-based cocktails.
According to Serious Eats, you only need three kinds of glasses for pretty much everything you'll make at home: a
stemmed glass (a v-shaped martini glass or round), a lowball glass, and a highball glass.
But if you're less concerned about what is supposed to go in what glass, it matters more how well the drink is made. The exception to this is if the drink is served in that glass for a particular reason, as lowball glasses often incorporate the muddling of a herb or spice into the bottom before pouring the rest of the ingredients. (But let's be honest, who really does that stuff at home?)
When you're reading the menu of a cocktail bar, you've probably come across the term 'Angostura Aromatic Bitters.' No, they're not some fancy bespoke substance made from scratch in the hills of Mexico. You can buy a bottle of them for $12 from Amazon.
Many cocktails call for them, and they're really the only bitters a basic home bar could ever need.
Cocktail spoons, channel knives, swizzle sticks, mixing glasses, zesters, muddlers are all completely optional, unless you need them for your signature drinks.
For example, in order to make a proper mojito, you're going to need a muddler.
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