How to build your home bar

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - HOME AND GARDEN -

Many peo­ple en­joy open­ing their homes to friends or fam­ily. In fact, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Eat­ing Trends sur­vey and cus­tom re­search by the NPD group, in 2016, the av­er­age per­son ate 38 meals at other peo­ple’s homes.

Know­ing how to cook, set the mood and en­ter­tain is in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for many home­own­ers. In­stalling and out­fit­ting a home bar can pro­vide guests with the fea­tures of a night out, only without the crowds or bar tabs that come at the end of the night. A home bar is a place where hosts and their guests can gather and en­joy great con­ver­sa­tion. Such a spot also can serve as a neigh­bor­hood hang­out — a smart choice for those who want to in­dulge safely and not have to drive home af­ter­ward.

Cre­at­ing a home bar need not be a dif­fi­cult project. By in­vest­ing in ba­sic equip­ment, stock­ing up on pre­ferred liquors and gain­ing some mixol­ogy ex­per­tise, hosts can im­press and en­ter­tain their guests.

Es­tab­lish a bar setup

Home bars can range from rolling carts to built-in wet bars to a sin­gle tray of items. Space in a home will dic­tate the kind of bar home­own­ers can have. Rolling bar carts are pop­u­lar and ver­sa­tile, and they can be kept sta­tion­ary or rolled in and out of a room as needed. If a bar cart is open, or­ga­ni­za­tion is key, as you don’t want it to look un­kempt.

A full-blown wet bar will re­quire more con­struc­tion, in­clud­ing plumb­ing and elec­tric­ity if you need out­lets for plug­ging in ap­pli­ances. Wet bars are ideal in dens, ren­o­vated garages and fin­ished base­ments.

Stock up on equip­ment

A new home bar re­quires bar­ware and glass­ware. Var­i­ous drinks are best served in req­ui­site glass­ware and pre­pared with the right equip­ment. A home bar will ben­e­fit from a mud­dler, a jig­ger, a cock­tail shaker, a strainer, ice cube trays and a bar spoon. Glass­ware can in­clude short glasses, tall glasses and wine glasses with stems. Mar­tini glasses pro­vide a chic look and are prac­ti­cal for those who pre­fer cos­mopoli­tans and mar­ti­nis.

Fill it with spir­its

No bar is com­plete without al­co­hol and mix­ers. Home­own­ers can buy the types of spir­its they love and com­plete their bars with the ba­sics for mix­ing. When stock­ing a bar, keep in mind that ev­ery­thing does not have to be top-shelf. Vodka, gin, tequila, rum and whiskey are some of the more pop­u­lar spir­its. Sim­ple syrup, fresh fruit, club soda, cola and bit­ters are ex­am­ples of ver­sa­tile mix­ers.

En­ter­tain­ing guru Martha Ste­wart says to have enough sup­plies on hand for guests. Ex­pect each per­son to have three drinks (re­quir­ing three glasses) and use a pound of ice and three cock­tail nap­kins per twohour party.

Don’t for­get to also have non­al­co­holic items on hand for those who don’t im­bibe. Ar­ti­cle cour­tesy of MetroCreative

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF METROCREATIVE

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