Whether you’re a teetotaler (me) or a Mad Men style lush (my friends), having a well stocked, dapper-cool bar is a simple way to impress guests and add swag factor to your home.
DIY Trunk Rolling Bar via Apartment Therapy
DIY: Turn an old card catalog into a bar (via Apartment Therapy)
Transform existing built-in structures (closets, bookcases, kitchen cabinets, etc.) into an impressive home bar (via Unabashedly Prep)
A Word on Stocking…
via House of Burbon
Jeff Trexler warns that stocking a bar is a “marathon, not a sprint.” Start with liquors and ingredients used in the essential cocktails (e.g., martini, gin and tonic, etc.) and invest in a few bottles of your favorite spirits. Then, continue to add more expensive and rare finds. Here’s where you can save and where you should splurge when shopping for booze.
- Vodka: Save – Vodka manufacturers are always in the race to market the “glossiest” label, because, unlike other liquors, cheaper vodkas tend to win taste tests hands-down.
- Gin: Save or Splurge – The quality of gin for your bar should depend on whether you’ll be combining the gin with a mixer (e.g., gin and tonics, gin and juice, etc.) or using the gin to make classic martinis. Save if the former, splurge if the latter.
- Tequila: Save or Splurge – As with gin, whether you save or splurge will depend on what you’re using the tequila for (margarita vs. sipping).
- Rum: Splurge – Remember spring break? Splurge!
- Burbon: Splurge – Cheap burbon has all the burn without the flavor.
- Whiskey and Scotch: Splurge – These are usually served on the rocks without mixers. No mixers = you cannot hide the taste of cheap.
*Q: BTW, what the heck is the difference between burbon, scotch, and whiskey and how can I learn to enjoy them? A: Autostraddle’s Laneia gives you a whiskey 101 here.
Other items to add…
- Crème de cacao
- Crème de menthe
- Simple syrup
- Worcestershire sauce
- Juice (tomato, pineapple, cranberry)
- Tabasco sauce
- Cream of coconut
- Freshly ground pepper
- Fruits, veggies, herbs, and seasoning (pineapple wedges, celery stalks, olives, mint leaves, cinnamon sticks)
- Electric blender
- Thrift stores are a great place to find unique barware on the cheap.
- Use Mason jars to serve cocktails in or to store cocktail ingredients.
pdx food love stores simple syrup in Mason jars
*For dapperQ cocktail recipes, see “What’s Hip to Sip.”