Stock your bar with these essentials for your next shindig, after-work “wine down” or nightcap. These items are everything you need to create the perfect drink for you or friends.
This foundational piece comes in many styles, colors and sizes. It is key to pick out one that functions and fits comfortably in your space, as well as matches the character of your home. For a chic and classy look, try a cart from North Carolina company Society Social. Going for a non-traditional look for your bar? Try repurposing a small bookcase or console from Nadeau Furniture into a mini bar for a unique take on your bar cart.
What’s a bar (cart or otherwise) without libations? Of course, fill the bar with your favorite wine and liquor but also make sure it is stocked with a few boozy basics like vodka, gin, rum, tequila and whiskey. Consider a local liquor like Muddy River Distillery or Doc Porter’s Distillery. I’d also suggest keeping a bottle or two of Duplin Winery Raspberry Champagne on hand for special occasions…or something to pop after a hard work week.
Having important tools in your bar helps make mixing cocktails easier and more efficient. Some vital utensils include shakers, bottle openers, corkscrews, jiggers and an ice bucket and tongs. Strainers, meddlers, citrus squeezers and peelers are not as crucial but definitely a nice touch. Try Blackhawk Hardware or online at KegWorks for these items.
An array of mixers from Dean and Deluca or your local Harris Teeter are necessary for any home bar. Used to enhance your drink of choice, mixers can include juices, sodas, tonic water, grenadine, simple syrup/agave nectar, bitters and more. Just a splash of seltzer can made a vodka soda sippable and bitters are essential for drinks like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. Keep fruit and herbs on hand for garnish, too.
Highballs, old-fashioned glasses, wineglasses and champagne flutes are all glassware options for your beautiful bar. You can mix them up or keep them organized by type. For the occasional party, don’t forget shot glasses…they may not be the prettiest of glass options but they will come in handy.
In addition, a wine bucket and a decanter are bonuses for any home bar. Think about getting a serving tray to hand deliver beverages, along with beautiful cocktail napkins. Try Swoozies or your local HomeGoods store.
Raise the bar by including attractive accessories that play up the entertaining space. This could be anything from cocktail recipe books from BD Jeffries to quirky straws from The Buttercup or artwork from Art House Charlotte . Including these items adds an unexpected surprise to the bar area that you and your guests can enjoy while popping, fizzing and clinking your delectable drinks.
Photo: West Elm/AP