Entertaining in Your At-Home Bar

Not that long ago almost all homes kept up a small bar stocked inside their home.

Whether it was a large elaborate room dedicated only to indulging in libations and entertaining, or just a small cabinet set in the living room or even a small table in the den.

While this once common practice has not been as popular for a few decades, the in home bar is making a comeback. Maybe it’s the Mad Men craze, or maybe just the desire to be at home. With Pinterest and the DIY movement, it is easier now than ever to receive ideas and tips on things from how to be a premier hostess, to how to create the perfect gin and tonic. So it’s no surprise that the idea of entertaining your family and friends on your own in your home is becoming so popular once again.

No matter your reason for wanting to create a bar here at American Stationery, we can help you create the perfect one for your home.

While we won’t give much advice on things like how is your home constructed. It is important that you do ask yourself a few questions first. How much room you can allow for this project? Do you have a whole room to dedicate? Many of us do not. What about a third of your den, or a corner in the formal dining room?

Establish where you would like to have this area. Discuss with your spouse how it will flow with the over all aesthetics of your home. Be sure to not cause any type of obstruction or barriers to the rest of the home. Do you have children? Discuss how you will keep the items from them if left in an area that they may frequently be in.

Next you will need to acquire all the necessary tools for your bar.

All bars should have a clean surface area to work with. Determining how large of an area is up to you and your budget. You will want to have room for your drinks, tools and an area large enough to hold a small cutting board such as item 2868. The size of item 2868 is that of a typical business letter at about 8.5″ x 11″. You can choose from several different designs and have it personalized with your name. “Corey’s Bar” for example. This item is perfect for slicing limes, lemons and more. This beautiful glass cutting board is priced at $32.95 and can be personalized and shipped to you in about three weeks.

You may be thinking that a cutting board isn’t something you need for your bar. While it’s true if you are pressed for space you could keep the cutting board in another room. But, there are several popular drinks that require sliced fruit garnishments such as a Margarita,Long Islandiced teas, and Cosmopolitans.

Make sure that you have plenty of room to store a small ice bucket with tongs. These are sold practically anywhere and range in price from $9.99 to $99.99. It isn’t an absolute necessity but, boy does it make life easier. Look for something that meets both your needs, and your style. Do not insist on purchasing a $90.00 stainless steel bucket that holds 5 quarts of ice and has a gold inlay. A $20.00 bucket with tongs that work should really be sufficient.

Another tool that is pretty much necessary for a bar is the cocktail shaker. There are many different shakers out there to choose from. You need not purchase one full of bells and whistles. You just need a tight fitting lid and a strainer on top. Purchase one that will hold at least 16 ounces in total of ice and or liquid. What color or how many other things it does is up to you. Many strainers will come with a sort of measuring guide written on it, much like the glass measuring cups in your kitchen. These can be quite helpful but are not absolutely necessary. Like the ice buckets the prices range drastically for these as well. Something around $40.00 is probably all you will really ever need.

No matter what you will need something to help you measure out your liquid ingredients. A jigger is the most common form of measuring tool for a bar. It is a small metal tool that will be incredibly handy. This item features two functioning ends of cone shaped metal. Most jiggers have one side that holds the typical “shot amount” which is just at 1 1/2 ounces, while the other side will hold about 3/4 of an ounce to 1 ounce of liquid. A jigger will help you make sure that your cocktails are made correctly and taste consistent each and every time.

An old fashion glass is a perfect glass to have on hand and will work for multiple drinks. This drinking glass is a short tumbler size with a wide brim and perfect for certain cocktails or drinks served over ice or “rocks”.

Pilsner glasses are tall slender glasses that are smaller than a pint. They are typically used to serve beer. Unless you will be serving a lot of beers or craft your own pilsner glasses are not a necessity at least not for the beginning bar.

You’ll also likely want a set of white wine glasses which are the smaller of the two and possibly a set of cocktail or martini glasses. You can serve a variety of drinks in them and let’s face it, they always look pretty!

While you simply must have a few glasses on hand if you are throwing a party there is no better choice than that of the personalized plastic tumblers. Our frosted tumblers are easy to re-use because they can be thrown in the dishwasher. We sell several different sizes and depending on what drinks you plan on serving, you may want to opt for the 16 ounce or the 8 ounce. Each set is sold in a 50 count and again may be personalized with your choice of ink color, wording, font, and design. The prices range from $75.95 to just $45.95.

You will always need to have napkins and coasters on hand. American Stationery can help you with that.

Napkins are a necessity for the bar. With drinks comes spills and to be honest you just look classier with a cocktail napkin underneath your drink when sitting or when walking around mingling. Whether or not to customize them of course is up to you, so if you choose to be sure to check us out. American Stationery has several to choose from but, hands down our most popular are the dyo napkins. These napkins come printed with your choice of wording and design or monogram. A great way to keep everything matched by printing them with the same wording you have on the coasters, cups, and cutting board. Your ink color choice will also say something about the mood and style of your bar. Sold in sets of 50 for $24.95 item 4250 is a great buy for your new bar.

Customized coasters for your home bar are by all means not a necessity but, boy do they tie the look together. At American Stationery we offer a few different types of coasters. Simply typing the word coaster into our search box will show you all of the ones we have available. For your bar we would recommend the DYO coasters item# 2269 that come with an acrylic holder. That way if preparing a drink becomes a bit out of hand, your coasters are safe and sound inside the holder. These coasters are sold in a circle shape only and have a three ring border. Your choice of ink color and font allow for the utmost personalization. You may choose to have a name and design on them or just a monogram. You will receive 100 coasters for $34.95.

As far as the libations go, there is no need to buy it all. Also, if you never drink certain things and neither do most of your friends don’t buy the bottles simply to show you have it “in stock”. Most experts agree you will need at least a bottle of vodka, gin, bourbon, tequila and rum. A bottle of your favorite wine and maybe a selection of a few beers as well to keep your bar operating at a premium level. Typical non alcoholic mixers normally include: club soda, tonic water, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, a lemon lime soda, a ginger ale and a cola.

There are other small things that are normally available at a well stocked bar. Things like cherries, cocktail olives,Tabasco sauce, salt, sugar, and cocktail onions.

Be sure to not overwhelm yourself with this task. After all creating a bar area in your home should be something you plan on using for enjoyment and entertaining. A place to go to relax even to just think clearly about what you want and what you expect from this will help you to not be disappointed. Always remember that when taking on a task such as this, it is best to start out small. As you go along you will realize what your needs and wants are for this project.

Of course you also need to make sure that when you decide to partake in the libations that are now so readily available to you, that you do so responsibly.

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