Tis nearly the season for festive fetes and swanky soirees but don’t fret, we can help you (literally) set the bar with these quick and easy tips and tricks.
You can turn just about any piece of furniture into a bar suitable for the most cosmopolitan penthouse or the most casual den. Let these photos inspire you!
You don’t have to break the bank to stock a respectable bar—master a few favorites (screwdriver, martini, cosmopolitan, etc.). Start with a handful of base spirits and mixers and be prepared with the proper tools for the job. Shakers and strainers for martinis, a muddler for old fashioneds and mojitos and a jigger for measuring. Here we’ve set up a holiday party using a foyer table. Move it to where you want party central to be…behind a sofa in the den, in a dining room, or along a foyer or hall wall.
Barware is another important consideration—and believe it or not, the type of glass DOES matter. No red solo cups here! For cocktails mixed with carbonated beverages like gin & tonic or scotch & soda, use highball glasses (less surface liquid is exposed to the air preventing your drink from going flat too fast). Lowballs are best for spirits or whiskey because they’re usually served in two to four ounce portions—like brandy or scotch. This Pachino Server
from our Novara
collection offers built-in stemware storage so the “right” glass is always handy.
One of the most classic cocktails is the Bloody Mary. Traditionally made with vodka, tomato juice, lemon, spices and seasonings, this classic is getting a new twist in some tony bars with the tomato juice being substituted with carrot, celery, cucumber, apple, and pear juice combinations. Regardless of the type of juice, most experts agree it’s the proportions that matter—25ml vodka; 25 ml lemon and 50 percent the juice of choice. Finish it off with spices/seasonings like pepper, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish or other savory flavors.
Well Mannered Buffet
: Does your taste lean more toward beers than cocktails? Not to worry. Stock your bar with your favorite local IPAs and host a tasting. And FYI—it’s good for a glass (or mug or stein) of beer to have a nice head on it; it brings out the aroma of the beer and keeps it from getting warm too quickly.
A martini is the quintessential classy cocktail—after all, it’s 007’s signature drink (although technically ‘shaken not stirred’ would make a weaker, diluted drink because shaking it causes the ice to chip and melt.) Today there are lots of different flavors—from savory to sweet (think bacon to chocolate). No matter how you pour it, make sure to use a martini glass. The unique shape keeps the ingredients from separating and the stems keeps your hand from warming the liquor.
The beauty of having an in-home bar is that you’re always ready for a friendly nightcap or prepared for an impromptu party. A storage unit
like this one from our Soho collection
, allows you to store your bar supplies out of site and be ready for those unexpected drop-in holiday guests. Most liquor can been kept for a long time (so long as it’s out of direct sunlight). Once the levels start getting really low though (like more than half empty) it’s bottoms up—the more air in the bottle affects the flavor.
Now, you’re ready to tend bar like a professional. Cheers!