Whether you are a busy socialite or a casual entertainer, cocktails are both a time-honored tradition and a way to relax after a long day. Having a well-stocked bar in your home can also enhance your living space.
The first thing to do is decide what sort of bar meets your needs? Are you primarily looking for something to enhance your home, or is portability your main goal? Something mobile and easy to move, or a more substantial piece of furniture? These days there are numerous options available online that offer great value and can be delivered right to your doorstep (Amazon and Wayfair both have an excellent selection).
It has never been easier to accomplish this, and just like cooking or entertaining, all you need are the right tools. Whether it is a cabinet designed to be storage for your supplies, spirits and glassware, or a mobile island on wheels that can be moved to the optimal position for parties and dinners. We’re here to tell you how to build the perfect bar in your home.
- Knife & Small Chopping Board
- Ice Storage & Tongs
- Vodka – This is the foundation of so many modern cocktails – Cosmos, Screwdrivers, Tonics and more.
- Gin – Perfect for a Gin and Tonic and the Classic Martini, the big names here are Bombay, Beefeater and Tanqueray.
- Rum – You will need a light rum and a dark rum. Light rums for Mojitos, Daiquiris, and Coladas. Dark rums are more potent in flavor and vary in use from Cuba Libre’s to Dark ‘n’ Stormy.
- Tequila – Used on the rocks or for classics like Margaritas or Tequila Sunrises. Common styles are Silver, Reposado, and Anejo, which vary depending on how much oak aging they see.
- Scotch – These are complex whiskeys to be savored neat or on the rocks and have flavors of fruit, peat, smoke and caramel, among many others depending on the barrels used in aging. The Single Malt expresses a huge array of styles and finishes.
- Bourbon – It is smoky and sweet, with hints of dark fruit. Producers are often small and hand-crafted distilleries that are making bold and distinct whiskeys.
- Rye – Emerging from classics like Canadian whiskeys, Rye is now in a major renaissance. Similar to Bourbon in taste, it is a bit more dry and not as smooth but with a spicy edge.
- Others – Sweet & Dry Vermouth, Triple Sec/Cointreau, Elderflower, Amari, Mixers (Club Soda, Tonic, etc.), Bitters, Fruit
Home Bar Recommendations
(Available at Jersey City Super Buy-Rite)
1. Corgi “Pembroke” Gin – $34.99/750ml
Made locally in Jersey City and gluten-free, this gin has lovely botanical flavors of zesty citrus and floral accents.
2. Savage & Cooke “Lip Service” Rye – $34.99 750ml
Small production Rye finished in wine barrels distilled in Tennessee by Dave Phinney, the winemaker who became famous for making The Prisoner.
3. Fortaleza Tequila Reposado – $54.99 on sale, 750ml
This is a 100 percent agave small production reposado made by the Sauza family in Jalisco for over 125 years.
Once you’ve learned how to build the perfect bar at home, don’t forget to check out these specialty spirits.