A well-curated home bar can be so much more than just a place to store your spirits. It’s an insight into who you are, your sense of style and what you enjoy. It’s a way to properly showcase your favourite glassware, accessories and, most importantly, your favourite spirits.
As lockdown restrictions ease and we’re reunited with the ones we miss most, there’s no reason we can’t make drinking at home feel just as indulgent and luxurious as going out on the town. Create that element of fun, ready for when we’re allowed to invite all of our favourite people back over. Even just for jazzing up a quiet night in.
We know it can be tricky to build your perfect home bar. Knowing where to start or even knowing what you’ll need can be difficult hurdles to overcome. We’re here to help.
Read on for our tips on how to start building your perfect home bar.
Finding the Right Bar
The base of every good home bar is, of course, the bar itself. It doesn’t need to be over the top, in fact it doesn’t have to be a dedicated home bar at all.
Take this customer’s set up, pictured below.
We love what they’ve done here. They’ve made the most of a free nook in the wall, using space to elegantly present their favourite drinks (including Didsbury Gin) and a minimalist selection of books and décor. This is proof that home bars don’t have to be overwhelming.
This sort of space is perfect for a smaller collection of drinks and accessories, but if you’re looking to house a larger collection then there are plenty of trolleys on the market.
A particular favourite of ours is this opulent trolley from Oliver Bonas.
The marble and gold makes it a statement piece on its own and the wheels allow you to manoeuvre it wherever necessary for the perfect night in.
For a more minimalist approach and an option that’s unbelievably affordable, we adore this trolley from Ikea.
This one’s available in black, red and white which makes it a great option for blending into any space. It’s also ideal for providing a base for people just getting started or in a smaller place.
Top tips before you stock your bar
- Buy a cocktail book
One thing we recommend for getting started is buying a good cocktail book. With a solid how-to guide and explanation of cocktail making you’ll be able to understand very quickly what you need to create the best cocktails.
Top tip: have a flip through your cocktail book and bookmark the cocktails you’d drink regularly. Look at what spirits, mixers and tools you’ll need and mark those as the key pieces to add to your home bar first.
We’ve got plenty of gin cocktail books in our office for all sorts of occasions, but one that we’ve really found useful is ‘Gin The Mood’. With 50 gin cocktails, this book is the perfect place to start for any gin lover. It’s got all the classics from simpler G&Ts to more complex cocktail innovations.
For a more comprehensive collection of cocktail recipes, ‘A Mixologist’s Guide to Making Cocktails’ is a great book to get. Not only do you get a look at all the world’s best cocktails, but they’re all explained in simple and easy-to-follow terms, perfect for beginners.
- Buy your favourite drinks first
There’s a lot to be said for having a bar that caters to everyone, but remember it’s YOUR bar. What matters most is that you’ve got the drinks that you want. So, it’s always a good rule of thumb to start off by stocking your favourite spirits and the cocktail accessories you’ll use regularly.
For those who like to host and need to have a versatile bar to suit any taste, you’ll need a greater selection of drinks. We’ll go through these shortly.
- Take your time
Building a fully stocked bar can take up a lot of time and money. You may not be able to find the accessories that you love immediately, so taking time and waiting to find the right one might be necessary.
Time to stock up!
The stars of the show are obviously the spirits and mixers. Without them, no cocktail is possible. But, which ones do you need to create the ultimate collection? Here’s our list.
- Triple Sec
- Citrus juice (Lemon or Lime)
- Sugar Syrup
- Bitters (Angostura is the one to start with)
We might be biased, but to us Gin is always the most important. It’s a versatile option that works in a huge number of cocktails.
If you’re a gin-lover, we’ve made it easy to stock up that home bar in one go. The Didsbury Gin-dulgence box! A taste of the whole range, plus mixers and snacks so you can christen your bar properly.
Rum is another must-have for the perfect collection. Giving you the option to make Mojitos, Mai-tais and easily mixing with lemonade, coke and ginger beer for simple serves.
For modern, innovative rums to add to your collection, explore ARLU Rum. The range is bold, punchy and flavoursome and adds a special touch to any cocktail creation.
ARLU Rum £25
To make sure you’ve got the ultimate collection, having a minimum of two of each glass style is our suggestion. Display your most go-to glasses on the drinks trolley, or even just show off your fanciest ones reserved for a visit from the queen.
For next level glassware, Anthropologie have got you covered. With a range that stretches from intricate golden etchings to splashes of bold colours, mixing & matching decor has never looked better.
The absolute basics needed are the cocktail jigger, bar spoon and bottle opener. You won’t get far without those. However, a good cocktail shaker, strainer and muddler are key to being able to create all the greatest cocktails. This elegant golden set from Oliver Bonas has you covered.
Cocktail Set £35
Now your bar is well-stocked and ready to create some fabulous cocktails, bring it all together with some finishing touches. You’ll be surprised at the difference a few small plants or a couple of candles can make to the overall look!
Here’s another stunning bar from one of our customers. They’ve used plants, fruit bowls and simple decorative pieces to bring it all together and we’re certainly envious of the result!
Curating your own home bar? Let us know how it goes by tagging us on Instagram @didsbury_gin or Twitter @didsburygin. We can’t wait to see your results!