With lockdown measures tightening, winter evenings getting darker, and our fairy-government turning pints into pumpkins once the clock strikes 10, we’re all in need of something to help make staying in feel like a night out.
Well, let us momentarily grant your wishes as we bring you the ultimate guide to stocking and styling your very own home cocktail bar. From beautiful bar carts to gorgeous glassware, we’ve rounded up the top 10 accessories you’ll need to brighten spirits (pun intended) and build the bar cart of your dreams.
1. A Beautiful Bar Cart
First thing’s first - you’re going to need a bar. Whether you’re into contemporary and minimalist, or if art deco and dramatic is more your thing – there are plenty of bar carts on the market right now to suit every style and budget. Our favourite? This Gatsby-inspired marble drinks trolley. Any excuse to transport ourselves to another era and temporarily escape 2020.
2. Gorgeous Glassware
Great glassware is a necessity for any stylish bar cart. As well as being a functional requirement for all those quarantinis, your glassware will be on display as part of your home décor – so make a statement. Grab something colourful in the sales before Christmas or, if you fancy the thrill of the hunt, you can find some beautiful vintage-looking pieces in charity shops.
Don’t feel like you need to have every type of glass though. Think about the drinks you like most and choose your glassware around them. Wine glasses, highballs and coupes are a great basis for a range of classic cocktails.
3. A Trendy Tray
The secret rule to all aesthetically pleasing interiors? Stick a tray under anything and suddenly in looks styled. This applies to your bar cart too. Use a tray to streamline your at-home bar set up and confine your glassware and accessories – instantly serving up some serious style with your delicious drinks.
4. Top-Notch Tools
Ready to sit pretty or shake up a storm, a cocktail shaker displayed with pride should be a given on any stylish bar cart. Go beyond function and choose a style you love. From wood and marbled effects, to gold and glass – there are heaps of stylish shakers out there that will speak to your style. For the full shebang, invest in a barware set that includes a strainer, spoon, tongs and jigger. Complete the look with an ice bucket and bottle opener, and you’re ready for all things sipped, shaken and stirred.
5. Booze By The Bucketful
No home bar is complete without a few bottles of the strong stuff. Gin, vodka, rum and whiskey form the basis of most classic cocktails, so stock up on these four spirits as a starting point and you’re ready to roll.
Bonus points for finding bottles with quirky shapes and interesting designs. We love a Hendrick’s Gin bottle for a classic look. Or if you’re feeling fancy, a bottle of Blanton’s Bourbon, which looks like a cross between a perfume bottle and a grenade. It even has a tiny racehorse on top.
Add some excitement by signing up to a monthly subscription service that delivers your favourite spirits to your door. As well as receiving a new small-batch bottle every month, some of them also send you food - and we love our snack game to be just as strong as our spirits.
6. Books As A Base
A spot of reading with our splash of whiskey? Don’t mind if we do. A couple of books like The Whisky Dictionary lining your bar cart will add an element of elegance. Choose books with attractive spines, stack them up, and use them as a base to elevate a handsome decanter. Plus, once your friends can come round again, you’ll be able to impress them with your whiskey wisdom whilst rustling up a hot toddy.
7. Prints With Purpose
Combine pretty with practical and choose a backdrop of art that complements your brand-new drinking den. Our Classic Cocktails print can be propped over your bar cart and used as an inspirational guide for whipping up the very best cocktails at home. We’ll take one of each, thank you very much.
8. Sustainable Straws
You’re going to need a straw for drinking all those G&Ts, and you know what they say – a reusable straw a day keeps global warming away. (Well… they should say that). Ditch the plastic straws for these stylish and affordable alternatives. Protecting the planet, one stylish sip at a time.
9. Say It With A Sign
Light up your liquor with some neon words of your choosing. As well as giving your bar cart that extra wow-factor, a neon sign acts as the perfect transition from workday to weekend when it’s time to make that 6 o’clock Aperol Spritz.
10. A Pinch Of Personality
It’s all in the details when it comes to adding personality and character to your drinks display. Whether you choose to add flowers, fairy lights, succulents or sculptures – these personal finishing touches will transform your bar into the focal point of the room. You could also combine form with function by displaying a bowl of citrus fruits, ready for garnishing. Impromptu G&T party anyone
And there you have it. 10 steps to your very own at-home cocktail bar that will make staying in feel like a night out.
Cover image © Audenza
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