Home Bar Essentials

If you like entertaining or just having a sip on a Tuesday evening, having a great home bar is essential. I love experimenting with cocktails and of course you already know I love a good ole #TipsyTuesday. But before we get into this post on having the best home bar possibly, I'd like to announce my partnership with Martha Stewart Wine Co.

If you're a wine lover like I am you'll love this! The Martha Stewart Wine Co. is a direct-to-consumer wine service, bringing you wines that Martha Stewart loves. I'm happy to be part of the affiliate program and to bring you all wine options that you'll love without the hassle of trying to pair them perfectly and at a great price.

Now, to begin this post about kicking ass at your home bar. A home bar doesn't have to be a headache: Invest in basic equipment, stock up on essential liquors, and you can have a spread that will impress amateurs -- and even make professionals nod in quiet approval.

First, get a kit. The equipment needed to mix a cocktail is simple to master, and you don't need a lot of it.

  • Ice bag

  • Bar spoon

  • Muddler

  • Jigger

  • Cocktail shaker

  • Strainer

  • Ice cube trays

6FootFoodie Bar Kit

Next up is glassware. For a beginner, you just need some basic glasses: short, tall, and a stem. I like to have four of each. Thanks to that 2014 house fire and parents who still had wedding gifts from 1982 I'm all set. When it comes to wine, I recommend a single shape glass that's good for both red and wine and having about 12 on hand. Honestly, the cheap girl in me says go to the Dollar Store like I did in the beginning and spend $12 and get it popping (literally).

 Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Courtesy of Martha Stewart

When it comes to your alcohol and liquor selections, keep it simple. Don't overdo it with flavored vodkas and colorful things. You can have a classic, simple collection and still be creative. Trust me, I still can't look at blueberry vodka after a few rounds in my 20s...

Here's a quick guide for liquors:

Cognac
For sidecars, brandy milk punches, crustas, daisies, and smashes.

White Rum
For daiquiris and mojitos.

Gin
For martinis, gin and tonics, Tom Collinses, etc.

Bourbon
For Manhattans, old fashioneds, and whiskey sours.

Vodka
Vodka is the workhorse of the liquor cabinet, used in basic drinks such as vodka tonics, screwdrivers, and the vodka martini.

Tequila
For margaritas, sunrises, and palomas. The best tequilas are made from 100 percent agave; check the label.

Mixers are the non-alcoholic liquids that add flavor and volume to cocktails. The majority of these will be in your kitchen anyway and are easily found anywhere. Many mixers will keep in your bar for a long period of time but do remember to keep checking their freshness and pay attention to expiration dates. 

 Courtesy of divinecaroline.com

Courtesy of divinecaroline.com

Most importantly, you can't have a bomb at home bar without a badass bar cart. Bar carts can be really cheap or really expensive. If you truly don't plan on moving it around too much, I say go cheap and jazz it up. Spray paint it, add some flowers, and find a cute corner for it.