How to Build the Best Home Bar – Full Guide
In today’s world, people are desiring to become more and more self-sufficient. Among the things people really emphasize in terms of self-sufficiency is the ability to entertain their friends and family without having to go out on the town. This is especially true when it comes to bars. Rather than going out to the local dive bar, a lot more people are instead staying at home and simply building their own bars from scratch. You yourself are more than capable of doing just this, but it’s a lot easier said than done. This article will give you the tools to not only build your own bar, but you’ll know how to use just about every item in your arsenal. You’ll go from being an amateur server to an expert-level mixologist.
Wholesale Bar Items
Before we get into specifics, it’s important to know which items are the most integral in terms of building a home-bar set-up. Among the most important items would be some sort of serving surface. “Serving surface” is a fancy way of saying bartop, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook investing in a really top-of-the-line service. A lot of bar surfaces are usually priced relatively low, and you can count on them to get the job done without breaking the bank.
Remember, it’s up to you as far as how much you’ll spend on a bar surface, but you don’t want to break the bank for the sake of impressing anyone. Just about any bar surface can get the job done. When looking for the best bar surfaces, be sure to look at wholesale distributors and vendors, as these locations tend to have the best quality products for the best possible prices.
Aside from a good bar surface, it’s also important to purchase the essentials. These essentials would include glasses, stirring rods, mixers, muddlers, and a whole host of other items. If you want to create an entire litany of drinks, you’ll need the best equipment possible. This is also important to think about in terms of what sort of drinks you’ll want to serve. If you’re serving beers or other sorts of serve to drink beverages, it’s more important to have a cooler or some sort of fridge. With mixed drinks, on the other hand, you’ll need all of the aforementioned equipment to really make a splash when you mixing your recipes.
Buying Kits versus Individual Pieces
Once you really start getting close to having a fully-made bar set, you’ll have to ask the inevitable question that most people run into: should you buy individual items or just acquire a fully-stocked set? While most people will advise you to go the way of buying things in packs, we recommend you actually go the route of purchasing individual pieces. While kits and value packs can certainly be a good value for many consumers, if you’re most concerned with quality and specificity, it’s always a good idea to go with individual items. By purchasing individual pieces, you’ll ensure that you’re getting the best quality.
With value packs, oftentimes vendors get discounts by substituting higher quality items with bulk quantities of cheaper things. This allows them to sell the value pack in the first place. Aside from that, many times when you buy a value pack it can seem as if you’re handcuffed to every item in the pack, even though that you have no interest in buying.
So just to keep things simple, buy individual pieces. Now that that’s been established, here are some of the most critical pieces you should definitely consider when buying equipment for your bar set-up.
Basic Mixing Equipment
When it comes to preparing mixed drinks, there are a couple essentials that you’ll need to purchase. One of the most important things is a shaker cup. Commonly found in most bars, a shaker cup also happens to be one of the most important tools in a bartender’s arsenal. By filling the cup with the desired drink, it allows the tender to then mix whatever liquids he or she wants, creating the perfect balance in a mixed drink. This is absolutely essential to have if you plan on making things like Long Island ice teas, or several part whiskey mixes.
When buying a shaker cup, ensure that you’re buying one that’s entirely made of metal. There are hybrid shakers that are made of plastics and other materials, but these should be avoided at all costs since they are often the first to degrade and break down. To verify the quality of a cocktail shaker, it’s always a good idea to try and ask around from other mixologists because they are more often very open as far as the equipment they would op to use.
The next item on your list should be a good muddler. A muddler tends to have a silly name, but it’s one of your most critical tools for preparing mixed drinks that contain herbs or pieces of fruits. A muddler helps the bartender break up the mint and leaves in the bottom of a glass, and by muddling these ingredients, it releases the flavors into the beverage. This is a must-have item for any bartender that plans on serving mojitos by the boatload, since mojitos rely on a good muddler in order to taste really good.
Since muddlers are so important to a great cocktail, you definitely don’t want to cheap out when you buy one. Great examples of muddlers would be those that are constructed of a high-quality wood, especially a smooth wood that will not chip or degrade. Buying these sorts of tools will ensure that a muddler will not only give you good results, but it will guarantee that over time the item will remain intact.
The next item on your list should be a strainer. With a strainer, you can use this tool to separate the ice from the beverage you want to pour into a serving glass. By this point, we may be sounding like a broken record. Again, we are going to recommend that you opt to buy a strainer that is metallic rather than plastic, because again, metallic strainers are going to give you the most in terms of durability and consistency. It also helps to have a metallic strainer since it tends to retain the coldness of the beverage better and will not impart undesirable flavors as a cheap plastic strainer might do. Cocktail strainers are definitely the obvious choice for anyone that plans on preparing a lot of mixed drinks, especially those that require several parts mixed together.
Mixing Rods and Mixing Spoons
While these items tend to get overlooked when compared to other pieces of bar equipment, you can’t underestimate the ability of a good stirrer. Two items that are frequently used are mixing spoons and mixing rods. While most amateur barkeeps might get away with a simple plastic rod, if you’re a serious mixologist, invest in a set of really solid metallic mixers. These will guarantee that not bad flavors will be imparted on the drink, and they will also allow you to mix and stir the most liquid as possible.
In terms of rods and spoons, this is a matter of debate. Some people prefer the mixing spoon because a spoon has more versatility than a metallic cylinder, but a lot of people prefer the cylinders because they offer more control and mixability. Ultiamtely, it’s up to you as a bartender, but it wouldn’t hurt to experiment with both to find out which works best.
When it comes to pouring drinks, precision is key. One of the most important tools that will help you do this is a jigger. With a jigger, you simply fill it to the brim, and this would be able to define a single “part,” which is the unofficial measuring system someone would use to mix together drinks. This is especially important if you’re mixing complicated drinks that consist of two or three parts, and sometimes even more. Just as we’ve said a million times in this article, try to get a metallic jigger so you can ensure that you’ll be able to make precisely measured drinks for a long time to come.
As far as extras are concerned, it’s not a bad idea to buy auxiallry items like bottle pourers, napkins, and other materials. A bottle pourer is great because it will allow you to serve all sorts of beverages without spilling the liquid all over the bar. This is also great for serving other non-alcoholic drinks, so if you simply want to be the life of the party, be sure to buy a great bottle pourer to ensure that you’ll continue to be the best home-made bartender in the world.
Remember, if you’re interested in buying bartending supplies for the lowest prices and best quality, always look to independent online distributors as these are often your best sources for high-quality bartending tools that will allow you to entertain your guests to the best of your ability.