With the Super Bowl just passed and March Madness right around the corner, it’s time to start planning your next party with friends. If you’re looking to host a gathering this year but don’t know where to start, fear not — we’ve compiled 10 home bar ideas for your next party.
Build A Booze Bar
The most popular feature at bars are the refrigerators and shelves filled with cocktails. If you have an old bar cart sitting around, try reviving it for your next party.
Now that it’s cleaner, you can mix a list of signature cocktails for your guests and have them served straight up in the coolest, no-prep glassware they’ve ever seen. Or, get some large-sized ice buckets and fill them with some seasonal coolers. It will make it so easy for your guests to sip on a drink while they’re enjoying the game.
Convenient Sturdy Cooler With Ice Containers — This one will make your guests think you’re one of those crafty chefs in a kitchen, but the reality is that your friends can take care of their own food. Let them bring their own beer and wine and serve them from the cooler.
Build A Cocktail Bar
Make your home your own by adding your favorite bottles of liquor and liqueurs to your bar cart. Keep your drinks cold for longer with this multi-functional flask from Fox Winters, which holds up to eight ounces.
The double-walled stainless steel construction keeps liquids at the proper temperature without running hot or cold. Cocktail trays come in all different shapes and sizes — it’s easy to customize and personalize them to suit your home’s décor.
Eclipse bar lamps have a chic look, which makes it easy to incorporate them into any event. Not Your Father’s Bar Cart If you’re looking for a different style than the traditional bar cart, consider a large wooden cart.
Create A Beer Tasting Shelf
You know the person who’s constantly cranking out flavored vodka drinks from a bartender’s can? This person is your guest. Let him or her crank out five or six beers for you to choose from.
You can choose two or three from your own home’s stash and the other three or four you’ll be making yourself. Whether you opt for a light blue label or a red label, it’s not a lot of hard work if you’re using canned beer, so simply pour the beer into a jigger and get to tasting.
The Wall-mounted Beverage Center
The only thing better than a refrigerator in your kitchen? A refrigerator inside your kitchen. Using a shelving unit to house drinks is an easy and affordable way to have a big display without emptying your home of all of the bottles and cans. How do you do it?
First, get an extra fridge that has a glass door to make room for your mini-fridge. Next, load it with drinks like martinis and craft cocktails in addition to your everyday bottles of alcohol. Finally, hang it from the ceiling so the drinks can be seen easily from the kitchen counter or dining table.
This isn’t just any old fancy bottle rack — this is a truly innovative bottle rack, because this product is a giant point-of-sale machine.
Build Your Bar Space
To host a party, you need a place to enjoy your drink. For a great bar area in your home, you need to begin with a good bar. Your main focus should be on your budget — you want to have a nice, low-end bar if your budget is $500 or less and a nice high-end bar if your budget is $5,000 or more.
Make sure that your bar fits the style of your house so that you can have a diverse and unique setting. If your party is more traditional, opt for a bar with mirrors and dim lights to help create a classy, subdued setting.
If you want a more modern vibe, go with a sleek bar made out of natural wood, marble or stainless steel. Don’t Forget the Party Menu One of the most common mistakes guests make at parties is not having a party menu and not ordering drinks.
Choosing The Right Bar Table Or Countertop
One of the most important things when hosting a party is to choose a location that will accommodate all the guests. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can always squeeze in a couple of bar tables or a countertop near the kitchen.
If you’re not sure where you want to put your bar, check out our list of the best bar tables to find one that’s perfect for your party. Many bars will have classic cocktails that you can recreate at home. Even if you don’t have the cocktail expertise to create your own concoctions, you can still help guests become familiar with classic cocktails through mixology lessons and serving stations.
The Bar Tools
The first step is getting your bar tools together. If you’re fortunate enough to have a home bar, the bar tools will likely be comprised of the following:
Sharp knives: A large sharp knife that cuts large or small pieces of meat, bread or vegetables will help you get a head start on preparing the items for your party.
A bottle opener: A great tool to have on hand is a bottle opener. You can use this to open bottles of wine or beer or to open your bottle of Sauvignon Blanc with a few twists of the bottle.
A bottle opener peeler: If you don’t have a bottle opener peeler, use an ice pick to open the bottles. Many people use an ice pick instead of a bottle opener to use in their home bar and it is incredibly useful. Ice picks are cheap and easily found at a big box store like Costco.
Set Up An Elegant Wine Display
When you’re not entertaining a crowd, a simple wine display is a good way to get your guests talking about your home. If you’re going to be hosting a party, grab a few bottles of wine (for example, make sure the stemware isn’t going to be too big for the smaller bottles, but you’re not going for anything over $20.
Then, grab a tray, a wine rack or wine cage and some cheap bottles of something off the rack. Then, place the tray or rack underneath the empty space where the stemware used to be, and fill the rest of the space with your smaller bottles. The result is a beautiful look that will last for months!
Choosing The Right Liquor Brands For Your Home Bar
Even the most ardent cocktail lovers out there don’t always have the opportunity to have a bottle of fine gin on hand whenever they’re in the mood for a perfect martini. We’ve collected a number of high-end liquor brands — each of which includes a premium bottle and seasonal add-ons — to help you have more than enough to mix with your friends.
Our picks include brands like Lagavulin, Pernod, Jose Cuervo, Maker’s Mark, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Ketel One, Campari, Bulleit, Absolut, Seagram’s, Plymouth Gin, Tanqueray, Cointreau, and Bombay Sapphire. And while you certainly don’t have to buy all the specialty bottles for a home bar from the same brands, it’s always a good idea to get some variety in.
Selecting Wine And Beer For Your Home Bar
For a party that’s all about enjoying a few cold beers, we’ve included plenty of suggested bottles and cans. When it comes to selecting wine, keep these points in mind:
Pick Your Favorite Style — It’s easy to get obsessed with vineyards, but there’s no reason to get hung up on expensive “craft” wines that only sell in certain shops and restaurants.
When it comes to grapes, you’re better off focusing on the grapes that are the most readily available at your local market. If that means you’re drinking the Gouda from the cheese shop across the street, all the better. There are a few items on our list that you’ll want to think about purchasing, even if you’re serving your guests snacks and apps.