Building a stylish home bar comes in handy if you want to host guests often in your new apartment. After all, lots of people enjoy a stiff drink after a long week at work or during an intimate social gathering. What's more, a home bar serves as a powerful piece of decor. It adds an element of style and sophistication to your living space while also serving the practical purpose of providing you with a wide array of drink options. However, throwing a bunch of bottles on a table hardly constitutes a proper home bar. Here are five tips to get you started on this project:
1. Buy a bar cart
If you're living in a particularly small apartment, a bar cart might be the ideal apparatus for your home bar. One advantage of bar carts is that they're easily mobile, so you can push it into a closet or other free space if you need extra room. Furthermore, these carts are designed with both style and function in mind, and make it easy to store all of your glassware, liquor and other bar necessities. When you have a party, you can simply roll it out into public space and then roll it back into your bedroom, office or whereever else you regularly store it.
2. … or buy an end table
For those living in more spacious apartments, an end table offers a more permanent bar setting. As opposed to bar carts, an end table might also contain cabinets so that you can store a corkscrew, knives for cutting citrus and other bar tools. Make sure not to overload the surface of your end table with bottles, because you'll want at least a little room to mix and pour cocktails. If possible, put your bar by a sink so that you can easily wash glassware as needed during friendly get-togethers.
3. If you have space, build your own
Once you've comfortably moved into your apartment, building a custom bar might end up being the best option for your living space. If there's extra room to build a personalized bar, by all means take advantage of it. Not only will this give you a fun and challenging project to tackle, but it will also add a truly individualized aspect to your home. If you're not particularly goo with tools, invite some friends over to give you a helping hand or try working with an expert at your local home goods store.
4. Buy the basics
While having a bar in your apartment is perfect for hosting parties, it won't mean much if one of your guests asks for a gin and tonic and you don't have the ingredients to make one. Make sure to stock your bar with all the basics so that your guests can find a cocktail or mixed drink to enjoy. Besides stocking up on various liquors, make sure to purchase some triple sec, bitters, soda, tonic water, citrus fruits, grenadine and other various common ingredients found in numerous libations.
5. Learn the basics
Once your bar is fully stocked, you're going to have to learn how to tend the bar like a pro. While no one is expecting you to pull off the moves in "Cocktail," you should be able to confidently make an Old Fashioned, Manhattan and other classic drinks. Have a bar bible on hand so that you can look up drinks you don't know how to make off the top of your head. After you get comfortable making these drinks, you can take your home bar to the next level by creating a signature drink.