When you decide to install a custom bar in your home, only the best will do. Whether you choose a minibar for the corner of your living room or a large full wet bar for your basement man cave, constructing it yourself gives you the freedom to personalize every inch of the installment and get exactly what you want.
Liquor and the Bar
Liquor storage is probably the most important part of your bar, for obvious reasons. For those of you who are looking for a smaller storage solution, all you really need to do is count up the number of bottles you tend to have and get a storage space big enough for them with a little room to grow. But if you’re going to go all out and entertain with a full menu, you’ll need to invest in a much bigger space. You may want to check out a restaurant supply store for professional solutions. Usually your storage will be built right into the bar itself, in a cabinet or shelf underneath the countertop. It’s always a good idea to install a safety mechanism on a liquor cabinet.
You can choose just about anything to serve the role of the bar, from a small end table to a huge custom countertop. You can buy or build it in any style you like, from modern metal and mirrors to traditional dark woods, or anything in between. Your available space and your needs will help you decide how big or small you need this part to be. If you are thinking of a space to store your favorite liquors and little else, a small cabinet is all you need. But if you’re looking for a set up to allow you to entertain your friends with a full array of drinks, you’re definitely going to need a larger space with room for a sink and refrigerator, and lots of storage for alcohol, mixers, tools, and glassware. If you’re more of a wine drinker, even a small bar should be equipped with an appropriate refrigerator or wine cooler.
There are a few appliances that you may or may not need to include in your plans. A larger bar may benefit from the inclusion of a sink for easier cleanup, but this is not necessary for smaller bars. Installation of a sink will include some plumbing knowledge and may be easier to do with some professional help. If you or your guests prefer wine, you may already own a wine cooler, but if not, it’s a good idea to look into one now. A small refrigerator or cooler is also a good option to look into, especially for those who like mixed drinks. A wine cooler or refrigerator may only require access to a grounded electrical outlet and should be easy to install. Finally, you may also want to install an ice maker, especially if you frequently serve “on the rocks” drinks. This appliance (whether alone or as part of a freezer unit) will require a water source and an electrical outlet, so be careful while installing.
Glassware and Accessories
Glassware storage is another element of your bar to be considered. If you are going with a smaller option, you may choose to continue to keep your highballs and stemware in a kitchen cupboard. A larger bar, or one that’s located far from the kitchen, should have storage just for these, though. Custom hanging racks for stemware are easy to build or buy and install, putting these items in arms reach and out of harm’s way. Shot glasses and other non-stem glasses should be stored on a shelf, ideally with a shelf liner that prevents them from slipping and clinking.
Utensils and equipment are a small item on this list. If mixed drinks are on the menu, a shaker is probably a good choice, along with instruments for measuring jiggers, ponies, and shots. Special spouts are available for liquor bottles, making it easier to pour and measure your spirits. A knife and small cutting board are in order if you like to garnish with a lime, and a muddler is nice if you like mojitos. Drinks aren’t complicated, so you probably already have everything you need in this department.
A home bar is an easy and affordable luxury. With a little money and a few hours of work, you can install the bar of your dreams. With your favorite mixed drink waiting for you at home, even rush hour traffic will be a piece of cake.