For any cocktail aficionado, setting up your home bar is both fun and a key to entertaining. But if you're on a budget, how can you create a great home bar without breaking the bank? Here are a few steps to follow to make it work for everyone — especially the host.
Stock the Basics
You'll need to have a few basics on hand in order to entertain your friends and enjoy beautiful evenings at home. This generally means keeping a nice, but budget-friendly, bottle of the following on hand:
With these, you can make many different drinks without adding many ingredients you don't have. You should also stock a basic selection of red wine and white wine as well as a craft beer or two. Look for a smooth IPA (India Pale Ale) and a wheat or blonde beer to satisfy different tastes.
Focus on Your Interest
Now that you have the basics, it's time to add variety. If you don't have the money to stock your bar with all the best of everything, focus on stocking a selection of what interests you. There are three good reasons to do this. First of all, this limited focus will help you spend your alcohol budget wisely and enjoy it more. Secondly, you likely know more about spirits that you personally enjoy, so you can choose well and make the most of your money. Third, this is your bar, and you should base it on what makes you happy.
Set Up Delivery
Just because you have a limited home bar doesn't mean you shouldn't keep things well-stocked. A spirits delivery service is a great way to ensure that you don't run out at the most inopportune times. It's cost-effective for those who enjoy entertaining and having on hand that basic supply, largely because you can set up reliable delivery at set prices.
Once you have the basics in place as well as a system for keeping them maintained, start adding more obscure alcohols and non-alcoholic ingredients. One budget-friendly way to add other items is to choose one new cocktail recipe per week and buy the new ingredients as you need them. Eventually, you'll have everything!
You'll also want to include regular necessities like ice, club soda (or tonic water), lemon lime soda, various fruit juices, bitters, simple syrup, grenadine, and coffee. Many of these ingredients last a long time when stored in a mini-refrigerator or are shelf-stable.
Stocking your home bar is easier than many think. It can be informal and simple, or it can be elaborate and expensive. But if you're on a cocktail budget, following these few steps will help you make the best choices with your budget and have a lot of fun both alone and with your friends. Cheers!