The current status of your home bar? A dusty compartment in the kitchen cupboard, filled with 2 or 3 started bottles of unpopular spirits left over from the last party and a half-full, glued-on bottle of eggnog from your grandma? Stop it!
There is a time in the life of a young adult when a well-stocked home bar should be created so that guests no longer have to bring their own drinks and spontaneous visitors don’t have to sit on dry land. If the project “home bar” has not yet been on your to-do list, it is hereby officially included.
We’re not saying that you have to spend thousands of euros to pound a house bar out of the ground that could be photographed for a glossy interior design magazine. However, by following a few simple rules, you can build up a good base to offer your guests at least a selection of classic drinks to suit every taste.
When selecting spirits the motto to go by is definitly “quality over quantity”! With these 11 spirits you can mix countless cocktail classics and modern drinks. If the quality is good, they can also be served pure.
White Rum (3 years old)
Brown Rum (minimum 7 years old)
* z.B. THE DUKE Munich Dry Gin
**z.B. LION’s Handcrafted Vodka
***The range of whiskys is really endless, but to be able to mix classics like an “Old Fashioned” a bourbon is very usful.
Fillers and Garnish
Cocktails and long drinks usually contain not only spirits but also non-alcoholic ingredients such as fruit juice, syrup, cream, tonic water or soda water and are often garnished with pieces of fruit or vegetables and herbs. Ice is needed for shaking and stirring the drinks as well as for refilling the cocktail glasses. You should also have these ingredients in stock:
Ginger Ale/ Ginger Beer
Grenadine (Pomegranate syrup)
Citrus fruits (orange, lime, lemon)
Vegetables (cucumber, celery)
Herbs (thyme, rosemary, basil, mint)
If you have obtained all spirits and other ingredients for various drinks, the right bar tools are needed to be able to mix cocktail recipes well. The following are the most important, but a sharp fruit knife, a small cutting board, a citrus press, an ice container, an ice shovel or tongs and tweezers for garnishing are of advantage.
Mixing glass: Most drinks are prepared in a mixing glass.
Barspoon: „Stirred, not shaken“ – the bar spoon with its long handle is one of the most important bar tools. Thanks to the spiral style, even cocktails with ice cubes can be stirred quickly and can therefore cool down perfectly.
Shaker: If cocktails contain, among other things, fruit juice, cream or egg, a shaker is used for the preparation. This allows the ingredients to be mixed well together and cooled at the same time by adding ice.
Jigger: A bar measure (Jigger) is used to measure spirits and other liquid ingredients. This usually has two different sides (usually 3 and 5 cl, but sometimes 2 and 4 cl), the larger side is also called jigger and the smaller side pony.
Muddler: This bar tool can be used to crush and mash fruits, herbs or spices in a vessel (e.g. mortar or shaker) in order to release the desired aromatic substances.
Bar strainer: Ingredients, such as fruit or herbs are supposed to give aromas to the mixed cocktail, but nobody wants the residues or the ice from the shaker in their glass. To filter the ice cubes out of the drink, a strainer is needed.
Thanks to the metal spiral the Hawthorne Strainer adapts flexibly to the opening of the shaker. After shaking, the strainer is placed on the opening of the shaker and the drink is then slowly “strained” into a pre-cooled or ice-filled glass.
The Julep Strainer is the older and simpler version: it is a large, curved spoon with holes. The strainer is held with the curved side down into the shaker to strain the cocktail.
Zester: Rarely found in a home bar, however indispensable at any cocktail bar, is the Zester. Spirals are ripped from the peel of the citrus fruits, this is called “ripping zests”. These are often used as garnish for drinks. “Rippig zests” as a garnish not only makes drinks look good but also enhances the specific citrus note. When selecting citrus fruit, make sure you choose organic quality!
If you don’t want to buy new glasses, the ones you already have at home usually do the job. However, it is of course more stylish if drinks are served in the glasses they are supposed to be served in. After all, you would not offer your guests beer in a wine glass. Those of you who are just thinking: “Oh, it happens” should perhaps reconsider this at this point. Glasses for red and white wine and champagne belong in every household. A well-stocked home bar should also have martini glasses, tumbler, longdrink glasses and stone mugs for Munich Mules (Recipe Munich Mule) or Moscow Mule.
The home bar is set? Then we can start now! Here you can find traditional and exciting new gin and vodka drinks for remixing at home. Have fun and Cheers!