By: Raul Parra
Email: rp@99sportsproblems.com
Twitter: ParraPalliative

We have all dreamed of opening a bar.  You usually get the bug right after the credits to Cocktail roll at 2 in the morning and you were too wasted to get up and grab the remote.  Now you may not have the scratch to go out and buy a building and start building your empire, but you may have room in the dining room or living room to set up a little home bar.  Below is a list of tools, tips and recipes to get you on your way.  Now please enjoy part one of The Home Bar.

Tools of the Trade:

Here is a list of tools that you will need to make any concoction that you can ever dream of, some of these are more important than others, it just depends how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.

  • Bar Spoon:  This little dude is long, has a twisted shaft and is adorned with a tear drop liked spoon.  I know what you’re thinking ladies, but this is specifically for making drinks.  Pretty handy for stirring with one hand.
  • Bar Towels:  Cleaning up messes and shining the glassware.  It’s always good to have a few of these bad boys laying around.
  • Blender:  Love daiquiris and margaritas?  Well then you’ll need one of these puppies.  If you can afford it go with a nice metal one instead of plastic.
  • Boston Shaker:  The essential tool for cocktail mixing.  It consists of two cups, one metal and the other glass.  The metal cup is placed over the glass and the two are then shaken until the mixture inside has been fully incorporated.  When you separate the two halves, if poured from the metal cup use a Hawthorne strainer, if pouring from the glass cup use a julep strainer.
  • Bottle Opener:  Well…. yeah.  (Using a lighter to open a bottle is also an option, if you’re a mac daddy pimp and know how to do it.)
  • Can Opener:  You know it.. you’ve used it.
  • Champagne Stopper:  You don’t want your bubbly to go flat… this guy will help you.
  • Church Key:  If you don’t want to go with just a bottle opener you can get down with one of these little buddies.  The pointy end can be used to pierce the top of tomato or coconut juice cans.
  • Juicer or Citrus Reamer:  Who wouldn’t want fresh OJ for their Mimosas?
  • Citrus Stripper and Zesters:  Into making fancy garnishes or adding that potent zest to bring out the flavor of a cocktail?  Then you’ll definitely need one of these.
  • Coasters or Cocktail napkins:  Do you respect wood?  Well we do.  Don’t leave those unsightly water stains on your bar and don’t let your friends do it either.
  • Cocktail Picks: For picking up garnishes… don’t use your fingers… bunch of savages in this town… I swear.
  • Corkscrew: Absolutely essential tool for opening corked bottles.  If you don’t know what a corkscrew is… you probably should not be drinking.
  • Cutting Board: You have to have a clean place to cut up your garnishes.
  • Glass Pitcher:  For storing juices or punches that you have created.
  • Ice Bucket: This little guy is vital.  Almost everything you will create will involve ice.  No one wants to be running back and forth from the ice maker to the bar every time you want to make a cold drink.  Save yourself the running game.
  • Ice Scoop: No one wants your filthy hands on their ice.
  • Jigger: Usually metal, hour glass shaped device that usually has a 1 once measure on one side and a one and a half once measure on the other side.  However, they do make different types of jiggers so make sure to check yours.
  • Muddler:  Usually a wooden and pestle shaped.  This nifty dude is used to crush ingredients at the bottom of a glass.
  • Cocktail Straws:  Used for mixing your drink in the glass and sipping.
  • Speed PourersA removable pouring spout that allows the bartender to pick up bottles and pour immediately.  It is also the essential element used for “count pouring” which we will discuss in the later sections of this article.
  • Strainer:  There are two types available for bars.  A Hawthorne Strainer and a Julep strainer.

Now, that’s not too bad of a list is it.  In fact you probably have most of these things already buried in a junk drawer somewhere.  So what’s next?  Well, what are you going to serve all these lovely drinks in?

Glassware:

There are over two dozen different types of glassware that you can stock your bar with, however before you run out and buy a new collection of stuff think about how much entertaining you actually do.  How many times a month do you entertain?  On average how many peeps do you usually have over?  What are the tastes of your guest?  For instance, if you don’t find that you and your scumbag friends drinking too many glasses of champagne, don’t go buy a dozen champagne saucers.  Below is a list of bare minimums to get the party cracking.

  • Beer Glass or Mug 16-20 oz
  • Pilsner Glass 10-20 oz
  • All Purpose Wine Goblet 8-14 oz
  • Champagne Flute 6-9 oz
  • Cocktail Glass 4-12 oz
  • Collins Glass 8-14 oz
  • Shot Glass 1-3 oz
  • Rocks Glass 5-6 oz

The Home Bar Part Two: Tame the Beast!

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