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8 Things to Consider Before Building Your Home Bar

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A home bar might seem like a simple venture at first, you just slap some wood together and buy some stools right? Wrong. There are many things to consider before building a bar. We’ve got your back with a list of the most important things to know when starting on your bar.

Bar Top

wood bar top, white brick, open liquor shelving, mirror

There are many options when it comes to choosing a material for your bar top. Wood however, is probably the most common and versatile material used when creating a bar counter. Wood is durable, easy to clean, and provides a non-slick surface for guests to set drinks on.

Size

stool height diagram

Average bar dimensions are usually around 42 inches tall by 24 inches wide. You don’t need to follow those exactly, but keep in mind that most bar stools are around 30 inches high, so when you’re picking out stools make sure they’re roughly 12 inches shorter than the height of your bar. Here’s a helpful diagram to give you an idea.

Ice

rocks glass with 4 cubes, black background

Wether you choose to buy a machine or keep trays stocked up in the freezer, you’re going to need ice, and a lot of it. It’s also important to make sure you’re choosing the right kind of ice for making cocktails. When using small ice pellets the ice melts very quickly and becomes wet causing the cocktail to “die” within the first few minutes. To make a proper cocktail you’ll want to use larger, more substantial cubes to prevent the drink from becoming too diluted. “Perfect” cube ice is fail proof. The term “perfect” is self explanatory, it refers to the cube being an even square. You can find silicone ice cube trays at almost any kitchen supply store.

Refrigeration

double door bar fridge with blue lighting, sitting area with pillows

Not only is refrigeration crucial for keeping beer and wine chilled, but you’ll also need somewhere to store your citrus, syrups, and garnishes when not in use. A double door, energy efficient fridge is ideal for optimum storage.

Dishwasher

compact dishwasher

Having a dishwasher behind your home bar adds an extra level of convenience, making clean up much faster and more efficient. However, if it’s not in the budget you can still get by without one.

Sink

glass shleves, liquor, marble counter_sink, gold faucet

Even if you decide against a dishwasher, a prep sink is a crucial element to any bar. Things get sticky fast when mixing cocktails. You’ll want somewhere to rinse your hands, bar tools, and discard ice you’ve used to shake with. The sink doesn’t have to be large, just big enough to perform those simple tasks. Check out our bar and prep sinks here.

Glassware

glassware guide

No cocktail is complete without the proper vessle. It’s important to stock your bar with the correct variety of durable glassware. Pictured below is a perfect list of the necessary styles you’re going to need for your home bar.

Tools

gold bar tools and boston shaker on marble counter

A cocktail is stirred when comprised solely of liquor, and shaken when anything else enters the picture, such as fruit juice. That’s why it’s important to have mixing pints and shaking tins, and the appropriate strainers for each. You don’t need to get crazy fancy with this one (unless you want to), but it’s important to have a basic bar kit containing the essentials when you plan on mixing cocktails.

TIP: Make sure you’re buying “TEMPERED” shaking tins/mixing pints and quality tools otherwise you’ll find yourself replacing things more often than not!

Now you can move onto the booze! What’s behind your home bar?

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