The home bar: often found in faux wood-paneled basements with shag carpeting, on refined dining room hutches with perfectly polished silver or thrown on the kitchen counter with mis-matched glasses. Where ever the bar is set up for a soiree, you’ve got to have it well stocked. A few weeks ago, Chris and I hosted our families for a little holiday cocktail party (we had to convince the boys to come with the promise of the Patriots on the tube) and I yet again found myself setting up an at home bar with all the accoutrements.
With New Years Eve close on the horizon, I thought I’d pop a bottle of the bubbles and share must have picks for stocking your bar (brought to you by The Bar Mix Master Has Spoken):
Liquors: Bourbon, Brandy, Gin, Light Rum, Dark or Spiced Rum, Tequila, Vodka, Whiskey (Blended, Rye, Scotch, Irish or you know…all of the above if your of Irish decent like yours truly)
Liqueurs: Amaretto, Triple Sec, Coffee Liqueur, Italian Vermouth (sweet or red label), French Vermouth (dry or green label), Various Schnapps (Apple, Peach, Peppermint …)
Garnishes and Condiments: Angostura Bitters, Black Pepper, Cocktail Olives (no pimento), Cocktail Onions (pickled), Limes, Lemons, Oranges, Grenadine, Horseradish, Maraschino Cherries, Rose’s Lime Juice, Salt, Coarse Salt, Sugar, Tabasco Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Orange Bitters
Mixers: Water, Club Soda, Cola, Diet Cola, Lemon-Lime Soda, Milk, Orange Juice, Tomato Juice, Tonic Water, Ginger Ale, Cranberry Juice, Pineapple Juice, Beer
In addition to this list, I think you always need to have a few bottles of red, white and sparkling wine at the ready. And of course, you can’t forget to have the brewskis chilled and ready to go.
No one expects you to go out and buy all of this boozy stuff all at once and have your local package store worker question your liver health. Buy everything slowly…the booze will last until you need a liver transplant.
Our Lazy Susan full of liquor (or what my Mum calls, the Boozy Susan)
As a frequent entertainer, I find that setting up a bar is an instant WOW for guests. Set it on a nice tablecloth, buy a bouquet of flowers and let the booze do the talking. A bar at the ready will make your guests feel welcome to serve themselves, which frees you, the hostess, up to mingle and enjoy yourself.
My bar set up from a girls night
Table o' booze for our Masters Golf party last spring
Champagne, wine and peonies made a beautiful bar for my engagement party
Now, you just have to make sure you have some good snackery and good conversation and your event will be an instant success!