Three Stylish Ways to Set Up a Home Bar

How to Set Up a Home Bar

Once considered a bit passé, the home bar is making a big comeback. If you want to incorporate one into your home, choose a style that complements your current decor. Or get inspired by one of these three great looks. And once you‘re all set up, don’t forget to give the matching cocktail recipes a try to christen your new bar.

Vintage Glamour

A well-stocked home bar is a sign there’s a grown-up in the house − one who knows their Cognac from their Cointreau and can make a mean martini. If you’re going for the glam look, opt for reflective finishes and ornate accessories like mirrors, vases and decadent lighting. Crystal glasses and whisky decanters are essential and one key element, such as the bar cabinet, must be refined and elegant. You can take inspiration from different visual styles like Art Deco or Old Hollywood.

How to Set Up a Home Bar

VESPER MARTINI

40ml Four Pillars Rare Gin
20ml Archie Rose Vodka
10ml Lillet Blanc
Twist of lemon peel

Shake ingredients over ice and fine strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

FRENCH 75

20ml Tanqueray 10 gin
15ml fresh lemon juice
10ml sugar syrup
Chilled Champagne
Twist of lemon peel

Shake ingredients and strain into a chilled flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with a twist of lemon peel to serve.

Classic Sixites

If your preference is for mid-century styling, channel Mad Men to create a cool, relaxed home bar. Understatement is essential and all details should be considered carefully. Timber tones, moody lighting and a subdued colour palette are important. Go for low-back mid-century sofas or chairs and feel free to add some cultural references too − perhaps a retro-style turntable or vintage phone. As architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said, “Less is more.” When dressing the table or yourself, a tailored look is mandatory.

How to Set Up a Home Bar

MAD MEN COCKTAIL

2 x pieces orange zest
1 teaspoon caster sugar
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Dash soda water
50ml Buffalo Trace Bourbon whiskey
Maraschino cherry

Squeeze one piece zest to produce oil and spray into a double old-fashioned glass. Discard zest.

Add sugar, bitters, soda water, 30ml bourbon and four ice cubes and stir for 30 seconds. Add remaining bourbon and four more ice cubes and stir again.

Garnish with remaining orange zest and cherry.

Tropical Mood

Embrace the vibes of summer and create a tropical-inspired bar. But forgo the usual suspects and think more Bahamas than Bondi. Take your style cues from the likes of designer India Hicks who has perfected the mix of British Colonial elements and island luxe finishes. Consider materials such as cane, leather and pewter alongside freshly picked hibiscus, ornate coral and lots of ferns. Make it fun and have a deck of cards or a backgammon board within reach. As for everything else − from furnishings to fashion − aim to keep them neutral.

How to Set Up a Home Bar

TOMMY’S MARGARITA

20ml lime juice
50ml Blanco tequila
10ml agave syrup

Shake and strain over ice into a chilled old-fashioned glass with a salt rim. Garnish with a lime wedge.

MOJITO

50ml Havana Club 3 y.o.
20ml fresh lime juice
15ml sugar syrup
6 mint leaves
Soda water

Pour rum, lime juice, sugar syrup and mint leaves in a highball glass. Add ice and stir vigorously. Add more ice and top with soda water.

Garnish with a lime wedge and a mint sprig dusted with icing sugar, or add fresh raspberries to take this classic to another level.

Stock your home bar

Photography by Brett Stevens. Styling by Kirsten Bookallil