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how to set up a liquor bar

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Setting up a liquor bar is no longer reserved as a privilege for high-end restaurants and bars. With the influx of home entertainment and cocktail parties, owning a liquor bar has become a home décor trend too. A good liquor bar serves as a centerpiece that brightens up a living space and sets the mood for any party. In this article, you will learn how to set up a liquor bar that suits your style, and how to stock it with the right selections.

Design & Style

Designing a liquor bar is an opportunity to express your style and personality. One bold approach is to use an antique bookshelf or a vintage record player as the bar. Such a design tugs at the heartstrings of those who love history and vintage items. On the other hand, a modern and minimalist approach involves using a sleek and straightforward bar with a metallic finish. The key to designing a great liquor bar is the functionality aspect, as it has to be practical and accessible. Comfortable seats, a well-lit space, and perfect placements of bar tools all facilitate a seamless bar experience.

Bar Tools & Glassware

Bar tools and glassware are necessities for any bar. A standard bar should have at least one cocktail shaker, jigger, strainer, ice bucket, bottle opener, and stirrer. Other tools like a citrus press and a muddler are optional but are useful for specialized cocktails. All tools should be set up close to where they will be used. A collection of glassware is critical to a well-coordinated bar experience. The types of glasses stocked depend on the style of cocktails served. Basic types include short tumblers, tall highball glasses, and martini glasses. If targeting a specific type of drinker, it's good to have specialty glasses for champagne, brandy, or beer.

Liquor Selection

The selection of liquors should be based on the types of cocktails served. In general, it's good to have two to three types of liquors on hand. Typically, a gin, vodka, and whiskey can blend with a wide variety of mixers and produce excellent cocktails. Stocking up on lesser-known spirits like tequila, rum, or liqueurs can impress the more adventurous drinkers. For cocktail makers who aspire for a more specific theme, building a collection of cocktails ingredients like syrups, bitters, and vermouth can elevate the cocktail-making experience.

Mixers & Garnishes

Next to spirits, mixers and garnishes are essentials for any bar. Common mixers include juices (orange, grapefruit, or cranberry), tonics, sodas, and club soda. Garnishes are the little touches that add a taste of elegance to the cocktail. Lime and lemon wedges are standard, but mixologists have become creative with other items like fresh herbs, fruits, and spices. Syrups like mint, grenadine, or elderflower syrup can add a sweet touch to the drink. When selecting the garnishes to serve, please ensure they complement the cocktails.

Conclusion

Setting up a liquor bar is an art that requires balance and attention to detail. The right design, glassware, tools, liquor selection, mixers, and garnishes can create a memorable bar experience for any guest. Ultimately, the bar should evoke a sense of welcoming and boost the host's confidence in providing good entertainment. With this guide, you are now equipped to set up a liquor bar that complements your style and produces great cocktails.

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