Home Bars: A Toast to Comfort and Convenience
It can be hard to enjoy a drink and unwind, and gatherings in public are still months away. So how do you wet your whistle in style, comfort and safety? Consider a home bar, where you can be both mixologist and patron.
“Any type of homeowner, from a growing family to a pair of empty-nesters to a couple who are planning to host family in their forever home, could benefit from a home bar,” said Larry Greene, president of Case Design/ Remodeling Indy in Indiana.
While the concept isn’t new - Mid Century DIY-ers were installing bars in basements and rumpus rooms in the ‘50s - your tiny tavern can be located anywhere.
“Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen a shift from dedicating a specific location for a home bar with custom cabinets to seeing more popup bars staged around a credenza in the dining room or a movable bar cart located in the library,” said Lucy Penfield, design principal with Lucy Interior Design in Minneapolis. Penfield transformed a storage area into a “speakeasy” with cedar paneling and an old English tray passed down from her grandfather. But if you don’t want to dedicate a full room, a portion of your kitchen with ample cabinetry space and an island can be a home bar on the fly.
Either way, you’ll need a prep surface that’s easy to clean; a refrigerator for mixers and garnishes; storage for bottles; and adequate, comfortable seating, advised Greene. Now, for the drinks. “If you are a cocktail enthusiast and enjoy mixing drinks, you should have a range of value-based spirits, including vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, rye whiskey, tequila, mezcal and blended Scotch,” recommended Tyler Zielinski, a beverage consultant and bartender. “You’ll also need bitters, sweet and dry vermouths, a few liqueurs, quality mixing tools for shaking and stirring, a set of glassware for various cocktail styles, mixers such as tonic and soda water, and citrus and syrups for sours.”
Of course, the more complex the bar, the more the cost can add up. “Before committing to this expense, consider how long you plan to remain in your home and if a home bar could be viewed as a potential drawback when it comes time to sell your home,” said Greene.