When setting up a home bar, you'll want to invest in a starter set of essential barware. While you don't have to set up an entire bar in your kitchen with monogrammed barware or stainless steel barware, you will want to consider what types of drinks you will most likely serve and buy the corresponding home bar supplies and barware glasses.
If You Plan on Serving Mixed Drinks:
A Sturdy Blender
A good blender will be dishwasher safe, have multiple speeds and will look like it can take a beating.
At Least One Large Cocktail Shaker
When choosing a cocktail shaker, look for a stainless steel shaker that is big enough to mix at least two drinks at once. Choose a shaker that comes with a strainer for pouring drinks straight up or without the ice.
A Measuring Tool
This can be a shot glass or a jigger. Just make sure you measure how much the shot glass holds so you always know if it's serving one, two or three ounces every time you fill it.
These glasses can be used to serve classic gin or vodka martinis or any of the newer cocktails currently being poured into martini glasses for elegant presentation.
These fun glasses are perfect for Mexican-themed parties. Don't forget the lime and salt for the rim.
Interchangable with collins glasses, these tall glasses are perfect for mixed drinks and sodas.
If You Prefer to Serve Champagne, Wine or Beer:
A Multipurpose Tool for Opening Bottles
Look for a corkscrew that doubles as a bottle opener. Instead of settling for a traditional corkscrew, consider buying a rabbit or lever-operated corkscrew. These devices make opening bottles of wine or champagne a snap.
A Set of Champagne Flutes
Invest in a pretty set of champagne flutes, which are taller and more slender than white wine glasses. Remember that you can also make mimosas and bellinis in champagne flutes.
A Set of Beer Mugs
Look for solid beer mugs or steins. The mug should feel heavy in your hand, even without liquid in it. It should be able to stand storage in the freezer so you'll have a frosty mug ready for serving upon a moment's notice.
Two Sets of Wine Glasses
Make sure to buy both red and white wine glasses. Red wine glasses are larger and shaped more like a bowl. White wine glasses are smaller and narrower.
If You Prefer to Serve the Hard Stuff:
A Set of Brandy Snifters
Serve up a generous swallow of brandy or cognac in these wide, bowl-like glasses.
A Set of Double Old Fashioned Glasses
These short and stout glasses are great for serving scotch on the rocks or a bourbon and Benedictine.
A Set of Dessert Wine Glasses
Although they look like mini wine glasses, these delicate glasses are perfect for a sip of port after dinner.
Have a Little Fun
Consider dressing up your barware by adding a whimsical touch. Try monogrammed barware or look for glasses with interesting designs and colors. Invest in a funky corkscrew or cocktail napkins with funny sayings and pictures printed on them.
Making flavored vodka is an easy, inexpensive and creative way to spice up your at-home bar or create gifts for family and friends. Once you know what you want to flavor your vodka with, gather up a recipe to follow: plain vodka, your flavor ingredients, two gallon-sized glass jars, a dark closet and a strainer lined with cheesecloth.
If you're wondering how to make a White Russian, start with vodka, kahlua and heavy cream. This drink goes well with desserts of all kinds and is the perfect end to a great meal-or a good night of bowling.
Apple cider alcoholic drinks are a wonderful way to warm up on a cold night, and cider works well with several types of alcohol.