Planning a Party
Planning a party can be a huge undertaking, especially if you want to make sure your bar is stocked ...
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Setting up your Home Bar

If you’re interested in setting up a home bar you will need to know about the basic tools for completing your bar. While it is not necessary to spend a fortune and purchase every high tech bar gadget and tool available on the market, there are some basic tools you will need to properly serve up a party of get together. The items you will need to purchase will primarily depend on what you already have in your kitchen. The good news is that many of the items you will need for your bar vary widely in price, so regardless of what your budget happens to be you should be able to find items to fit that budget.

First, start by acquiring shakers. There are actually two basic types of shakers you can pick up. The first is known as the traditional or cocktail shaker. This is a metal shaker that contains a tight-fitting lid over a strainer. The other shaker is known as the Boston shaker. This is a good buy because not only does it work as a shaker but it also contains a 16 ounce mixing glass. While the Boston shaker is usually used by professional bartenders if you have the funds, it can be a nice addition to your home bar.

You will also need an electric blender for preparing frozen drinks as well as pureeing fruit and crushing ice. Depending on whether you already have a blender in your kitchen you may not need to purchase one for your home bar unless you simply do not want to move the blender back and forth or you desire a smaller model for the smaller confines of your bar.

Strainers are also a necessity for your home bar. They are used for drinks that are mixed over ice but served neat. Remember if you use a Boston shaker you will require a strainer because the strainer is not included in the Boston shaker as it is in the Cocktail shaker. Like the shaker there are two different kinds of strainers. The Hawthorne strainer has a flat top with perforated metal. It works quite well with the Boston shaker. The Julep strainer is excellent to use with drinks that are strained from mixing glasses due to its spoon shape.
Don’t forget to add a variety of measuring devices, including jiggers and measuring spoons. Jiggers allow you to ensure precise measurement of liquids while measuring spoons are idea for dry ingredients.

Other essentials you will need include a muddler; which is a thick stick that is used to mash ingredients in the bottom of the glass. This tool is essential for mixing bitters and sugars. It is used to make Mojitos as well as many other drinks. You will also need a bottle opener, corkscrew, cutting board, grater, juicer, paring knives, stirrers and ice accessories such as crushers, scoops, tongs and at least one ice bucket. It is also usually a good idea to include a cutting board for preparing garnishes. Many people also find it handy to keep a small fridge in their home bar as well.

Of course, you will also need a wide variety of appropriate glassware. The types of drinks you prefer to serve may dictate the type of glasses you will need. Consider options such as high-balls, wine glasses, champagne flutes, beer steins, margarita glasses, shot glasses, snifters, rocks, cocktails, parfait glasses and glass coffee cups. At a bare minimum you should have rocks, beer mugs, highballs, wine glasses and cocktail glasses in your glassware collection.

Finally, don’t forget to include a wide variety of spirits, mixers and liqueurs in your home bar.
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