home bar setup outdoors bar table decking

How To Build a Home Bar

, by Enchanted Drinks

The Essentials and Nice-to-Haves

Post-lockdown, it's become fairly common to now have a home bar or bar cart...even a bar cupboard. Whether you’re an expert mixologist or a casual cocktail drinker, we've put together a checklist of the bar cart essentials, along with some additional suggestions to add a bit of 🔥. 

The Essentials

1. Alcohol (obvs!)

A well-stocked home bar starts with a variety of quality spirits. Here are the must-haves:

  • Vodka: A versatile base for countless cocktails.
  • Gin: Essential for classic cocktails like martinis and gin and tonics.
  • Rum: Both light and dark rum for a range of tropical drinks.
  • Tequila: A key ingredient for margaritas and other festive drinks.
  • Whiskey: Including bourbon for those who enjoy robust, flavorful drinks.
  • Brandy: Perfect for sipping and as a cocktail ingredient.

2. Mixers

Mixers are crucial for creating a variety of drinks. Stock up on:

  • Tonic water
  • Lemonade
  • Coke
  • Ginger ale
  • Flavoured Sodas
  • Fruit juices (orange, cranberry, pineapple)

3. Liqueurs and Bitters

These add depth and complexity to your cocktails:

  • Triple sec or Cointreau
  • Vermouth (sweet and dry)
  • Angostura bitters

4. Tools

Having the right tools can make the mixing process easier and more enjoyable:

  • Cocktail shaker: Essential for mixing and chilling drinks - SHOP HERE
  • Mixing glass: Used for stirring cocktails.
  • Bar spoon: Long-handled spoon for stirring.
  • Jigger: For measuring spirits accurately.
  • Strainer: To keep ice and other solids out of the final drink.
  • Muddler: For crushing herbs and fruits.
  • Corkscrew: For opening wine bottles.
  • Bottle opener: For beer and soda bottles.
  • Cutting board and knife: For preparing garnishes.

5. Glassware

Different drinks call for different types of glasses:

  • Highball glasses: For tall drinks and cocktails.
  • Rocks glasses: For short drinks and spirits served neat or on the rocks.
  • Martini glasses: For martinis and other similar cocktails.
  • Wine glasses: Red and white wine glasses.
  • Champagne flutes: For sparkling wine and champagne.

6. Garnish

This one might be a little biased...but we count it as an essential list:

  • Drink Shimmer: Too add the ultimate sparkle - SHOP HERE
  • Shimmer Syrup: To create new flavours - SHOP HERE
  • Dired Fruits: Delivering the aesthetic value and finishing off the taste.
  • Straws: A must have for tall drinks and spritzers.

Shop Drink Shimmer - https://www.enchanteddrinks.co.uk/collections/drink-shimmer

The Nice-to-Haves

Once you’ve covered the essentials, consider these additions to elevate your home bar:

1. Specialty Spirits and Liqueurs

Expand your cocktail repertoire with these:

  • Mezcal: Adds a smoky flavor to tequila-based drinks.
  • Aperol or Campari: For making classic aperitifs like the Aperol Spritz.
  • Amaretto: A sweet almond-flavored liqueur.
  • Chartreuse: An herbal liqueur with a distinctive flavor.
  • Absinthe: For a touch of old-world mystique.

2. Advanced Tools

For the dedicated mixologist:

  • Ice molds: To create large, slow-melting ice cubes.
  • Bar mats: To keep your bar area clean.
  • Citrus squeezer: For fresh lemon and lime juice.
  • Zester: For creating fine citrus zest.

3. More Glassware

Different cocktails are best enjoyed in their designated glass:

  • Coupe glasses: For classic cocktails.
  • Tiki mugs: For tropical and tiki drinks - SHOP HERE
  • Copper mugs: For Moscow Mules.
  • Snifters: For brandy and other aromatic spirits.

Shop Tiki Mug - https://www.enchanteddrinks.co.uk/products/tiki-cocktail-mug

4. Decor and Storage

Make your home bar a stylish focal point:

  • Bar cart or cabinet: For storing your spirits and tools.
  • Shelving: To display your glassware and bottles.
  • Lighting: Under-cabinet or ambient lighting to set the mood.
  • Bar signs and decor: To add a personal touch.


Building a home bar is an exciting project, that allows you to express your personal style and taste. By starting with the essentials and gradually adding nice-to-have items, you can create a versatile and impressive bar setup.

For more tips and products to enhance your home bar, visit www.enchanteddrinks.co.uk.

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