There’s something about the feeling you get when you walk into a home with a bar inside. A gorgeous bar setting will add class and sophistication to any home décor, that’s for certain—yet the ambience is surprisingly down-to-earth and welcoming at the same time.

Whether it’s a built-in wet bar in the living room area or a beautifully remodeled basement lounge, a home bar is casual elegance defined—along with the exciting promise of a good time. For those that love to entertain guests at home, a well-stocked bar is a wonderful way to dramatically enhance the value and enjoyment of your home.

If you’re a homeowner who’s lucky enough to count with a home bar, congratulations—you’re also the designated barkeep, in charge of making sure your bar area is neatly organized and well-stocked . Keep reading to learn how to stock a home bar with this official guide from Homewerks, and make sure you’re getting the most out of one of the most dynamic areas of your home.

Step One: Alcohol Selection

Step one is the most obvious—buy your alcohol. Before you head to the liquor store, let’s take a moment to find out what kind of bar you want to run. Do you want to create a professional bar setting in your home, where anything and everything is available—or would you prefer a more minimalist setting, featuring a select few of your tried-and-true alcoholic favorites?

Either way, you’re going to need to take a moment and make a list. If you’re going the open bar route, make a checklist of the basic liquors and essential mixed drink ingredients you’ll need on hand for the top ten most requested cocktails. To start, you can think about stocking up on at least one bottle of each of the following base liquors and alcoholic beverages found in any bar:

  • Brandy
  • Tequila
  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Gin
  • Whisky
  • Beer
  • Wine

For a more streamlined bar experience, focus on buying a diverse collection of what you love drinking the most, and a few extras for guests with alternative taste preferences. For instance, if you love wine, try stocking your bar with bottles from around the world—or if you love vodka, focus on buying a wide variety of top-shelf brands and chasers. In time, you’ll be an expert on the drinks you love—leading to a better bar experience for you and your guests. 

Choose Your Glassware

Your glassware needs will vary according to how you’re planning on using your bar. For a varied bar experience, you’ll want to buy at 4-6 sets of as many kinds of glassware as you can. There are dozens of specific types of glasses made for drinking alcoholic drinks to choose from when stocking your bar. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

  • Champagne Flutes: As the name states, these are used for sipping champagne, usually after a toast.
  • Red and White Wine Glasses: Red wine glasses are larger than white wine glasses, if you’re wondering about the difference.
  • Martini Glass or Coupe Glass: While both are used for drinks without ice, coupe glasses are considered the less messy, and modern alternative to the classic martini glass.
  • Highball Glass or Collins Glass: Used to serve “tall” cocktails made with high-proportions of mixers.
  • Irish Coffee Mug: For hot drinks like Irish coffee and the white Russian.
  • Rocks Glass: For enjoying drinks served over ice.
  • Shot Glass: For serving shots of all kinds.
  • Snifter Glass: A wide-bottomed, short-stemmed glass made especially for brandy, bourbon, and whisky.

Essential Bar Tending Accessories & Tools

Even if you’re not already a professional bartender, with the right tools and accessories you can certainly look the part. While your own items will depend on what kind of drinks you’re making, here’s a list of bartending items you’re likely going to need to get started:

  • Jigger: Useful for measuring correct quantities of alcohol, for consistency when making drinks.
  • Cocktail Strainer: Strainers are for removing ice, leaves, and juice pulp for chilled, smooth cocktails.
  • Shaker: Aside from looking like a pro when you use it, a shaker will perfectly chill your drinks without straining them.
  • Mixing Glass: A mixing glass is yet another type of glass you’ll need for your bar, however, this one’s perfect for mixing drinks—not drinking them.
  • Cocktail Stirrer: A long, sleek, stick-like utensil used for superior stirring action.
  • Zester: Use a zester to cut spiral shapes from lime, lemon, and orange peels for garnish.
  • Ice Tongs: A must for serving ice in drinks like a professional.

Set the Right Vibe with These Non-Alcoholic Wet Bar Essentials

As we previously mentioned, having a bar is a wonderful way to entertain guests in the comfort of your home. But your bar isn’t just about the drinks—it’s about making unforgettable memories with people you enjoy spending time with.

That said, the atmosphere you create is more important than the drinks you serve at your home bar. Here are some important factors to consider when setting up your bar that have nothing to do with alcohol.

Seating: Make sure there’s plenty of seating available for your guests, like bar stools or comfortable couches across from your wet bar. The more seats you can group together the better, to enhance the opportunity for good socialization.

Music: Music can significantly enhance your bar experience. Consider adding gorgeous floating shelves for your sound system, speakers, or iPad dock just above the bar or right below. This will give you complete control over the music that’s being played. Plus, people tend to gather towards music being played, which will put you and your bar at the center of attention.

Learn How You Can Install a Beautiful Wet Bar in Your Home Today!

If you’re interested in building a wet bar that’s perfect for entertaining right in your home, let us know. Homewerks has over twenty years of experience with home remodeling projects, and can help you create the perfect custom bar you’ve always wanted. For more information, give us a call now or fill out our online form to schedule a free quote for your remodeling or installation project.