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The Cribsi Guide to Setting Up a Home Bar

Stylish modern home bar setup

It’s fun to socialize with family and friends in a bar. But there’s no denying that doing this can run up quite a tab! Commuting and parking can be a hassle too. So if you want to keep the bar tradition strong without wasting money and precious time, then it’s best to get an in-home bar cart setup.

While this might seem challenging, it’s relatively easy to do! It’s just a matter of following our tips on how to make a home bar that works in your space.

1. Settle on the Space

As with anything else, location matters when setting up a home bar. You don’t want to travel far to make your guest a drink, so the best nook would be somewhere near the dining room or kitchen. An area in the living room would work too, especially if it’s near the dining room or kitchen. If you have an extra room in the house, you could create a den for entertaining with a bar cart setup as well.

But before you do anything, think about the people next door, as you don’t want to disturb them when you and your guests drink and socialize at 2 am. In other words, if you have a guest room or a spacious corner located away from occupied bedrooms, those might be worthwhile considerations for your home bar.

2. Select the Storage Area

Storage is the next thing you need to consider when setting up a home bar. After all, you’d need to dedicate some space for your bar basics (more on that below).

The good news is you don’t need a lot of space for storage. Many ready-made storage shelves don’t take up much room because they run vertically. That said, you can always hire someone to build custom cabinetry for your bar cart setup.

Person pouring alcohol into cocktails

3. Amass Some Alcohol, Liqueurs, and Garnishes

Now that you’ve followed the initial steps on how to make a home bar, it’s time to proceed with the fun part: stocking up on alcohol!

As your guests are sure to have varying tastes, it’s best to grab several staples, such as whiskey, tequila, gin, vodka, and rum. When setting up a home bar, you’ll also need liqueurs and mixers such as:

  • Vermouth for negronis and martinis
  • Bitters for old-fashioned drinks and Manhattans
  • Orange liqueurs for most cocktails

Club sodas, juices, colas, and tonic waters are must-haves as well. The same can be said for garnishings such as lemon/lime wedges, olives, maraschino cherries, mint, and rosemary sprigs.

Cribsi Tip: If you’re not an expert on mixing drinks, no need to worry! Consider adding pre-portioned cocktail jar kits to your home bar as you’re setting things up. All you need to do is add your alcohol of choice to these jars which are already filled with a blend of fruits and cane sugar. With multiple options available, your guests are sure to find a drink in your bar cart setup that they’ll love.

4. Decide on Drinkware

Whether you want to mix drinks on your own or prefer to take the shortcut with pre-portioned cocktails, you still need drinkware.

When setting up a home bar, you need to invest in a bevy of glasses. One such example is the rocks glasses, which are short and wide. They are perfect for ‘on the rocks’ drinks such as mint julep or negroni. If you know how to make a home bar cocktail drink such as a Margarita or a whiskey sour, then you’re definitely going to need a set of cocktail glasses. You might also need Collins glasses, which are tall glasses made for drinks with mixers, such as mojitos, Palomas, or gin fizzes. And of course, a bar cart setup won’t be complete without wine glasses.

Here at Cribsi, we have specialized glasses for your favorite wine, be it a Bordeaux, Rosé, or Burgundy. We also have glasses for other popular spirits, such as champagnes, pilsner beers, lager beers, and bourbons.

five cocktail glasses on a table

5. Go For The Right Gadgets

Even if you have all the necessary spirits and drinkware, setting up a home bar won’t be complete without the necessary gadgets. Here are some of the things you’ll need for a great mixology experience:

  • A book or guide on “how to make classic bar drinks at home” if you’re a beginner
  • Pitchers or carafes to mix and chill drinks
  • Serving platters for transporting drinks in glasses
  • Ice buckets to cool the drinks (or to keep the wine/beer bottles cool)
  • A shaker to mix and chill the drink at the same time
  • Knives for cutting fruits, herbs, and garnishes
  • A grater for citrus-infused spirits
  • A juicer to add freshly squeezed juices to the drinks
  • A pitter for those who want their cherry and olive pits removed
  • A strainer to get rid of fruit, herbs, and other particles that will dilute the drink
  • Measuring cups for setting up a perfectly-portioned home bar drink
  • Aprons to keep your clothes splash-free
  • Hand towels for cleaning your home bar cart setup

6. Do Some Decorating

Now that you know the basics of how to make a home bar, it’s time to do some decorating!

Cribsi Tip: You don’t need to buy extra design pieces when, although you can. Nowadays, it’s just a matter of choosing items that combine form and function.

Here at Cribsi, you’ll find a lot of bar essentials that double as decorative items. Just take the case of our octopus juicer and hippo pitter, which are quirky in design yet highly useful. Our products can add a playful touch as you set up a home bar, no matter how small or big your space might be.

Setting up a home bar may seem daunting at first, but it can easily be done with Cribsi products! By following these tips on how to make a home bar, you’ll be able to create one that outshines most commercial bar cart setups!