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  • How To Set Up A Bar
  • How To Set Up A Bar
  • How To Set Up A Bar

How To Set Up A Bar

Drinks | May 30, 2017 | Nik Manojlovich
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Entertaining a group of friends, but too busy to man the bar? Here’s a step-by-step guide on HOW TO SET UP A BAR that everyone will enjoy!

I’ve come to appreciate the importance of a proper bar, especially when entertaining. It will help you stay organized when you’re pouring drinks, and ensure your bartending skills are on point. If it’s a party where guests look after their own refills, follow these simple set-up tips and everyone will be making their drinks with ease.

ICE – I’m listing this essential first because if there’s one thing that ruins a party, especially one in the warm summer months, it’s when the bar runs out of ice. Even if you have a refrigerator with an automatic ice maker, I still suggest you prepare or purchase extra ice as back-up. Another option is to make novelty ice trays; they add fun and whimsy to a glass.

COCKTAIL SHAKER – Having a cocktail shaker in your arsenal allows you to make any drink shaken, not stirred. I like shakers that have strainers built into the lid – this allows you to serve a classic cocktail “straight-up”.

CORKSCREW, BOTTLE OPENER, FOIL CUTTER – Having a professional flip corkscrew like the ones servers and sommeliers use is essential. If your corkscrew doesn’t come with a cap flip, purchase a durable bottle opener. Both will assist you in opening bottles effortlessly. I also like foil cutters because of the way you squeeze and twist the device to cleanly remove the foil or plastic from the very top of a wine bottle.

ZESTER, HAND JUICER, CUTTING BOARD, KNIVES, STRAWS – Remember the essentials for garnishing drinks. When I have these interesting gadgets on hand and watch my guests make their own cocktails, sure enough they zest, cut, squeeze and twist their garnishes with pride before adding a straw and taking that first sip.

COCKTAIL CADDY – I really love how the cocktail caddy is making a comeback, yet I’m not surprised considering the resurgence of cocktail making. Having all of the utensils collected in one handy dispenser is both smart and chic.

BITTERS, SYRUPS, MIXES – An assortment of bitters on your bar is a great way of offering guests new things to try. Shops that specialize in bartending supplies have hundreds of different flavours – and no, that’s not an exaggeration. They also offer high quality ingredients such as sour mixes, fruit syrups, lime cordials, grenadines and many more. Keep an assortment of these things on hand and you and your guests will be channeling your inner bartender!

I realize the professional bartenders out there would probably have many more things to add, but this simple list of essentials is a great start for your next get-together.

Reminder – please enjoy alcoholic beverages responsibly and, you must be of legal drinking age to consume alcoholic beverages. Them the rules folks!

HOW TO SET UP A BAR just got a lot easier thanks to this detailed guide. Who’s ready for a cocktail?


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Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.


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