If entertaining at home is something you’re passionate about, I suggest considering upgrading your home’s barware. For your next dinner party, get-together, or Sunday enjoying football on the couch, an impressive collection of items used to create and serve your guests their adult beverages will completely alter the environment and the experience that your home has to offer.
What’s important is recognizing that you don’t need a fancy bar setup in your home to pull off having a great collection of barware items. A modest selection of glasses, tools, and accessories won’t take up much room in your existing space, but will unlock an entirely new array of options. The fancy cocktails that you get with friends at those bars you love? Imagine being able to create something like that at home! I’m not saying that stocking your kitchen with glasses and tools is going to improve your ability to create and blend drinks, but those basic three-ingredient cocktails, those fancy bottles of wine and craft beer will be so much more enjoyable when you don’t have to drink them out of a paper cup.
Glassware with Versatility
Let’s start with glassware. A versatile selection of glassware added to the kitchen will make a dramatic improvement. We’ve all got a little bit of a beer geek, wine snob or aspiring mixologist inside, and the best way to enhance your favorite drinking experience at home is to pick up the right glassware.
If you’re really into wine, you know, explaining tannins and boasting about a grape’s terroir, then I’ll leave it to you to choose the right glasses to amplify the experience for your palette. But if you’re a little less particular, and occasionally opt for a bottle of “Two Buck Chuck,” then you should really stock up on some stemless wine glasses. These are my favorite because they’re a little more modern and refined in appearance, and really look great on a table during a meal. A set of four stemless glasses won’t be very expensive, and will make cleaning and serving a lot easier after a glass, or two.
Just like with wine, there are a variety of glasses that are meant to improve the experience for various types of beer. A great option is to get a couple standard pint glasses. These are extremely versatile, and will work for any kind of beer. You’ll be able to find plenty of pint glasses that display funny graphics, sports teams or beer brands. If there’s a brewery that you frequent, they’ll likely have glasses for sale to purchase. There’s nothing better for a brewery than having someone do a little extra promotion for them at home, and it’s a great way to show your support. Otherwise, if there’s a specific type of beer that you enjoy drinking, you can consider adding glasses that best suit that type of beer.
For choosing cocktail glasses for your home bar, I suggest picking up glasses that are going to suit simple concoctions. I’m talking about Old-Fashioned glasses, highball glasses for your gin and tonics or scotch and sodas, and of course, a couple martini glasses. Your friends will flip out when they see you serving them an after-dinner martini like they’re James Bond. Same rules apply for cocktails as they do for beer and wine though, so get the glasses that best suit the drinks you love. Of course you need to get a copper mug if you’re planning on making a Moscow Mule!
The Fun Part: Accessories
Now that you’ve got your glasses all figured out, it’s time to decide on accessories and tools. The right tools and accessories will have a huge impact on your abilities to craft and enjoy drinks at home.
For wine, you need a really reliable bottle opener. These days, there are so many cool electric ones that make opening any bottle extremely easy, but regardless of what you choose, just make sure you get something decent to ensure that you never ruin a fancy bottle by having to drink tiny pieces of cork. You should consider looking for a set that includes multiple items, such as an aerator for opening up those rich reds, a pourer to make sure that no drips sneak out and stain your clothes or tablecloth, and a stopper to put in any unfinished bottle. A decanter is a great way to help a wine develop and open up during dinner, and the attractive design makes for a great detail on the table.
If you wish to start crafting some fancy cocktails, considering looking for a set of tools that’ll give you everything you need to make the drinks you love. Look for a set that includes a strainer, a jigger for measuring, tongs for ice, and maybe even a knife for garnishing. Garnishing your drinks will bring a fancy look and feel to them; just make sure you’re prepared ahead of time with the right items. Olives, lemons, oranges, grapefruits and fresh herbs will help you to really nail those famous drinks. A muddler is a great way to impart and extract flavor from fruits and herbs into your drinks, and will quickly take an average cocktail to a professional level. Lastly, you can’t forget a shaker if you’re going to really get the party started at home. If you’re shaking drinks for your friends at your own bar setup, remind them that it’s always generous to tip.
In conclusion, adding some barware to your home is all about catering to the tastes of you and your guests. Creating drinks, showcasing fancy bottles of wine and beer should be fun, and with the right combination of glassware, tools and accessories, your friends will be coming over to your house for a night in, instead of going out to the bar.