Home Bartending and What You Need

I have written a lot about cocktails and have shared many a recipe for some of the cocktails many of those recipes have been the ones I enjoy to drinking  myself. I have not talked much about beer and wine because for me they are not a huge part of my drinking life. 

The title of this post is Home Bartending and what you need.  This came about when I was asked by a few different followers how do I have the stuff to make all these drinks.  Well the nice thing about alcohol is that it does not go bad very quickly and most drinks only take a few ingredients and many are used in multiply cocktails. The following is a photo of my home bar. It is not huge and I do not always replace what I use at least until  I need it again.

My Home Bar

Now there are books out there that give you a list of all the things you can go buy to make the perfect home bar.  I even pulled one of those lists up thinking about including it here but I started to add what the cost of going and buying a full bar set up would be and I quickly was in the $500 to a $1000 range. That seemed silly so instead I changed the course of this post and decided to talk about building a bar. Not one from 2×4’s and plywood but one from a single bottle of booze on up.

Lets start with the easiest part and one we have talked about in past posts make some simple syrup see recipe here simple syrup , now you have your first ingredient.

Next Take your most favorite cocktail and buy the ingredients for that. I have several favorites but I am going to make this one it is from my favorite Steak house in Wisconsin and it is a hybrid Old Fashioned/Manhattan. I call it the 3 Mile because that is where I drink them.

3 mile house cocktail

In addition to the simple syrup I will need Brandy..I use Korbel it’s what my dad used and I love the flavor and I will need Bitters and 7up or sprite(I only buy the mexican soda in glass bottles for the bar) and cocktail mushrooms.

3 mile cocktail ingredients.

As you can see my bottle of brandy is nearly empty! I do like this drink. What I am trying to impress upon you is that start out and build.  So I now have Brandy, Sprite and Bitters in my home bar along with simple syrup and cocktail mushrooms. When I get a recipe from somewhere like 3Mile Steak House I will write it on a file card and keep in a box in the bar area that way I can always reference favorites and share them when the time is right.

File keeper for cocktail recipes

Now we have one cocktail in our bag of tricks how do we build. We find another drink we like to drink or have found in a google search that includes one or more of our ingredients. For the sake of making a point I googled Brandy and it lead me to a Recipe called a Metropolitan Cocktail clicking the link you can see that you have all the things you need for this drink all ready in your bar with the exception of Sweet Vermouth.  You can buy a bottle of Sweet Vermouth for around $10 and try this cocktail, and  you add Sweet Vermouth to your Home Bar . Lets go one more step you  have our original ingredients from the 3 Mile Cocktail plus sweet vermouth from the metropolitan cocktail we looked up on the internet. Lets google again and we hit on this cocktail the Vermouth Cocktail  after reading the recipe You know we  have all the ingredients except Maraschino Cherry Liqueur so pick yourself up a bottle of the Cherry Liqueur and add it to your bar. After making the Vermouth Cocktail  you can come right back here to Tripping Vittles and make Clafoutis Martini  you will need a few more ingredients but that is how you build a bar.

Clafouti  Martini

It can be fun and exciting  one drink at a time building a bar and a lot easier on the pocket-book.  As for hardware a shaker and a shot glass are the easiest places to start.

Share your photos of your home bars here I love seeing what people are drinking and how they decorate.