The first thing to start with is to understand what kind of alcohol you prefer, what kind of cocktails you like and what kind of atmosphere you want to create. If you do not delve into bar terminology, you can divide drinks into strong, large volume, fruit, berry, sparkling, and so on. You can even go beoynd drinks but let’s focus on the bar part for now.
How to create a special atmosphere
In a home mini-bar, first of all, a cozy atmosphere is important – if this is not the case, it will only bring a headache in the morning. A good, kind, friendly atmosphere, and responsible drinking is the key to the success of any drinking establishment. There must be a soul.
The organization of space is the next important point on which a lot depends. First of all, you should be comfortable, so j&m furniture is a good choice. The simpler the environment, the more attention you can pay to yourself, guests, and drinks. The fewer steps, the less fuss: everything should be at hand.
Next is the choice of alcohol. The closer we get to know it, the more we expand the boundaries of taste. The basic line of strong alcohol, which must be in a home bar, looks like this:
Whiskey – you can’t have too much of it. For starters, you can get Scotch whiskey and American bourbon.
Gin is the king of classic cocktails. Its presence is strictly required in your home bar. You can start with a new Western gin or a dry English style.
Vodka – it is better to choose one that is made on the basis of alpha alcohol. This is the highest purification of alcohol to date.
Rum – at the initial stage of creating a home bar, it will be enough to purchase only light rum. In the future, you can get acquainted with this drink in more detail.
Tequila – for starters, it is better to buy a light one, made from 100% agave.
Vermouth – you need red and dry. Over time, you will fall in love with him. Vermouth adds a touch of magic to cocktails.
Bitters and liqueurs are also an integral part of the minibar, but they will come with an understanding of taste. To begin with, it is worth experimenting only with the strong part.
As soon as we have decided on the choice of strong alcohol (the base on which we will prepare cocktails), we can proceed to the additional filling of our bar. These are liqueurs, syrups, juices, lemonades and so on. Also don’t forget about ice, which you will use 99% of the time. There are many ways to make ice at home. I do not advise using forms, because there is very little ice in them, and it takes a long time to wait for a new freeze. The best way is ice packs: you can freeze several packs at once and get the optimal amount of ice.
Based on the collected base, you can easily pick up many cocktail recipes for them – for example, on Inshaker or other cocktail resources. Classic cocktails are the easiest to make because there are no complicated ingredients that require extra equipment or a lot of preparation.
What do you need?
Basic bar equipment consists of a shaker, jigger, bar spoon, strainer, mixing glass, knife, cutting board, bar sieve, muddler and a set of necessary utensils for your cocktail.
All this can be ordered on the Internet on specialized sites. If this is not possible, try to use everything that is at hand. For example, instead of a shaker – a jar, instead of a jigger – a glass. But do not forget: the quality of your cocktails and the aesthetics of their preparation directly depend on the inventory.
After we have collected all the ingredients and equipment, we can prepare several premixes for future cocktails. These premixes will not spoil and will make it easier to prepare drinks. For example, sugar syrup: mix 1 kg of sugar and 1 liter of hot water, dissolve the sugar and let cool. Your syrup is ready. Using the same method, you can make syrups from frozen berries that you have at home: boil the berries with sugar and strain into a bottle.
And remember an important rule – all bar equipment and alcohol should be out of the reach of children while you are not at home.
The main cocktail making tips
I always have a bottle of bourbon, bitters, vodka and vermouth in my minibar. I like to drink strong drinks, which are only slightly flavored with soda. To create your own mini-bar, you do not need to fill the shelves with hundreds of bottles: just start with six or seven pieces and gradually come to rational consumption, do not harm yourself with drunken evenings. And then your assortment will gradually begin to expand, you will discover new tastes, and new cocktails.
In my opinion, the best choice for a home bar is vodka, red vermouth, scotch or bourbon, gin, light rum, as well as campari, and Angostura bitters.
This set is the base of hundreds of cocktails and a great way to get to know alcohol better. For starters, I advise you to try simple drinks with the addition of fresh citrus fruits: Scotch and soda, Gin and tonic, Americano. So you will better feel the features of the alcohol that you have, and understand what is missing.
Keep your cocktail making area clean, stock up on a blender and an ice cube tray—nothing else is needed. And also do not forget about the commodity neighborhood in the refrigerator and freezer. Ice is the base of the drink, and if it takes on unwanted odors, it can ruin your drink.
Stay healthy and remember to consume responsibly. Don’t put your health at risk.
How to choose alcohol?
Spending all your money on alcohol is not necessary. But we need to know how to make tinctures. You make several options for tinctures or ratafia: you prepare sugar syrup, citric acid at home, prepare ice in the freezer (after all, everyone has molds) – and voila!
Get your sours ready. If you buy a soda, treat yourself to different collins and highballs. In general, use your imagination. The main thing is to remember that you need to drink alcohol. but responsibly. Even at home.
When I’m at home, I prefer to drink something simple and not too strong. I share my recipes that will help you choose alcohol for your minibar.
Let’s start with my favorite: this is Gin and Tonic at the minimum, namely Vodka-Tonic. To prepare it, you need good vodka, tonic and ice.
Speaking of ice: it is better to freeze it immediately and with a margin.
For example, in a large container: you will get a huge lump that you just need to break into smaller pieces. But if you don’t want to bother, then regular forms or packages will do. It is better to put a glass for a drink in the freezer for an hour and a half. And vodka there too. In terms of proportions, everything is simple: one part of vodka and three parts of tonic.
Another refreshing drink, but more versatile, is vermouth soda. I prefer these proportions: one part sweet red vermouth and two parts soda. Everything is by analogy with Vodka-tonic, only vermouth is better to put in the refrigerator.