The current world climate means that a LOT of people are suddenly working from home. And they need drinks. Lots of drinks. This home bar setup is a one-piece solution that'll have you feeling those Mad Men vibes in no time!
Oh yes, as a marketing junkie and someone who is currently renovating a 1960-built home to be true to the time period, I'm a total Mad Men devotee. One of the first things you learn in watching the show is that a drink MUST be in hand when negotiating any serious business endeavors. Seeing as how I work from home and navigate all such negotiations via Zoom (along with happy hour with my gal pals) it was only logical that I'd wind up with a home bar setup sooner or later.
Are you working from home and figuring out how to homeschool at the same time? Mega bonus points to you. Just keep the kids out of the office, lest they get into your liquor stash. My boys know that the milk, drinks and juice in the main fridge is all theirs, while “Mama's fridge” is off-limits.
That's right, parents. Work from home, meet drinks at home. Mixed drinks and easy cocktail recipes are my faves, so we'll be talking about those primarily. My favorite cocktails are:
- White Strawberry Mango Sangria
- Sweet N Sour Blackberry Bourbon Cocktail
- Strawberry Wine
- Homemade Coffee Liqueur
Of course, your home bar setup can also be used for food, too! NewAir sent over their Newair Premiere Line Fridge which holds 160 cans of soda, complete with adjustable shelves for whatever configuration of wine, snacks, bottles and cans that best suits your needs. Nate loves it, too, since he enjoys a nice sugary pick-me-up mid day to help him power through his blog posts, videos and photo editing tasks.
That works for me, since most of his fave sodas double as an awesome base for my favorite drinks. Everybody wins!
Some Essentials for Classic Cocktails Include:
- Lemons and limes
- Tonic water and any other preferred soda mixers
- A bar cart
- Base spirits such as white rum, tequila, gin and whiskey
- Bar tools, such as a mixing glass, spoon and hawthorne strainer
Keep in mind, when stocking your home bar, that some states require that any alcohol be purchased at a liquor store. This may sound silly to some of you who grew up with state-sponsored liquor stores with strict hours and requirements for purchasing alcohol, but I came of age in California! When we moved to Idaho, I was super surprised to learn that only wine and beer are available at the grocery store and that we had to make an extra stop for liquor.
Some states are even more strict than Idaho. Funny story: I got so used to being about to pick up wine on a whim that once, I was traveling and I was headed to a little dinner party in Colorado. Having just flown into Denver, I grabbed my rental car and headed to the nearest gas station, where I asked the attendant what aisle they keep wine on. He thought that was the funniest dang thing he'd ever heard! Wine at a gas station! Hahaha.
Another great option for those of you who want awesome liquor and wine without a lot of legwork is having it delivered straight to your house. I order clean-crafted wine from Scout & Cellar, and I'm also a huge fan of their grape-based spirit as well as their canned spritzers.
Don't forget to stock your bar with ice, too! If you have a wet bar, you can use a special connection to put an ice maker right by all your liquor. In our case, we have a dedicated ice maker in the garage. Since we have a tiny home, that's less than twenty steps from the office so we just run over there to fill a glass any time we're mixing up a drink.
I also like to include recipe cards for my favorite cocktail recipes. Totally helpful for when I enlist Nate's help in mixing cocktails. We keep a little shot glass and cups on-hand, so it's easy to mix up simple drinks that are one shot of liquor, a shot of soda, a shot of tonic, etc. Without a shot glass on hand, you're left just kind of guesstimating how much a shot is – or awkwardly trying to measure it into a measuring cup. Trust me, don't do that. A good home bar must include a shot glass.
The Ideal Home Bar Temperature
Our NewAir fridge includes an adjustable thermostat ranging from 37-65 degrees, so you can set it to the absolute perfect temperature for your drink. We like to keep ours at 39, perfect for sodas while still chilling wine and liquor quickly without freezing bottled drinks. Any dairy should be kept at 38 or below.
Accessorizing a Home Bar
Since this fridge is a standalone model, there honestly wasn't a ton of need for getting fancy with our home bar. Mixers, juice and sodas go inside and liquor gets stashed on top. Easy peasy! For a bit of a bohemian vibe, I hung some of my favorite hats and accessories on the wall. On the left-hand side in the closet is a midcentury modern chest that holds all of my clothes.
Welcome to tiny home living, where my office doubles as my bar AND my closet!
Do you have a home bar setup?