insidebarSkip the lines, costs and tips: Host your friends at home with a bar of your own making. Blame it on rising gas prices, inflated bar costs or just the trouble it takes to make the trip downtown or to the nearest corner pub: heading out on the town for a drink has never been more of a pain. While there are few things better than imbibing with friends at the end of a week, an evening spent searching for parking, paying covers and navigating through dense crowds could cause more stress than relaxation.

But now comes the time to decide what to keep on hand so that you will be known as the perfect amateur bartender. If money is no object, simply go the nearest liquor store and buy one of everything. This option is not only expensive, but you would probably end up with more bottles than space to store them. A more sensible solution would be to pick and choose a selection of liquors, non-alcoholic beverages, tools and equipments and little extras to really impress your guests.

few handy tools are necessary even for the new bartender. A well-stocked bar is more than just the bottles you have on hand. The right tools, displayed on your countertop will go a long way in impressing your guests and will also help making drinks that look like they were made by at professional bartender.

One of the first bar tools that you will need is a decent shaker. They are useful for building drinks, mixing them properly and transferring them into glasses not to mention they make a good show for your guests. Shakers come in two types: 1) Conventional ones with a cap and a built-in strainer and; 2) Boston shaker which is a large mixing glass with a scale in centiliters and ounces. You will need a strainer to go with the Boston shaker.

Anyone who likes margaritas, daiquiris and pina coladas needs an electric blender. Aim for a smaller model that will take as much space on your bar.

Jiggers and measuring spoons will help you make consistent drinks every time. It also prevents you from being to heavy handed on the booze. Remember that goal is to create a great tasting drink and not to get everyone drunk.

A muddler is a thick stick made out of wood or stainless steel that is used to mash ingredients such as fruits, sugar or mint into a glass when you just want to infuse the flavors into the drink without blending it to a pulp..

Corkscrew and bottle opener

Cutting board

Citrus juicer

Ice bucket and ice tongs

After two weeks of work – although, as fun as it was, I think. You couldn’t really call it work – you had a complete home bar. A few things were left to do, though: have even more fun stocking up and inviting our friends over for some serious entertaining!

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