If you’ve tuned into the first few episodes of the new season of Mad Men recently, you’ll understand my latest obsession with timeless glassware, cocktail classics and late night entertaining at home. Indulging in this passion, I set up a bar in my living room – in a vintage 1940’s oak and glass cabinet – a stylish station where I can show off my martini glasses and mixing prowess to my thirsty friends.
While I still have a long way to go before I conquer the perfect New York Sour (egg white? No egg white?), I can suggest a few tips in selecting the perfect bar for your home and getting set up.
Look for a bar with plenty of storage for both bottles and glassware. Go for a purpose designed bar option, such as the Dakota or Gramercy Park bars from Uocmas with a classic aesthetic and plenty of storage in the doors. Otherwise, go for something a little more unconventional – a mid-century style console will do the trick, or a butler’s tray on a stand.
Before you guests come knocking, make sure you are fully equipped with glassware (I’d suggest stylish low ball glasses and martini glasses to start) and the right utensils and ingredients. My essentials are a silver shaker, wooden muddler, Hendricks Gin, Vodka, Makers and Mark Bourbon, White Vermouth, Bitters, Indian Tonic Water, lime and lemon, Maraschino Cherries (because who can resist the cherry on top!) and of course ice.
For more detail, has a comprehensive beginners guide to setting up your bar at home. And below I’ve collected some of the more inspired home bars I’ve come across – so if all else fails and your Negroni tastes like dish water, your bar will 100% look the part.