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Confession time: Despite how much entertaining I do in my home, I've never had a bar set up! So when I finally took the plunge, I needed to do it right. I wanted to have the bar that all my friends would be envious of and have everything that a bartender could possibly need right at my finger tips. But, I quickly realized that’s ridiculous! With just a few key elements you can enjoy your favorite cocktail in style from the comfort of your home. (Image: Ashley Hafstead)

Setting up a grown-up bar in your home is as easy as 1-2-3

So I have a confession to make… in all of my adult life I have never had a bar in my home. Yep you read that right -- please tell me I am not the only one showing up late to the party!?! Since moving into the Chic Villa, I have felt very “grown up” and I figured it was high time to "adult" and finally incorporate a killer bar into our home. And if I was finally going to take the plunge, I needed to do it right. I wanted to have the bar that all my friends would be envious of and have everything that a bartender could possibly need right at my finger tips. But, I quickly realized that’s ridiculous! With just a few key elements you can enjoy your favorite cocktail in style from the comfort of your home.

The Canvas

Think of your choice of bar vessel as a blank canvas to create a one of a kind masterpiece. Take a moment to measure and look at your space. Do you have room for an enclosed bar cabinet or would a bar cart be more functional? Figuring out your space and what works best in your home is the first hurdle to overcome.

The Essentials

Beyond the booze (because, duh!), these are the basic essentials you need to have a functional bar!

  • Recipe Book: The most important thing you can own in your bar is the Museum of the American Cocktail Pocket Guide. Let’s face it, you can have all the bells and whistles, but if you can’t make a good cocktail you might as well throw in the towel! This is my cocktail bible and you will be a master of all things libation before you know it with this handy guide.
  • Proper glassware: You will need cordials, wine glasses, martini glasses, and shot glasses. I think you should incorporate at least one “fun” element into your bar -- I did so with pineapple shot glasses (these also make great house warming gifts as the pineapple symbolizes prosperity in the home).
  • A shaker: Gone are the days of boring stainless shakers -- take the time to find a fun shaker that fits your bar theme.
  • A mixing vessel, strainer, and bar spoon: Two words…Mint Julep!
  • A jigger set: This will include a jigger, bottle opener, ice tongs, and knife to help break apart tough ice chunks.
  • Wine aerator and wine opener: I LOVE the Menagerie aerators and they have all sorts of fun animals and creatures to choose from.
  • Cocktail picks for garnishing: Because presentation counts!
  • Decanters: Figure out the basic types of alcohol you want to have in your bar and get the corresponding number of decanters. Add one more for when guests decide to bring over something nice for your next dinner party.

Good luck, and happy cocktail making… now how do you make a Cosmo again?!?

You can follow Ashley's first-time homeowner series as she renovates #chic_villa here!

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