Build Your Home Bar

November 20, 2018

Have you ever dreamed of having a home bar? Whether it’s a small bar cart in your living room or a full-size basement bar, creating your own bar is a fun way to make sure you can always enjoy your favorite drinks at home. Not sure how to build a bar? No worries! There are plenty of DIY home bar ideas to make this entire home improvement project a breeze.

The best part? Building your home bar doesn’t have to break the budget or fill your home with unnecessary clutter. Don’t worry about getting all fancy with your bar rail or foot rail. You don’t even need to make a full wet bar if you are working on a tight budget. Steer clear of unnecessary ingredients that linger on the shelf — or gadgets that serve only an occasional purpose — with these proven tips from our expert team. Read on to learn more and get started on your bar project!

The Bar

Before you start thinking about how you’ll fill your bar, make sure you have the essential for creating a bar area in your home. Depending on how much space you have available, you’ll need either a bar cart of some sort or a bar top. If there is sitting room, you’ll also want to get some bar stools to create the perfect vibe. 

For the scope of this article, we won’t be going into step-by-step instructions on how to build a bar from scratch. But if you have basic woodworking skills and are handy with a tape measure, miter saw and circular saw, you will have no trouble. There are plenty of bar plans online to help you with this DIY project. 

The Tools

Don’t start buying liquor for your own home bar until you’ve acquired a few tools of the trade. (Our Shaken and Stirred cocktail sets include all of these items if you're starting from scratch!)

Shaker: We prefer a three-piece cobbler shaker for ease of use and for how great it looks on your home bar.  

Mixing Glass: Essential for stirring up stiff drinks. 

Muddler: Used to crush ingredients (everything from fruit to fresh herbs) to release and build flavors in cocktails. 

Bar Spoon: A bar spoon is a multi-purpose tool that can be used to stir cocktails and measure small amounts of potent cocktail ingredients. 

Strainer: To strain stirred cocktails, a julep strainer’s larger holes and simple construction make it easy to use and clean.

Jigger: Ideally, you want double-sided stainless steel with 1:2 measurements. 

Bar Knife: Our 3-in-1 bar knife is specifically designed for peeling, slicing and spearing cocktail ingredients.

Ice Trays: Most cocktails can be made with one of three types of cocktail ice: 1-inch cubes, 2-3-inch extra-large spheres and crushed ice.  

Glassware: You and your guests will need something to enjoy beverages out of, so be sure to stock up on essential glassware. It’s a perfect finishing touch once you have assembled everything else for your indoor or outdoor bar.


    The 10-Bottle Bar

    To keep things really simple, you can simply pick a “house cocktail” and make sure you have the necessary ingredients on hand at all times. But you actually can mix up most classic cocktails with just 10 bottles. These high-quality brands are the workhorses of any bar, requiring only the addition of club soda, tonic or a squeeze of fresh citrus (pictured: bourbon, dark rum, light rum, gin, vodka, tequila, mezcal, Campari, red vermouth, white vermouth). We recommend investing in the best brands you can afford to ensure a premium beverage experience.

    Shelf-Stable Ingredients

    For citrus, ginger or herbs, you’ll still have to run to the store, but keeping sugar cubes, simple syrup, bitters, club soda and tonic on hand will keep you ahead of the game. Better yet, our Craft Cocktail Syrups eliminate the need for fresh ingredients, making it even easier to whip up a weeknight drink. 

    Shop Bar Essentials >

    Make Your Basement Bar Ideas a Reality

    With a bit of ingenuity and bar accessories from W&P, you can build the bar of your dreams in your home. Whether it’s a total man cave, a countertop in your kitchen or a small cart containing all of the necessary ingredients, making your own bar is an excellent way to safely enjoy your favorite cocktails and other beverages at home.


    Craft Cocktail Syrups