Ultimate Guide to Non-Alcoholic Bar Basics
Everything you need (besides the liquor!) to set up or complete your home bar.
Setting up a bar at home or just looking for frequently used bar accessories used in making cocktail recipes? Bar accessories can be fun, playful or just utilitarian in nature. Some items are used frequently, some are more for party or large gathering use. A bar set up can make a great shower or wedding gift, or maybe you just need to fill in a few blanks? Here are my recommendations for setting up a home bar. Except for the fruit, all these items are shelf stable and do not need to be kept cold (and that is why I didn’t include eggs or ice).
Cocktail Shaker – when you need your cocktails shaken, not stirred. A cocktail shaker makes for perfect combination of ingredients, and no drips.
Bar Rags – (or bar mops, basically kitchen dish towels) Lint free so you don’t leave flecks on your clean glasses
Bar Spoon– used to stir a drink.
Bottle Opener – pretty self-explanatory, necessary for opening bottles of beer or pop.
Citrus Squeezer – the difference between a good drink and a great drink can be as simple as freshly squeezed juice. I use mine all the time with lemons and limes.
Cocktail Glasses – there are many, many bar glasses you can purchase in all price ranges from a dollar for a plastic cocktail glass, to thousands for a collection of Waterford crystal. If you are just starting out building you bar, this party pack has the basics (I use it to photograph some of the drink recipes on Ann’s Entitled Life) or perhaps this entertainment pack better suits your needs?
Here’s a list of basic bar glasses, and their uses:
• Champagne Flute: Champagne
• Collins Glass: large mixed drinks
• Irish Coffee Mug: hot alcoholic beverages
• Hurricane: mixed drinks such as the hurricane, ruby relaxer, daiquiri and more!
• Margarita Glass: margaritas
• Martini (cocktail) Glass: martini, Manhattans, metropolitan, margaritas, grasshoppers, gimlets and more
• Old Fashioned (tumbler): mixed drinks
• Pilsner Glass: beer
• Shot Glass: shots of alcohol
• Snifter: brandy, cognac
•Wine Glass: red and white wine glasses used for wine
Cocktail Napkins – cocktail napkins soak up the glass sweat from melting ice so you avoid water rings on the bar or table, and they are fun!
Jigger – measure exact quantities with a cocktail jigger. Cocktails call for 1/2 or 1 oz increments for a single drink. A jigger – specifically a double jigger – one side is 1/2 ounce, the other side is 1 ounce – is the easiest way to get uniform half and full ounce portions.
Ice Bucket – I only use my ice bucket for parties, but it is a definite necessity (with ice tongs) then!
Knife – you’ll need it to cut your fruit (and a cutting board would not be remiss – put that last part in for Hubby. He had heart failure when I cut directly on the counter.)
Olive Picks (stainless steel, plastic, wood, disposable) – great for placing olives, onions, maraschino cherries on a stick in a drink. When you look for the plastic ones, they are often labeled swords or picks.
Strainer – to strain your drinks from the cocktail shaker to glass.
Swizzle Sticks (plastic, glass, disposable) I have a giant collection to finish off a tall, stirred cocktail.
Bitters – a shelf stable cocktail flavoring that basically will last f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
Citrus Fruit – lemons, limes, oranges, not just for garnish but for the juice to mix the drinks
Ginger Beer – basically a fermented beverage used as a mixer, it is usually non-alcoholic (less than 0.5%) these days, although there is a brand or two out there that does contain alcohol. There is a difference in taste, and I prefer the non-alcoholic type.
Maraschino Cherries – used for garnish, and the juice is used in many cocktails.
Olives – another garnish, although the juice is also used to make a dirty martini.
Pop – ginger ale, cola, 7-up – used as a mixer in many cocktails
Seltzer Water – a cocktail mixer
Those are my Non-Alcoholic Bar Basics To Setup a Home Bar Essentials. What else do you consider a Non-Alcoholic Bar Basic?
As always, drink responsibly and please don’t drink and drive.
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