The Perfect Home Bar

Jan 16th

I’ve got to be honest, I like to drink, or rather cocktail.  I think this passion was instilled in me well before I reached legal drinking age by my grandmother, who every day at around five o’clock would stop her day and have a cocktail – Wild Turkey on the rocks with a splash of water.  I always loved the idea of stopping your day and sitting down to have a drink and just reflect (or get a buzz).  I guess I just wasn’t made for these times, but alas, I digress…

Having a well appointed bar is paramount to being the ultimate hostess.  In fact, I pride myself on my bar and my ability to whip up a cocktail at a moment’s notice when I have a last minute dinner party or when an unexpected guest drops by.  It doesn’t take much, and by always keeping the following items around in your bar, you too, will be prepared when a cocktail opportunity presents itself.

Bar Tools & Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Jigger
  • Muddler
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Bar Spoon
  • Juicer
  • Toothpicks or Cocktail Picks (if you want to get really fancy)
  • Corkscrew/Bottle Opener


  • Martini Glasses
  • Highball Glasses
  • Old-Fashioned Glasses
  • Shot Glasses


  • Vodka
  • Whiskey (Bourbon)
  • Rum
  • Tequila
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Sweet Vermouth

Miscellaneous Ingredients

  • Angostura Bitters
  • Agave Nectar
  • Simple Syrup (incredibly easy to make, recipe follows below)
  • Soda and Tonic Water
  • Good Quality Martini Olives
  • Maraschino Cherries (I splurge for Luxardo)

And, If You Want To Get Really Fancy…

  • St. Germain (it’s amazing and works with almost any type of alcohol)
  • Sloe Gin (another great addition to many cocktails)
  • Chambord (great in Champagne)
  • Cointreau
  • Orange Bitters (I use Angostura)
  • Rhubarb Bitters (I use Fee Brothers)
  • Swizzle Sticks
  • Stainless Steel Straws
  • Channel Knife (for making perfect twists)

Simply Syrup Recipe


  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 capful of Vodka (as a preservative)


Bring water to a rolling boil in a saucepan.  Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved (about 30 seconds to a minute), then remove from heat, add vodka and stir.  Do not boil the sugar mixture, or else the syrup will become thick – the sugar simply needs to dissolve, but not cook.  Let the syrup cool completely and then transfer it into a jar or bottle (I actually use a recycled Luxardo cherries jar) and mark the date you made the syrup on the jar (masking tape works especially well for this).  The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for one to two months.