CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS
Far cooler than a drinks cabinet and ideal for indulging your inner interior designer with no real DIY required, stylish bars work perfectly in a luxe or urban home and are the perfect piece on which to brandish premium spirits, glassware and other drink-related accoutrements. And thanks to John Lewis & Partners, you can shop everything you need for your at-home bar under one roof – or even better, online.
If you want to recreate the Pinterest look in your own home but don’t know where to start, we’ve called on none other than Katarina Mazaniova – bartender at London’s coolest restaurant, Sexy Fish – for lessons on how to stock and style your bar cart to perfection. Plus, we’ve rounded up all the drinks supplies you’ll need, from our favourite gin and liqueurs to Instagram-worthy glasses and tools that will make you look like a bona fide mixologist. Bottoms up!
Let’s start with the basics… Which key spirits should you have stocked in your bar?
I would start with a premium vodka and gin, as they are used in a huge number of cocktails and will please most of your guests. Smaller producers are best, such as Sipsmith (for both vodka and gin), but there are tons of options to choose from, so take time to figure out your preferences. The next spirit you should add for a sipping and mixing base would be a Blended Scotch or Japanese whisky or, should you prefer, Bourbon or Rye. This can be served neat or used to make some mean Manhattans, Whisky Sours or an Old Fashioned.
What about mixers?
Always spend on a good tonic water like Fever Tree, it makes such a difference. They have a few different flavours too, like Mediterranean and Elderflower, if you want something a bit more exciting. You could even invest in a Soda Stream which allows you to make countless mixers, from ginger ale to quirky concoctions made from tropical fruits and herbs.
What tools of the trade do we need to mix cocktails?
I would start with a nice three-piece shaker as it’s the easiest one to use, a bar spoon for stirring Martinis and churning Mojitos, a Citrus squeezer (nothing beats fresh lime or lemon juice) and a jigger (measure) - there are myriad styles on the market, from classic plain ones to fancy Japanese barware. Often when you buy a three-piece shaker it has a strainer built in, but if not you should get a small strainer, as well as some little ice tongs and a small bucket to keep ice handy when entertaining.
How can you make your home bar look cool?
There are now many premium spirits with beautiful packaging, so they’re a great starting point. Cocktail picks, fancy straws and vessels are all stylish ways to personalise your little bar haven, as are fresh flowers and herbs, which you can use to garnish your cocktails as well.
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