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posted by on Sep 8

Home Bar Set-Up

The Home Bar Set-Up Guide 

Westchester’s Number 1 rated bartending school, the Academy of Professional Babrtending School,  would like to thank you for taking the time to review our articles. We are more than just about teaching you how to make drinks.  Our bartending school is comprised of professional, veteran mixologists who are dedicated to teaching YOU the art of creating the perfect cocktail.  As we continue to educate the public, we can assure you that our schools commitment to excellence in education, and to the personal and professional development of each and every student, is as strong and unwavering today as it was in the beginning when our staff began teaching bartending classes.

Here at the Academy, we teach you the skills and techniques with emphasis on the art and craft of perfecting drinks .  We train and help you establish the  essential speed and knowledge of all the favorite drinks . We encourage that with attention on classic as well as creating new and exotic cocktails .  This allows our students to work in ANY environment that serves alcohol with confidence.

We’ve decided to create a mini-series all about mixing drinks, recipes, and generally anything to do with bartending.  This series was designed with both novice as well as the veteran bartender.  We hope you enjoy them. Today’s article is:

How to Set Up a Home Bar

Maybe you’re thinking about planning a special event or you would just prefer to have a home bar that is correctly stocked .

The initial set up for a home bar from can be quite an expensive ordeal. If cost is a factor you’ll want to start off slowly. You would have to consider things such as materials, hardware, tools, bar equipment / supplies and, of course, the spirits in order to set a budget. Then over the course of the next few weeks bit by bit put the pieces together.  The end result will be a finished bar,  completely stocked, that any bartender would be proud to have in their home!

Starter Home Bar

Just a reminder that our list for bar set-ups should be used as a general guideline .  The following spirit selections would allow you to set up a starter bar for approximately $250.00.


Vodka – 750ml – Vodka, one of the world’s most popular spirits , is composed strictly of water and ethanol. Vodka can be made from any fermented element : grain, rye, wheat, potatoes, grapes or rice. When it comes to vodka, avoid the cheap stuff . They taste horrible and will not only ruin a drink but the experience you are trying to create for your guests . Obtaining premium brands such as Belvedere, Grey Goose or Kettle One can obviously become quite expensive . If your on a limited budget stay with your mid-range brands such as Absolut or Finlandia. 

Gin – 750ml – Gin is a spirit whose ruling taste is derived from juniper berries . though many different variations of gin have existed since its beginning , gin is broadly distinguished into two basic legal categories. Distilled gin is created in the customary manner, by re-distilling neutral spirit of agricultural origin with juniper berries and other botanicals. Compound gin is made by merely infusing neutral spirit with essences without re-distillation, and is not as highly accepted . Beefeater, Bombay Dry English Gin or Tanqueray would be safe choices.

Canadian Whisky – 750ml – Most Canadian whiskies are blended multi-grain alcohols containing a large portion of rye, typically lighter and smoother than other whisky styles. According to the laws of Canada, a Canadian whisky must be mashed, distilled and aged in Canada. All whiskies sold in Canada must be aged for at least 3 years in a wooden barrel of not greater than 700 L (approx. 185 U.S. gal) capacity. Some whiskies of choice would be Canadian Club or Seagrams V.O.

Rum – 750ml – Rum is a distilled alcohol made from sugarcane  by-products such as molasses and sugarcane juice by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak and other barrels. The majority of the world’s rum production occurs in and around the Caribbean and in several Central and South American countries. Suggested brands: Bacardi, Mount Gay Premium White or El Dorado White.

Tequila – 750ml – is a Blue Agave-based distillate made mainly in the region surrounding the city of Tequila and in the highlands of Jalisco. The red volcanic soil in the surrounding region is specially well suited to the growing of the blue agave, and more than 300 million of the plants are harvested there each year. Your mid range picks might be: Corazon Blanco, Corralejo Blanco,  Herradura Blanco or Milagro Silver.

Red Wine – 1 bottle – 750ml – It’s color can be derived from a vast assortment of grape varietals  ranging from grapes that are scarlet to dark purple. The skin of the grape is what dictates the color of the wine. The skins are in contact with the grape’s juice during the fermentation process, allowing the dispersion of both color and tannins. The individual wine’s particular red hue depends on the grape type used in the process and the length of time the skin’s pigmentation is in contact with juice. There are far too many variations and factors when choosing wines. Go for your personal preference. You can find some very good wines that are moderately priced.

White Wine – 1 bottle – 750ml – are not white. They are in truth yellow, golden or straw-like in color. Its color can be derived from an assortment of grape varietals. White wines are made from the grape juice and grape skin of green, gold or yellowish colored grapes or from just the juice and not the skin of select red grapes as with some Champagnes.

Beer – is fermented, hop flavored, malt sugar tea. There are four basic building blocks needed to make beer: water, malted barley, and hops. Yeast, (often listed as a fourth ingredient, although not a part of the finished product) is used to ferment the hop flavored malt sugar tea into a fizzy liquid with an average of between three and seven percent ethyl alcohol by weight. (In some cases, such as a Barley Wine, the alcohol content can go to almost 11% by weight.) Both beer and ale are made from Basically the same four building blocks with the major variation being the type of yeast used to ferment the product.

Basically, beer is categorized into one of three different categories: lagers, ales, and the rest fall into a category called specialty beers.

The difference between a lager and an ale is the type of yeast used in fermentation.

Ales - Sometimes referred to as “Top Fermenting  because the nature of ale yeast is to form near the surface in the early stages prior to settling to the bottom of the vat. Warm temperatures are needed during the fermentation process so that the yeast can multiple. Ales , in general, have a tendency to be fuller, more complex and a higher alcohol content.

Lagers – The lager yeast simply flocculates (not at the surface) and settles to the bottom. Therefore it is known as bottom fermenting. Lager yeasts need cool temperatures during fermentation to perform their magic. Lagers tend to be lighter in color and usually taste drier than ales. They are generally less alcoholic and complex. This is the most common beer type sold in the U.S.

Specialty Beers - Specialty beers are either ales, lagers, or a hybrid of the two that will contain other ingredients that cause it to not fit into a true ale or lager style.

The next article will tell you what you need to stock an intermediate bar.


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