How to Build the Perfect Home Bar



No. 1

How to Build the Perfect Home Bar

There’s no better shortcut to feeling like a bonafide adult than having a solid home bar setup. Something feels so impossibly together about offering guests something that isn’t the bottle of Evan Williams stashed in the back of a cabinet, yet another bottle of Charles Shaw, or, um, the option to BYO. But then, starting a home bar from scratch can be daunting and expensive. Lesley Jacobs Solmonson and David Solmonson hope to simplify the process with their book The 12 Bottle Bar (out in August), which argues that with the right selection, you can keep your stash simple and still be able to make just about every cocktail you could imagine. “Just like a magician can do a hundred different tricks with one simple deck of cards, a bartender can make stunning drinks with a few functional tools,” they write.

Using the Solmonsons’s guidelines, we consulted Brooklyn Kitchen for no-fail tools, Greenpoint’s newly-launched Banner Furniture for a bar, and Duke’s Liquor Box owner Patrick Dacy for off-the-beaten-path booze options that are locally minded but not bank-breaking. We did take a few liberties—multiple gin options, the addition of a Mezcal, a pricier bottle of Hillrock, which grows its own rye upstate—but that’s the beauty of the home bar: you can have things exactly the way you want.

Bar by Banner Furniture,
Price upon Request.From Brooklyn Kitchen
Usagi Cobbler Cocktail Shaker, $60
Hawthorn Strainer, $19.99
RSVP Long Drink Spoon, $5.50
Oxo 2oz Mini Angled Measuring Cup, $5.95
Messermeister Oliva Paring Knife, $69.99From Duke’s Liquor Box
Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy, $30
Greenall’s Gin, $20
Breuckelen Distilling Glorious Gin, $37
Owney’s Rum, $38
Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum, $38
McKenzie Bourbon Whiskey, $46
Hillrock Double Cask Rye Whiskey, $93
Diep 9 Young Genever, $41
Mandarine Napoléon, $41
Industry Standard Vodka, $39
Mezcal Santa Pedrera, $42
Uncouth Vermouth, $35
Dolin Dry Vermouth, $15
Vya Sweet Vermouth, $22
Peychaud’s Bitters, $10
Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate, $21


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