So many myths and traditions have grown up around the bar. A good drink, though, depends not only on the right ingredients, it also needs to be presented well – no matter whether it’s served in a bar or at home. And TV series like Mad Men have helped make the home bar a fashionable must-have for the modern living room.
Offering a drink to a guest is a hospitable form of greeting that goes back centuries. It’s good etiquette and would certainly be recommended in Debrett’s Handbook. These days, though, the home bar is not exclusively something for the dinner party set. Building up a collection of high-quality spirits and liqueurs is becoming increasingly popular with many people across all levels of society. But it’s not just about the drink – the right presentation is a key element of the drama. In addition to the glasses and carafes, the equipment for preparing the drinks and a classy surface on which to display them are also important.
- 1 Carafe and glass from Eichholtz
- 2 Whisky stones from Sagaform
- 3 Martini glass from Zwiesel
- 4 Carafe from Holmegaard
Naturally beautiful – glasses, carafes and other decorative elements
Angular, ornate, futuristic. When spirits are being poured, the visual effect plays at least as large a role as the function. In fact, the receptacles are often the most eye-catching items on the table. Manufacturers these days are breaking with conventions. Curved carafes reminiscent of translucent stone perfectly match the heaviness of a good whisky. They are complemented by organic-looking, pot-bellied tumblers and whisky stones that steal the show from any ice cube. Fans of filigree design will love the wide range of long-stemmed glasses where the clear structure of the material is enhanced with intricate designs and patterns.
- 1 Champagne cooler from Pulltex
- 2 Bowl from Eichholtz
- 3 Ice crusher from WMF
- 4 Ice bucket from Magisso
- 5 Ice cube tongs from Koala
The well-tempered drink
Champagne should not be served above 15 degrees Celsius. Long drinks require cooling ice cubes, whereas crushed ice is better for cocktails. In short, the right sort of cooling is important and there is a wide range of suitable items for the home. In addition to the classic champagne bucket, which can be a practical design with holders for drinks glasses or a sophisticated up-market version, the well-furnished home bar also needs a receptacle for ice cubes. The practical crushed ice maker is also available in a handy pocket-size format, enabling fruity daiquiris and other cocktails to be created in seconds.
- 1 Soda chargers from ISI
- 2 Lemon juice press from Gefu
- 3 Coasters from Stelton
- 4 Bar set from WMF
- 5 Cocktail accessories from Sagaform
Do it yourself – gadgets for serving and preparing
And while we’re on the subject of cocktails, the actual ingredients are often only half the story. Professionals set equal store by having the right gadgets for mixing their creations. From sieve to measuring jug to classic shaker, these stainless steel items radiate class. Brackets and holders make sure that there’s a place for everything in the home bar – and that everything is in its place. Here, too, the love of the organic runs through the entire product palette. Plungers made from natural wood not only look good, they also harmonise perfectly with the coolness of the metal.
- 1 Bar from Kare
- 2 Side table from Lambert
- 3 Serving trolley and side table from Eichholtz
Setting the scene – from bar trolley to sideboard
Apparently, the name “bar” originated from the bars of the barrier or counter over which drinks or food were served to customers. The term is now used widely throughout the world not only for commercial drink and food establishments, but also for your own bar in the living room. For many people, the home bar is now a firmly established part of the furnishings and often has a feel of times gone by. Gold-trimmed bar trolleys with reflective surfaces revive the glamour of the 1960s. By contrast, tables with upholstered decorative elements create a comfortable lounge feel. And for those who love all things modern and minimalist, manufacturers offer visually reduced items with clean lines and simple materials such as stone and metal.