Don Draper-Approved: A Guide to Making Your Own Home Bar


Be a home bar hero

Having a home bar gives you the chance to channel your inner bartender and display your passion for the good stuff, whether its perfectly aged or all about the fancy bubbly.

A home bar can save you up to thousands of dollars a year. In 2015, CNBC reported beer prices in stores versus bars could differ more than $7 a piece. When you compare cocktail prices at upscale bars — where you might pay up to $20 per drink — to the cost of making the same concoction at home, a home bar's financial benefits are obvious.

Plus, everyone can drink in a safe space that doesn't have pushy crowds or bartenders in bad moods, and there's plenty of room on a floor or couch to sleep instead of drinking and driving. But you don’t just want a home bar for the convenience– it should also be reflective of your style and an awesome feature to your house!

To start saving money and start building a home bar you're proud of, follow these tips:


Dress it up like the professionals

Keep guests comfortable with sturdy seating like counter and bar stools. Go with a bar storage unit that allows you to display your ingredients, so guests know their options when choosing their drinks. Add bar décor like funky clocks and artwork to show off your personality in a home bar.




If you can, make it a wet bar. Install a simple sink into your bar area or go all out with top-of-the-line features — a bar with running water allows you to quickly wash glasses and cocktail equipment so you can switch between drinks with ease, and it helps you keep the area clean. Add home warranty coverage to a valuable investment like new plumbing in a wet bar, or to the existing plumbing you plan on using.


Stay well-stocked

Before any gathering, be sure to gauge the drink interests of your guests to guarantee you're adequately supplied. Make sure you have some type of refrigeration for cold water and mixers like soda, club soda and juice. Depending on your offerings, you will also use the fridge to store fresh garnishes like orange slices and lime wedges. Make sure plenty of ice is on hand, and if you like serving hot drinks like Bailey's and coffee, a coffee maker is a must-have.



Popular essentials to have on hand include:

  • Beer – if you’re clueless, try out some nice IPAs to impress your buddies.
  • Wine – white, red, maybe some Prosecco too!
  • Whiskey – you can never go wrong with some good whiskey.
  • Rum – the perfect base to many fun cocktails.
  • Gin – cover all your bases with this essential drink.
  • Vodka – the start of any good party.
  • Tequila – mix up some Margaritas with this classic liquor.

Some liquors can power through many celebrations and are still servable within a year's time, according to Serious Eats, while beer and wine must be consumed more quickly after being opened. Preparing your bar according to your guests' preferences can better protect your budget.

Learn a few go-to cocktail recipes you know inside and out and purchase tools accordingly. Even if you only know two or three recipes that require more style that taking the top off a beer, you can impress guests with your bartending ability and build your repertoire as you host. Make sure you have the equipment on hand to make a few signature drinks. Consider these basic bar tools when stocking your home bar:

  • Jigger for measuring
  • Cocktail strainer
  • Shaker
  • Cocktail stirrer
  • Muddler
  • Juicer 

You'll also want a variety of appropriate glassware for whatever refreshments you plan on serving, from wine and martini glasses to beer mugs and rocks glasses.

While there is an up-front investment to getting your home bar up and running, as you add to your ingredient and tool collection, your setup could be just like the pros and save you far more compared to bar tabs in no time. 

Now let's drink!

Apt2B’s favorite cocktail recipe: The classic Moscow Mule is sure to please everyone with its fresh taste! 

Courtsey of

  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces vodka
  • 1/2 fluid ounce lime juice 
  • Ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup ginger beer
  • 1 lime wedge for garnish

1. Pour vodka and lime juice into a mug; add ice cubes and ginger beer. Stir to combine.

2. Drop a lime wedge into the mug for garnish.

3. Drink up!


    Article written by Nicki Escudero. Nicki is an expert at crafting an engaging brand story through news, features journalism and marketing copywriting, with more than 14 years of publishing experience.

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