The Ultimate Home Bar Setup: Must-Have Accessories

Creating the ultimate home bar is a rewarding experience that blends passion, creativity, and a love for entertaining. Whether you're an aspiring mixologist or simply enjoy hosting friends and family, having a well-equipped home bar can elevate any social gathering.

In this guide, we'll delve into the must-have accessories that will not only make your home bar functional but also a topic of conversation among your guests.

The Bar Itself: Choosing the Right Foundation

The heart of your home bar setup is the bar counter. It's not simply a functional space for mixing drinks but also sets the tone for your home bar's esthetic. Options range from traditional wooden bars to more modern, sleek designs. It all depends on the size of your space and your personal style. You may choose to buy a purpose built bar counter or simply incorporate it into your existing kitchen countertop.

home bar setup with a wooden bar top and bar stools


Comfortable and stylish bar stools are another must. They should complement your bar's design and be the right height for your counter. Once the bar area itself has been set up we can turn our focus to the tools and accessories that will help you craft the perfect drinks for your guests.

Essential Tools for the Mixologist

A quality cocktail shaker kit is the cornerstone of any home bar. There are two main styles: Boston shakers and cobbler shakers. Which one is better is a matter of hot debate amongst cocktail enthusiasts but essentially it comes down to personal preference.

Either will get the job done but whether you go for a cobbler or Boston cocktail shaker kit, it’s essential that you choose one that is durable and (of course) esthetically pleasing! Your cocktail shaker set should also include other bar tools to help you mix the perfect drinks, including:

Jigger: Precision is everything when it comes to mixing up delicious cocktails. A jigger helps measure spirits accurately, ensuring consistent quality and a fast pour.

Bar Spoon:  A long-handled bar spoon is necessary for stirring and layering drinks. Look for one with a comfortable grip and balanced weight. The bar spoon should have a disc on the end for mixing

Muddler: A muddler is essential for crushing fruits and herbs to release their flavors. It’s needed to make mojitos, caipirinhas, and old fashioned amongst many other cocktails.

Strainer: A Hawthorne strainer is crucial for keeping unwanted ice chips and bits of fruit out of your drinks. A fine mesh strainer is an optional extra that can elevate your mixology skills to a whole new level.

At Hawke and Hanley we have a range of cocktail shaker kits to cater to all your mixology needs and they’re made with esthetics in mind, so they look great in your home bar!

Glassware: Match the Right Glass With the Right Drink

Presentation is half the battle when it comes to serving drinks. Sure, taste is important but there’s nothing that can ruin a beautiful cocktail like a cheap plastic cup. As such, having a wide variety of high quality glassware is crucial.

Include highball glasses, martini glasses, rocks glasses, and wine glasses at a minimum. For a more comprehensive collection, add champagne flutes, snifters, and beer glasses. That way, you can serve the right drink in the right glass and impress your guests every time.

More Home Bar Accessories

A truly comprehensive home bar setup requires all the bar tools and accessories that you’d find in a professional bar. Many of these you’ll only use occasionally but they can really take  your drinks serving and cocktail party hosting game to a whole new level.

Some of the most important accessories include:

Wine and Bottle Opener: A high-quality wine opener and a bottle opener are must-haves. Don’t “cheap out” on these if possible as you’ll only need to replace them later. Instead opt for durable, well made models that will stand the test of time.

Ice Bucket and Tongs: An ice bucket with tongs allows you to serve ice elegantly, rather than serving it from a bowl. It really adds a touch of sophistication to your bar.

Cutting Board and Knife: A small cutting board and knife are great for preparing garnishes. You probably already have one in your kitchen but it’s best to buy a dedicated one for your home bar.

Garnish Tray: A garnish tray keeps your olives, lemons, limes, and other garnishes organized and easily accessible. Presentation wise it looks much nicer than dumping them all onto a plate.

Blender: For frozen cocktails like Pina Colada or strawberry daiquiri, a durable blender is a necessity. Look for one with multiple settings to handle different types of drinks, that is capable of blending ice cubes.

The Booze

Now that your home bar has been fully set up it’s time for the fun part - stocking up on liquor.

Stock a variety of spirits, including vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and whiskey as a base for all types of cocktails. Depending on your preferences, you might also add liqueurs like triple sec, vermouth, and bitters.

You’ll also need mixers like soda, tonic water, cola, and juice. Don't forget the simple syrup and grenadine for sweetness. Variety is key here - you’ve put all that effort into your home bar setup so you don’t want to fall short on the types of drinks you can make. If you’re budget conscious you can always slowly stock up on different spirits over time as they have a very long shelf life once opened if stored correctly.


liquor bottles in a home bar, including vodka, gin and rum

 Decor and Ambience

Personalize your home bar with decor that reflects your taste and style. This could be vintage posters, neon signs, or unique lighting. The ambiance of your bar can make a big difference in the overall experience and really set the tone for your social gatherings.

Music is essential for setting the mood, so invest in a good sound system or a Bluetooth speaker to keep the tunes going.

All the Small Things

Don’t overlook all of the little things needed to keep your home bar running smoothly. Cleaning supplies are, of course, needed to keep your bar surfaces, glassware and tools bright and clean.

You’ll also need to consider storage solutions to keep all of your bottles and glasses organized and reduce any clutter. You could consider wall racks for wine bottles or hanging stemware holders. The best storage is that which remains unseen or - even better - actually enhances the esthetic of your home bar.

Parting Words

Building the ultimate home bar is a journey that combines personal taste with practicality. By carefully selecting each accessory, you not only enhance the functionality of your bar but also its appeal as a social hub in your home.

Ultimately a home bar is a space for relaxing or connecting with those important in your life. As such, there is no “wrong way” to approach your home bar setup. You can adapt and change your home bar over time as your tastes and needs change.

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