By Kathryn Weber
Outfitting a home bar isn't difficult and your efforts are sure to be more appreciated -- and enjoyed -- than another tie!
If Dad likes to come home and stir, pour, or uncork a cold drink, a customized bar would make a terrific Father's Day (June 19) gift. If he already has a home bar, stocking it with some fun accessories might be just the thing. Or, if you're starting from scratch, assembling just the right materials could kick off an exciting DIY project.
DAD'S FAVORITE DRINK
A home bar should be able to accommodate such standard beverages as beer, wine, spirits and mixers, but you may want to focus on one type of drink more than another. Use Dad's favorite beverage to guide your decisions. Give the bar more wine flair if Dad's fond of the grape, or focus on beer if that's his favorite.
PICK A BAR, ANY BAR
As for the design, you could start with a bar you already have; retrofit a piece of used furniture, such as an armoire, china cabinet, or antique buffet; or build something from scratch.
A quick online search will turn up plenty of ready-made bar models, like those at www.home-bars-online.com. If you're more interested in a custom model, www.barplan.com has an inexpensive package that includes eight of the most common home bar designs. Whichever model you choose, make sure there's room to store alcohol upright, wine on its side, and plenty of space for drink ware and other accessories.
OUTFITTING YOUR BAR
You'll need a variety of drink supplies. First, stock the bar with vodka, gin, tequila, rum, scotch and bourbon. You may want to add liqueurs, such as amaretto, sherry and port, or stronger after-dinner drinks such as brandy or cognac.
If there's room, a refrigerated beverage center is a terrific add, enabling you to store cold drinks like club soda, beer and wine together, but at the correct temperatures for each. Stock up on tools, including a shaker, strainer, ice bucket, tongs, and pitcher for martinis. Glassware is another necessity. Depending on the type of drinks Dad prefers, provide at least six glasses in a variety of shapes, such as pilsner for beer, wine, shot, highball, liqueur, and martini glasses. If Dad's a fan of pina coladas and daiquiris, add those glasses and a heavy-duty blender.
GIVE IT STYLE
Details count when customizing a home bar. Personalize Dad's gift with bar napkins, coasters, swizzle sticks and matches custom-printed with his name from sites like www.foryourparty.com. To add extra flair, accessorize with items spotlighting Dad's preferred libation. Authentic English pub towels and signs are available online at www.thepubshoppe.com. Check www.wineenthusiast.com for accents like monogrammed glasses, corkscrews and stoppers, decanters, even wine barrel furniture.
Lastly, why not throw in a good bar book with great drink recipes? When you finally unveil your Father's Day gift, Dad can mix a tall, cool one for everyone.
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