The Ultimate Holiday Home Bar: Your Guide to the Essentials
Holiday cheers indeed! 🥂Holidays are the most festive (and some say the most necessary) times for all the lovely little libations, so your home bar needs to be on point! Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. 😉 Go ahead, grab your gin, and grin as we take a little tour through all the makings of the ultimate holiday home bar. 🍸
Everything from pints to punch mugs should be stocked and ready to help you and your guests see the glass as half-full.
Here’s what you’ll need…
Tall, straight, and thin in design, the highball is a sure-fire winner for drinks with more mixer than liquor. Bloody Marys, anyone? 🙂
These are Perfect:
Not necessarily Phil or Lily, but maybe they’ll come to your soiree if you “Phil” the Collins glass with 14 ounces of liquor and mixer. Although gin and tonic, vodka soda, and mojitos are popular drinks for this narrow-rimmed glass, it was actually named for the Tom Collins concoction of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. Delish! 😋
You’ll Dig These:
These wide-brimmed short tumblers serve strong spirits over ice in 6 to 10-ounce pours.
Double Old Fashioned
This familiar staple looks a lot like a glass your dad told you was for “juice” when it was really his after-work whiskey. While the double old-fashioned can hold up to 10 ounces of deliciousness, you can fill it a little (or a lot!) If you have to choose between this and the Old Fashioned, go ahead and get the double because you really don’t need both. A single large round or square ice cube with your spirit of choice will make for quite the evening when finished with a festive garnish.
Check Out a Couple of our Faves:
Whiskey on the rocks – order up! This stemless glass offers the benefits of a snifter without having to purchase one separately. This is the perfect glass for those who enjoy their spirits straight up. 👍
We like this one:
If you’re more of a traditionalist, then you’ll want a classic brandy snifter. This short-stemmed glass gets its name from the ease of sniffing the aroma of the beverage. The wide bowl allows some of the aroma molecules to release with movement, while the narrow top traps the aroma for your tasting pleasure.
These are fantastic:
A perfect pint is poured into a cone-shaped glass that originated in Great Britain. It holds 16 ounces here in the US, but overseas, it’s actually 20 ounces! From a dark stout to a sweet cider, any variety of beer is satisfying in this perfectly angled glass.
Check This One Out:
The epitome of celebration, this long, narrow glass has a smaller rim to contain the thousands of bubbles poured per glass. With or without a stem, the champagne flute is 6-8 ounces of success.
This shallow, wide-rimmed stemmed champagne glass originated in 17th century England. The Champagne Coupe was rumored to be modeled after Marie Antoinette’s – ahem – bosom. 😳 Traditionally used for champagne, it’s actually perfect for the Three M’s – Martinis, Manhattans, and Margaritas. The bowl is best for fewer bubbles and no ice.
Yet another cone-head to waft the ideal amount of scent and fizz to the recipient. Perfectly iconic, the cocktail glass serves the classic pink Cosmo drink by the case full. They’re usually stemmed, ultra-modern, and hold 4.5 ounces.
Look No Further:
There are all types of mugs – ceramic, glass, pewter, and copper. They all keep beverages hot and have a handy handle for comfortable enjoyment. A copper mug is incredibly on-trend for Moscow Mules- and for good reason. It keeps your drink nice and frosty when filled with ice. On the flip side, a Hot Toddy stays just as hot in this perfect vessel.
Perfect For Gifting:
Punch Bowl Mug
Somebody spiked the punch (and I couldn’t be happier about it!) Punch bowls themselves hold up to 32 ounces and often come as a set. When bundled with punch bowl mugs, these sets come in virtually any design you wish. The mugs will hold 6-8 ounces. Pinkies up!
This One is Fantastic:
Limoncello, anyone? Mmmm, yes, please! Cordial glasses are itty bitty stemmed glasses used for serving petite pours of liqueurs, often served with dessert.
White Wine Glass
A white wine glass is smaller and more U-shaped than a round red wine glass, which helps to maintain a cool temperature.
Red Wine Glass
A red wine glass has a wide, rounded bowl, which exposes the surface area of the wine to more oxygen. This helps smooth out the tannins and complex flavors.
This is a Winner:
With its small top and wider bowl, this glass is perfect for your lighter-weight reds.
Here’s a Beauty:
Stemless Wine Glass
Ideal for warming those comforting red wines in the palm of your hand. You and your guests are less likely to break a wine glass when there’s no stem, so let’s prevent those “party fouls,” shall we? 🤭 Tumblers come in a variety of sizes to emphasize different wine notes.
Essentially a mini wine glass, a port glass is designed to highlight the complex flavors of a digestif.
Here’s What You Need:
Now that we know what you’re serving these glorious drinks in, it’s time to talk tools. Corkscrews, bottle openers, and shakers are pretty obvious necessities, but we’re going past that to show you the full caliber of your holiday home bar station. Let’s get locked and loaded! 😉
With its larger size, pour spout, and sturdy frame, a mixing glass is precisely what you want when you need to mix multiple cocktails simultaneously and not have them spill out or slosh over.
A two-part metallic shaker glass that perfectly mixes ice with the ingredients. Make sure to put ice in the smaller half and the ingredients in the larger. Click them together so nothing shakes out. Shake shake shake, shake shake, shake, shake your cocktail, shake your cocktail, yeah! 💃
Many cocktail recipes call for a bar spoon of an ingredient, so you’ll like having this size spoon at hand to measure it out. The extra-long, narrow handle is ideal for gently stirring drinks in a smooth, circular motion that won’t break down the ice.
A jigger is a double-sided metal measurement cup that resembles a shot-glass. It comes in sizes from .5 ounces – 2 ounces. Just the right amount of liquor and mixers make for a well-balanced drink. Bottom’s up!
This cute tool looks like it has curly hair and a face, but it’s actually a coily wire strainer that’s been around since the late 1800s. A strainer fits right on top of your shaker for the perfect transfer to your glass by keeping muddled ingredients from sinking to the bottom. When you want a cocktail chilled but without the ice, place the strainer over the shaker and pour.
Cutting Board and Paring Knife
You’ll need these to cut garnish slices and wedges for your beverages. Cutting boards help keep knives from getting dull, keep things sanitary, and protect countertops from scratches.
This Will Do Nicely:
The wooden version of a muddler kind of looks like a wooden rolling pin with only one side. Its anti-slip handle helps you muddle and extract juices from fruit and herbs with the blunt edge. Perfect for minty Mojitos every time!
A zester is a hand-held grater to add a bit of pizazz to top off a cocktail with bits of lemon, lime, or orange zest.
A peeler is another hand-held beauty to easily peel the rind off of fruit. Add garnish for a Manhattan cocktail with the rind of an orange, for example. Nothing beats that fresh scent and twisty appeal.
Hand-held or standing-press, a juicer gives that fresh-squeezed taste without the time and mess it takes to hand- squeeze lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, and more.
Fill these large saucers with salt, sugar, or spice mix. Wet the rim of your glass and dip prior to pouring that delicious margarita in there. Prepare to watch your guests salivate! 🤤
These are Yummy:
Sharp, handy little sticks perfect for skewering olives, onions and fruit slices. Remember- great design is all about the details!
These are Adorable:
Get a little crafty with it! Fill fun-shaped silicone trays with water to freeze and drop them into signature cocktails. Butterflies, roses, and fruit wedges are all sweet themes to drop into your guests’ glasses. Large spheres are a classy touch for rounded stemless glasses with whiskey or bourbon; plus, they melt super slowly and won’t water down the drink. They come in a kit of six or singles and evenly chill any spirit poured over them.
This multifaceted tool cuts through foil wrappers and pops the cork on your favorite wine. For you wine aficionados- spring for the counter-mounted option, but for the rest of us everyday schmoes, a basic corkscrew will do just fine. I love the Laguiole corkscrew! It’s an investment, but you’ll never buy another one!
Wall-mounted openers are amazing for easy access and a self-serve beer bottle-opening experience. Plus, they never get lost! Of course, your average pocket-sized bottle opener is always a classic necessity.
These attachable nozzles measure out consistent servings of alcohol for you when you tip the bottle upside down.
These are a much prettier (and easier) way to cork your open bottles.
Who’s ready to par-tay?! With this oh-so-happening holiday home bar, you’ll be ready to mix, mingle and jingle with masterfully mixed bevvies that are dressed to impress! Cheers! 🥂
-You should snag this book to help you craft those killer cocktails! The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique
-Ooh! Don’t forget to take this SUPER fun quiz: Which Tabletop is Totally You?
-I know you’ll also LOVE this video: How to Design Your Home Bar