Happy Hour: Extras for the Home Bar

Feb 4, 2022

Now that Dry January is over, it’s time to restock our home bar.  So I thought I would write about some of the extras that we like to keep around the house to make our cocktails extra special.  Because just a few key ingredients can really spruce up a homemade cocktail.

Cubes. Good ice cubes make every cocktail better.  When we have parties, my husband will sometimes boil water to make large ice cubes for a first round of craft cocktails.  (After that, it’s a free-for-all.)  Boiling the water makes the cubes perfectly clear.

The best ice cube molds come from W&P.  We like the large spherical molds, but their pour in mold makes the best clear ice.

Glasses. I am big believer in great glassware.  You can find lovely vintage glasses at thrift shops and estate sales.  And drinking out of beautiful glasses is just a fun way to make a basic cocktail better.

These Gatsby Glasses from Anthropologie are gorgeous and unique.  I also love these Riedel Rum Mixing glasses for mixed drinks.  I also like to keep coupe glasses around for martinis and other smooth cocktails.

Shaker. People have strong opinions about bar shakers.  I bought the style that my favorite local bartender in D.C. used — shaking tins.

Other Tools. It’s important to have a citrus juicer and a peeler for zesting fruit.

Extras. My husband loves an Old Fashioned, so Amarena cherries are always on offer.  I like dehydrated blood oranges and limes for garnish.  Hibiscus flowers in syrup are also a nice garnish for a simple glass of sparkling wine.

You should also keep some bitters on hand.  I also like these Simple Three Mixers for making tasty cocktails at home.

If you make cocktails at home, what do you like to keep on hand?  Share it in the comments.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

Happy Hour, Style

share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Diane says:

    These handmade copper mugs are fun for drinks, and not just mules: https://www.handlebend.com/ They also make a nice high-end gift for hard-to-shop for people.

  2. SM says:

    A pretty decanter for wine! Nothing better than letting a good bottle of red wine breathe while getting dinner prepped.

  3. Rachel says:

    I’ve recently started keeping many of Liber and Co’s syrups on hand for cocktails. You can certainly make many of your own syrups, but theirs are high quality and packed with flavor (if you’re craving tropical drinks at any point, the orgeat and toasted coconut syrups are a great improvement over the squeeze bottle stuff you find at many grocery stores or standard liquor stores). Plus the smaller bottles don’t take up much space in the fridge, but go a long way since the flavor is so concentrated. (Also, I am 95% sure that Abra has linked to one of their syrups or cordials in the past, which is how I believe found out about the brand!)

  4. Lisa says:

    I received the Peak round ice cube mold as a gift and later replaced it with the Sveres Jumbo sphere mold from Whiskey Ball, because I preferred the larger size of my single-silicone-sphere mold (also received as a gift, lol). Anyway, that’s the long explanation for why I’ve tried a whole bunch of different spherical ice cube trays — and the Sveres one is hands-down the best. It clicks together neatly, with rigid plastic on top and soft silicone on the bottom so you can press spheres out after they’re frozen, and — most important — there’s a convenient fill line on the clear plastic top so you can actually see if you’re putting in the right amount of water in each spot. Plus the spheres are noticeably larger than the Peak ones, as big as my jumbo square ice cubes.

  5. Rachel says:

    Not an “accessory,” but I recently started experimenting with using aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas) instead of egg whites in cocktails. It is great! So much less annoying than separating eggs, less smelly, less food-borne-illness danger, and so fancy-feeling. Give it a shot in a gin fizz or a whiskey sour. So pretty and so delicious.

  6. KC says:

    Late to comment, but wanted to chime in with a few things from a COVID-acquired cocktail hobby:
    1) If you want crystal clear ice cubes, highly recommend looking into “directional freezing.” Basically an insulated ice cube tray so that one end of the ice cube (that you end up using) freezes first while the impurities are trapped in the end that’s discarded. Some more intense cocktail enthusiasts will make a giant block in an Igloo cooler and then carve it up, but I like the Rabbit gadget for simplicity (https://www.amazon.com/Rabbit-Clear-Ice-Cube-Tray/dp/B01MRM0CJI).
    2) Making dried citrus garnishes is super easy! Slice thin rounds and pop them on a cookie rack placed over a sheet pan in a 200 degree oven for 2-3 hours. I’m partial to blood oranges for the color, but lime/lemon/orange all work.
    3) Thrift stores are a great source for glassware, but don’t feel like you need to have the “perfect” glass for every cocktail. Between a coupe, rocks glass, and a Collins glass (if you like highballs) there’s few specialty glasses needed.

Join The List

Stay up to date on the latest from Capitol Hill Style!

sUBSCRIBE

The Range: All the Pretty (Work) Dresses

Sometimes, you just want to wear something pretty to the office. Something that makes you feel good. A dress that makes your whole day better. These are those dresses.

1

READ MORE 

Recent Posts

Solving The Skinny Jeans Conundrum

Depending on who you ask, Gen Z has cancelled skinny jeans or perhaps they are back? Trends change, and we should change with them. But what do you do when you have a closet full of skinny jeans in a wide leg world?

7

READ MORE 

The Find: An Affordable Work Dress

This winter was particularly hard on my psyche, on my self-esteem, and on my waistline. As we move into spring, I need to make a plan for how I am going to dress this additional weight over the months of work that it will likely take to shed it. So I was so glad to […]

3

READ MORE 

VIEW ALL POSTS

Career Style, Style, Top Posts, Work | April 16, 2024

The Range: All the Pretty (Work) Dresses

Sometimes, you just want to wear something pretty to the office. Something that makes you feel good. A dress that makes your whole day better. These are those dresses.

1

READ MORE 

Posts, Style, Style Translator | April 11, 2024

Solving The Skinny Jeans Conundrum

Depending on who you ask, Gen Z has cancelled skinny jeans or perhaps they are back? Trends change, and we should change with them. But what do you do when you have a closet full of skinny jeans in a wide leg world?

7

READ MORE 

Fantastic Finds, Posts, Style | April 11, 2024

The Find: An Affordable Work Dress

This winter was particularly hard on my psyche, on my self-esteem, and on my waistline. As we move into spring, I need to make a plan for how I am going to dress this additional weight over the months of work that it will likely take to shed it. So I was so glad to […]

3

READ MORE 

Ask the Edit, Posts, Style | April 10, 2024

Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Seventeen

This week, I returned from my trip to Montana completely exhausted. So it’s time to reach into the reader mail bag to answer a few questions. Let’s start.

6

READ MORE 

RECENT POSTS

©2023 CAPITOL HILL STYLE | SITE BY LEIGH THE STUDIO