How to Make the Best Home Bar
The creatives behind glassware brand Juliska, Capucine De Wulf Gooding and David Gooding, share their tips on how to make your home bar the best one in town
When you’re curating your home bar, consider going for something dramatic and moody to cast a spell. It will make it instantly sexier – the homespun equivalent of a night at Bemelmans. People often fret about what a bar is supposed to look like, but the reality is you can find any cool piece of furniture, like a cabinet or sideboard, and turn it into a bar by kitting it out with great accessories.
This bar is tucked in an old French secretary that we painted black inside so the glassware really pops. Another trick is to have a mirror cut to fit each shelf; it will reflect light up into your glasses so they sparkle, especially in the flickering glow of candlelight.
To create our signature Bohemian glass, we work with master glass blowers in the hills outside Prague, adapting historic designs into shapes for everyday use. These glass artists use tools and techniques dating back to the fifteenth century that have been handed down through generations. In teams of two or three, these artists work together in a seamless sequence of motions to create each piece. It’s like watching live music and no two pieces are exactly alike. It’s no wonder this glass has an extraordinary magic.
To make sure you’re prepared for any tipple; a properly stocked bar needs a few key pieces of glassware, including double old-fashioneds, highballs, martini and wine glasses. Fabulous Champagne flutes are also a must, because you may want to give a spontaneous toast at special occasions. By the way: teams of researchers have informed us that you’re eight percent funnier when you are giving a toast with a Juliska glass. . . . I want to give a toast whenever I pick up a Champagne flute, and probably do.
We like to pepper little personal things into our bar to give it character: A handful of framed photos, a cool tray to display our favourite bottles, matches from our favourite restaurants, taper candles for atmosphere, a sculpture . . . what would you put in your bar?
For this pop-up self-serve bar at a holiday party, we simply cleared off a small table and set it up with bottles, glasses, and garnishes. I snatched an extra Champagne flute and used it as a vase to house one singular red rose.
Don’t: Start your toast with ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘My’, or ‘Eyemabitdwunk’, or read from a nine-page single-spaced script.
Do: Recount a funny story about the toastee with liberal exaggeration of their quirky traits, while referencing at least three other guests (extra 30 points for grannies, minus 80 points for exes).
- Don your favourite velvet jacket
- Fill your martini glasses with ice and cold water to chill for three minutes
- Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and 5 ounces per person of Hendrick’s Gin
- Stir or shake for 15 seconds while staring into space as though you hear a distant Aston Martin
- Dump the iced water from your now perfectly chilled glasses
- Strain your martini into the glasses
- Garnish with skewered jalapeno stuffed olives, a lemon twist, or a cheeky slice of cucumber.
-Nod to your croupier
Traditional martini recipes call for a dry vermouth, but I say unless you are old enough to get a letter from the Queen, ditch it. As Churchill once said: ‘Glance at the vermouth bottle briefly while pouring the juniper distillate freely.’
Serving your cocktails ‘up’ in a great martini glass feels like a proper event with gravitas. Plus, any evil villains in the vicinity will be neutralised by your Bond-like panache (even if your pinkie is pointing due north while you prattle-on about your favourite show-tunes).
1. If your true love does indeed send you a partridge in a pear tree, you should research if these gifts violate your condo regulations.
2. When you put the bread rolls into the oven, for Pete’s sake, set a loud timer.
3. If your father-in-law starts drinking at 6 pm, you might want to start at 5.
4. Do not try to understand why 10 lords are leaping—they are just leaping, and it’s important.
5. Most marriage proposals happen between Christmas and New Year. Think hard first.
6. Throw a wild costume party and invest in a killer wig—statistically, you’ll never have more fun.