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Do Virtual Cocktails Right - A Home Bar Design Tutorial

What better way to celebrate those happy hours than by setting up the perfect home bar? From simple to full-scale, we’ll go over a few ideas to bring your space to life. 


Let’s start with the bar space itself, decide on a location and how ambitious you are:If you’re anything like us, one of the best ways we’ve found to stay connected with friends and family during this socially-distanced year is via the virtual happy hour.



  • Are you open to renovating? You can install a counter-height bar itself with built-in shelving, and space for a mini fridge. Any recessed nooks around your main living and dining area can be a great spot for this.

  • Need to keep it small scale? Make it simple by hanging a couple shelves and stocking them with a few favorites. Alternatively, a wheeled bar cart loaded with bottles and glassware can make for a mobile offering that works great for entertaining. 



Next up is your bar selection, here are the basics you’ll need for drinks:


  • Get a few core bottles that give you flexibility- an assortment that includes some type of whiskey, vodka or gin, and tequila or rum goes a long way. Pair these with go-to mixers like vermouth, triple sec, or bitters, and you can mix up several dozen recipes.

  • Keep some non-alcoholic mixers, like tonic water or soda. Fresh citrus fruit will spruce up the bar’s appearance and add freshness to any cocktail.

  • You’ll want at least two glass styles on hand- short and wide, tall and narrow. Old fashioned glasses are stocky glasses for stronger cocktails or neat sippers. Collins glasses are tall and perfect for the drinks served over plenty of ice. 


Anything beyond this is up to you, this gives you plenty to work with already!

Do take your own tastes into account in terms of glassware, barware, and the bottles themselves! If you have a soft spot for single malt Scotch or olives in your martinis, they deserve a place in the bar. Don’t forget the critical additions like a stainless steel shaker, plenty of ice, and maybe some fun bar napkins.


With all this, you’ll be ready for a virtual happy hour in style, just remember to show off your great new bar space over video! If you want help designing the perfect home bar to get you through quarantine, Tinsel House Studios is here to be your partner. 

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Truckee - Lake Tahoe area interior designer © 2020 Tinsel House Studio