If you want to keep some drinks available for an occasional tipple with your family and friends, the best place to store them is in your liquor cabinet. A liquor cabinet can be a very elegant piece of furniture that adds a certain class to the occasion when you invite some friends around for a drink. But if you are interested in purchasing one, what kind of cabinet would you buy? And what would you put inside it?
There is quite a range of liquor cabinets on the market. The simplest kind looks rather like a cupboard and is made of wood. This kind of liquor cabinet would not look out of place in your living room among your wooden bookcases. The neatest trick is to buy one that blends in with the rest of your furniture and does not need to be too noticeable until you need it.
One particularly interesting type of liquor cabinet is the “Swig and Jig.” This plays a tune every time you remove one of the bottles, and the tune varies according to the drink that you take out. Therefore, there is one song for gin, another for wine, another for scotch, and so forth. This type of liquor cabinet is bound to make a hit at any party and is certainly more than a simple piece of furniture. The “Swig and Jig” was created by the Interactive Telecommunications Program of the NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. It has separate compartments for each type of liquor, and you can program it to play the tunes you want to go with your own choice of drinks.
So what is inside your liquor cabinet? Apart from shelves for the actual bottles, there are racks for glassware and drawers for necessary accessories such as spoons and cocktail picks. Some cabinets also include a refrigerator that will keep your drinks nice and chilled. Another feature in some liquor cabinets is a “wet bar.” This is a sink and counter attachment that should make it easier to serve the drinks.
Apart from the drinks themselves and the glasses mentioned above, the liquor cabinet should also contain ingredients for mixers, such as pineapple juice and syrup. If you want to make really fancy drinks, you could also include garnishes, such as pickled onions, olives, chopped fruit, and other useful additions.
Whichever type of liquor cabinet you have, it is important to remember that if you have any children or teenagers in the house you should make sure that it can be locked at all times, and the key should stay with you.
The price of a liquor cabinet can vary with the type and size. At the lower end of the range, they sell for around $400, while the more expensive models go for around $1900. You should consider your budget and how it will look in your home before you buy it.
And once you have a good liquor cabinet that fits all of your requirements, you can enjoy a little tipple with your friends all the more.
If you have a bar in your home the chances are that it’s a core part of your family’s entertainment and recreation activities. So it makes sense that you’ll want it to be as functional and as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Installing a bar cabinet is a great way to help you achieve both goals.
For example, you probably keep a good stock of drinks and snacks on hand so that you can cater to the range of tastes your family and guests have. That means having lots of different bottles, cans and other beverage containers on hand. But left out on display, they’re going to look pretty unattractive. Even more important than that consideration might be the need to keep them out of underage hands – whether teenager or curious toddler.
Installing the right cabinets can solve both these problems. And by increasing available shelf space you’ll be able to keep a lot more things on hand than you otherwise could. Handy if you need to cater to a larger crowd on special occasions like Christmas. If you want to organize your bottles but keep special ones on display, then wall mounted display cabinets will let you do just that.
But the virtues of having cabinets don’t stop there. You can make sure that they really add to the look of the place in their own right. There are certainly Wet Bar Cabinets available for sale which would grace any home. But you’ll want to consider a few things before purchase. The color and wood effects will need to match the rest of the room and any existing features. They’ll also need to be sturdy enough for your needs. You’ll probably also have to assemble the cabinets once they arrive from the store.
Table of Contents
Wet Sink or Dry Sink?
Would you like to have a sink in your home bar? This is often one of the most difficult choices to make because while having a sink aids the convenience factor a great deal, it becomes much more costly to install, so consider carefully.
Getting a Custom Designed Bar cabinet
f you prefer, a local craftsman should be able to make customized cabinets to your exact specification. These can have a really unique look because they are not mass produced. You’ll also be able to determine just what features you want them to have, such as strategically placed lighting to create a subtle mood or highlight key features of your bar.
Another alternative if you are confident about your DIY skills is making your own. With a modest amount of DIY skill, home bars are relatively simple to build and thus many people turn this into a really fun project.
When you’ve finished, sipping your favorite chilled drink in your own handiwork will certainly be a moment to savor (and an excuse for a party). Have a look at the page on custom wet bar cabinets
Wet Bar Cabinet Accessories
So your new wet bar cabinet is installed and ready to be prepped for action. What accessories does a well-equipped home bar need?
Well. that depends on how elaborate you want to make things. For a simple bar which is just going to serve a few basic drinks, the answer is only a few things. On the other hand, if you like the idea of being able to cater to any request an eclectic mix of guests is likely to throw at you, then there are many gizmos and gadgets and other wet bar cabinet accessories to consider after you’ve bought the basics.
Here’s a handy guide to the basic accessories every wet bar should have with some follow-up suggestions for the real hospitality enthusiast.
Basic bar essentials
Glassware. Ok, this is an obvious requirement, but there are still a few options to consider (unless you’ll only ever be drinking beer straight from the can!). At a minimum, you’ll probably want beer glasses plus white and red wine glasses and rocks glasses for cocktails. Something fancier on the beer front such as steins or tankards can be a nice touch if that complements your bar’s feel. You might also want other specialist glasses for martini and margaritas as well.
Corkscrew. Essential for wine. It’s worth getting the lever action type rather than the really basic sort which relies on your pulling strength.
Bottle opener. You are going to be serving good beer right? Not just the cheap canned variety.
Cocktail shaker. This will allow you to mix up the basic cocktails with ease. Even if cocktails are not your regular drink of choice, its fun to have an evening of them once in a while and a basic shaker isn’t expensive. Check that the one you buy has a built-in strainer.
Other useful tools and wet bar cabinet accessories
Blender. Perfect for making frozen drinks and a must have for hot summers. Get one with plenty of ice crushing capability.
Ice bucket and tongs. Helps you keep a good supply of ice handy next to your bartending area instead of needing to travel back and forth to the refrigerator.
Jigger. Small cup for measuring your cocktail ingredients.
Cutting board and fruit knife. Handy for those fresh fruit slices in your cocktails.
Ice Maker and ice crusher. The first allows you to make large quantities of ice quickly (ie from water to ice in about 5-10 mins depending on model) and the second does just what you’d expect from the name.
Wine bucket. To keep your wine cool on the table wine rack. If you want to keep your bottles handy and on display, this might be for you.
Custom bar cabinets
Nothing looks more elegant in your home bar than having your own customized cabinets created by a professional craftsman or skilled DIYer. Having such cabinets which have been created in beautiful wooden construction specifically for your wet bar allows you to add all sorts of personalized touches which will give a very professional look to your bar.
If you would prefer not to pay for fully custom wet bar cabinets, semi-customized cabinets allow you to add personal touches for a fraction of the cost. Here’s what you should be thinking about if you are considering going down the custom route.
To start, begin by assessing the possibilities that the area you want to install a wet bar offers. A well-supplied home bar will have a collection of accessories and necessities which can be bulky and space consuming. Your wet bar cabinet has to be able to hold everything you’ll need.
If your wet bar is in a corner of a room, you may find that space is at a premium and storing everything your bar requires calls for very careful planning. Measure the space where you plan to put your bar. It will need to offer enough space for all your alcohol etc and leave enough room for your guests to relax.
Although you can certainly re-model the bar later if you want, it’s much better not to be forced to from the start because it doesn’t have enough room. Once you’ve done some measuring, why not sit down and sketch out a few ideas for layouts.
Custom cabinet styles
A classic pub style is often very good for maximizing storage and fitting in with an existing room shape since this is a highly customizable design. Typically these cabinets will be made from dark wood and have rounded features to give an authentic pub look.
A second style which is good for maximizing convenience is the classic L shaped bar with cabinets. The smaller line is often used to house the sink, whilst the length allows plenty of room to put in your custom cabinets. Straight wet bar cabinets are also in fashion at the moment.
Part of the joy of having custom cabinets is your ability to determine such things as the material used in construction. Whilst there are many fine prefabricated bar cabinets for sale, nothing is as satisfying as relaxing in a bar for which you made all the design decisions.
Material choice: If you want an exclusive and sophisticated style like say an upmarket country club then oak, cedar or mahogany are good choices. If your budget is a bit tighter or you prefer a different feel then maybe one of the several synthetic kinds of wood would be ideal. If you want a tropical or tiki to feel then bamboo is the right material.
Mounting: Can you mount your cabinets or will you need to have free-standing units.
Finishing touches: The custom details and decals express your personality and give your bar its unique feel. For example, the handles of your bar can be made from a variety of authentic metals with different finishes. Or your bar cabinets can have artistic flourishes personal to you carved into them.
Wet Bar Cabinet Furniture
Now that your wet bar is built, it’s time to think about the next stage: bar cabinet furniture.
To get some ideas about the furniture for your bar, why not start with a little field research. Take yourself to your favorite local drinking establishment (hey this may be tough, but stay with me). This time though don’t think about the beer, or the sports on TV, or which of your buddies might be there.
Instead, concentrate entirely on the look of the bar. Is it dark or bright? Are the tables open plan or set into private little alcoves. What are the bar stools made of? Is the overall ambiance old wood or gleaming chrome? Most of all, now that you come to look at it, is this the look you’d want for your home wet bar furniture. If it isn’t you may have to visit a couple of other bars in the area before you decide just what kind of furnishings you want.
Once you know how you want to furnish your bar, you need to think about a few issues. Attention to detail is enormously important to get things just right. You’ll need to think about lots of elements such as lighting, countertops, and flooring. These will all need to work with whatever bar furniture and cabinets you select. Another thing to consider is how “permanent” you want the bar configuration to be or whether you’d like to be able to re-arrange the space easily to incorporate a variety of uses. Bar stools can obviously be moved around quickly or even cleared out of the way to increase standing space if you’re going to have a lot of guests. But seating fastened to the bar or the floor has to be worked around.
Furniture which is going to serve in a wet bar also needs to meet certain requirements. For example, a bar obviously involves a lot of liquid, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Chances are therefore that your bar furniture is going to see its fair share of spills. That means every furniture and surface needs to be resistant to liquids and easy to clean. Like any household furniture, you’ll want it to meet applicable consumer safety standards as well
The choice of bar stools is worth a special mention. First of all, you’ll need to make sure the stools are the right hight. To do this, measure from the top of the counter or table people will be sitting at and deduct 9 inches.
Your stools should be no higher than this. You can comfortably accommodate one stool per 24 inches of the counter or table space (unless the stools are unusually wide). The more time you expect to spend in the bar (say if you plan to watch sports all evening), the more comfortable you’ll the stool to be.
Leather upholstered stools are a good choice for comfort and a high back can also help. But if your time is going to be spent in a few drinks and a bit of chat then you might want to put more weight on style and choose funky or retro looking stools.
Wet Bar Cabinet Sink
A wet bar sink is an essential component of a home wet bar – technically the sink is what distinguishes a wet bar from a home bar. Deciding what kind of sink to use in your wet bar may seem of little consequence, but there are many different choices available, so it’s worth taking a moment to consider the different types on offer and which wet bar sink will be right for you.
The first question is size. If the layout of your bar is already decided then your bar sink is going to have to be one that fits in the space you’ve allocated for it. However, if you are still planning how to set your bar out, then you may have some flexibility about the size and shape of sink you get. Remember that while your bar sink has to be functional, it needn’t be as practical as say your kitchen sink.
For example, there are fun shapes such as a martini glass shaped sink, which is a great piece of eye candy. However, it takes up more space than a more conventional wet bar sink, which you may not be able to spare.
There are many types of sink material to choose from as well. Stainless steel is the most popular and is very practical. Many people love the classic clean look of stainless steel. However, you can also have ceramic, granite or glass. Whichever sort you chose should fit any other theming you plan for your bar.
As with any other type of sink, there are many different options for the type of wet bar sink you get. If it will be going into a solid surface such as granite or marble, you’ll probably want to get an undermount-sink.
If done well, the solid surface melds nicely with the rim of the sink and there is no unsightly join or seam. It’s also very easy to clean around this kind of sink since crumbs and debris can be swept from the surrounding counter straight into the sink. But depending on what else you have planned, you may need to consider a drop-in top-mount unit.
If you are a bit of a handyman, then you can get a wet bar sink kit online, which is great for keeping the cost of your new bar down. The kit will come with full instructions. If DIY is not your thing then obviously you’ll need to use a local craftsman to install the sink. Chances are it’s going to make sense for him to do that as part of creating the whole bar – so make sure you have the details planned out before any work starts.