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Build A Fabulous Bar - Equipment Tips And Decorative Hints

Aug 20, 2008
Being a social butterfly flitting from party to bar and back again, I'm obviously fond if lubricating my iridescent wings with the odd bevy here and there. I quite like a nice evening in at home with a little splash of something special too, a fine Pinot Grigio, a heavy Rioja, or an Irish cream on ice. One of my favourite drinks is something known as a Brandy Sour. It is basically a drink concocted from brandy, bitter lemon and angostura bitters. This is one I can never make though. I'm a person that is fond of what is commonly known as the 'free pour'. Not a problem with a drink that doesn't need mixing. Not even a problem with something simple like a rum and cola. However, for a more cocktail type drink, being queen of the free-pour does not work.

I even spent a stint working in a bar and got no better. They say a poor workman blames his tools, but I really think it has something to do with having the correct bar equipment. Bond would not bother ordering a martini that was shaken and not stirred if chucking the drink around in a cocktail shaker made no difference. Would he? Maybe that is a question I should have asked during my brief time as a puller of pints and pourer of Pimms. Yes, I am definitely much more comfortable the other side of the bar!

Trying to kit out a convincing cocktail bar at home to impress party guests takes a trip to a well kitted commerc ial bar for ideas, tips and trends. It essential before you begin to get hold of a swanky bar; neon rimmed with padded white leather. An etched glass top will be a practical and decorative surface, especially good if you can find one that has under lighting. Get hold of some chrome tubular steel bar stools with colourful leather padded seats and don't forget some decorative props. Themes are always good, whether that be 1920s high living or Hawaiian beach party right through to 1950s American diner.

When it comes to equipment, a few basic essentials will make an occasional bar party run more smoothly. A portable ice machine will provide you, your guests with all the cold cocktails you'll need. The advantage of a machine over a supply in an ice bucket is that a machine has a constant supply, and there are no cubes melting in their own icy puddles. Make sure bottles openers for wine and beers are plentiful as they have a habit of disappearing after being put somewhere safe, and there is nothing more infuriating that not being able to get into a bottle of fine fermented fruit drink!

For a swanky touch, investing in optics means that you can achieve a professional look of a row of backlit spirits to adorn the wall. It is still wise to invest in regular pourers and measures. It is essential that if you are going to be charging for drinks, that standards units are used to pour out measures. This is part and parcel of the measurement act and can result in huge fines if disobeyed. More great bits of equipment are a blender and a shaker. This way ice can be crushed, blended, shaken and presented in colourful layers for any cocktail combo.

To put the cherry on the cake as it were, invest in pretty peripherals to spruce up the drinking vessels. Salt to dip martini glass rims in, stuffed olives on ornate cocktail sticks; bendy straws that can be sculpted into intricate knots and not to forget the ubiquitous cocktail umbrella. It will be bottoms up all round!
About the Author
Shaun Parker is a catering expert with many years of experience in the catering industry. Find out more about bar equipment and other catering supplies online at Ascot Wholesale
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