A house is not a home without the relationships and friendships that are created and nurtured within its walls. There will always be parties thrown, achievements and events to be celebrated, and even just those regular days when you'd want to have friends and family over for dinner and drinks. For these times, it's much better to have a cocktail station readily available to avoid frequent trips to the kitchen, keep the drinks flowing, and keep the mess of cocktail mixing to a minimum.
There are two major types of cocktail stations; portable and built-in. And under these two are even more types and categories, so here's a quick guide to helping you decide what you need for your own cocktail station or bar at home.
Portable Cocktail Stations
This type of home bar is ideal for those who like to hold parties both indoors or out on the patio or backyard. Portable cocktail stations are typically made of stainless steel, wood, or granite - depending on your preference and where you intend to make most use of it. The main advantage of this type of station, apart from portability, is its ease of use and setup. No need to learn DIY tricks or pay for services to have a home bar built into the kitchen island or patio grill. Another advantage is they generally sell cheaper than built-in or drop-in stations.
Some people prefer wooden portable home bars which are foldable or have swing doors because they can double as typical end table fixtures for use inside the home. But when it's time to entertain, they easily open up to have the storage compartments you need for glassware and liquor bottles. Some even have pull-out drawers and brass foot rails, if you want to pull up bar stools. If you plan on using your station mostly outdoors, then it's best to go for stainless, waterproof varieties that can withstand weather conditions and keep your drinks cool even under the sun's sweltering heat.
Built-In and Drop-In Stations
The other option in creating a cocktail station for your home is by having a home bar built into your existing kitchen island or any suitable area. The advantage of built-in or drop-in stations is you can easily connect it to water and electricity supply. With drinks constantly flowing, you'll need water supply to wash a lot of glass and stemware and also to clean up spillages. Having easy access to electricity will also mean your drinks are guaranteed to be kept cool, and you'll have steady supply of ice if you're making frozen Margaritas for the ladies.
Drop-in cocktail stations or sinks function much like their built-in counterparts, except they can be installed with your standard cabinets and don't come with bottle storage. However, you do have the option of buying add-on rails which you can have installed on the cabinet doors. Or you can also simply convert a section of the cabinet below to have bottle racks and to hold stemware.
Setting Up Your Cocktail Station
If you're setting up a self-serve cocktail station for your party, a safe bet is to always have a punch bowl and a signature cocktail mix out on the table. You'd want to provide non-alcoholic drinks too, either for mixing or as options for your guests who don't drink. Absolute must-haves for any cocktail station are different kinds of glassware (wine / Coupette / cocktail glasses, etc.) and ice storage that's separate from the bin used to chill wine, champagne, or beer.
Again, choosing which type of cocktail station to have in your home depends on several factors, such as your budget, location of water or electricity supply lines, preference and style, and intended usage (outdoor or indoor). Carefully weigh your options and considerations and decide accordingly.
Author's Bio : Lisa Steele reviews home accessories, like the Breuer Cesca chair. She loves furnishing a room for unique purposes.