Everything You Need to Create the Perfect Cocktail Bar

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Your guests will be green with envy.

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Enjoying an expertly made cocktail at a classy bar is one of life’s great pleasures, but you don’t always want to go out for the evening. Sometimes you just want to stay in and enjoy a drink or two, or maybe you have guests over and you’d all like to sip on some pre-dinner aperitifs.

For these occasions, a well-stocked home bar is essential. But this goes beyond having a thorough and eclectic selection of spirits, mixers, and bitters. The quality of glassware, cocktail shakers, jiggers, ice buckets, and even the bar or cocktail cart itself all go a long way towards making your home bar experience an enjoyable one.

There are many luxury items available to furnish your home bar that are both beautiful and designed with function in mind. We have compiled some of the best essential items to set up a home bar that will impress your family and friends: a new take on whiskey glasses, a gold-rimmed drinkware set, a luxury crystal ice bucket, even a fully-stocked bar cart with high-end spirits essential to any cocktail. These items are not cheap, but they will help you design a complete home bar experience so you have everything you need to whip up some drinks, and look really good doing it.

Norlan Drave Water Pipette and Carafe

Courtesy Norlan Glass

Norlan has completely rethought and redesigned the whiskey drinking experience, from tasting glasses to tumblers. As any seasoned whiskey drinker knows, a few drops of water can open up the palate of a dram, especially when the proof is high. This beautifully designed lead-free crystal carafe and aluminum pipette offer a unique looking way of adding a drop of water or two to your whiskey.

To buy: $263; norlanglass.com

Coley Cocktail Shaker

Courtesy Cocktail Kingdom

This shaker was named after Ada “Coley” Coleman, a well-known bartender at London’s Savoy Hotel in the early 1900s, a time when women were not often found behind the bar. The design was inspired by the private collections of Cocktail Kingdom founder Greg Boehm and writer David Wondrich, and is designed to easily separate after use to allow for an easy pour. This shaker is heavyweight and designed to really break up the ice while shaking.

To buy: $170; cocktailkingdom.com

Riedel Tumbler Collection Whisky Set Louis

Courtesy Riedel

While whiskey does not need to breathe like wine, it does look rather nice presented in a classy decanter (as long as it is tightly sealed so the spirit does not become oxygenated). This beautiful crystal decanter and tumbler set from Riedel was inspired by the Art Nouveau period, and is perfect for showcasing any whiskey you choose. The glasses are dishwasher safe, and were created as part of the Riedel Design Awards 2017 in Venice.

To buy: $200; riedel.com

Pernod Ricard Prestige Bar Cart 

Courtesy Reserve Bar

If you’re going to spend some money on an elegant bar cart, how about one that comes fully-stocked with some high-end spirits and luxury barware? This modern bar cart is accompanied by Waterford glasses, champagne flutes, coupes, and an assortment of copper barware. It also comes with seven premium full-sized bottles from the Pernod Ricard portfolio of spirits, including Absolut Elyx Vodka, Chivas Regal Ultis, and The Glenlivet 18 YO.

To buy: $3,032; alky.co.uk

Richard Brendon The Collection—Diamond

Neil Watson/Courtesy Richard Brendon

Richard Brendon curates collections of fine tableware for lovers of food and drink. This set of bar glassware features a tight diamond cut on the lower half of each piece that reflects the light passing through into a glittering display. The set includes a decanter, ice bucket, water jug, and two Old Fashioned tumblers. 

To buy: $944; richardbrendon.com

Death & Co x Cocktail Codex Box Set

Courtesy Death & Co. Market

Death & Co. is one of New York City’s most esteemed cocktail bars. The team behind the bar released the best-selling Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails five years ago, and the James Beard Award-winning Cocktail Codex about a year ago. The two books are now available to buy together in a limited edition box set that would go well with any bar setup, allowing you to recreate some of these amazing cocktails for yourself at home.

To buy: $75; deathandcompanymarket.com

Clos19 X Poglia Limited Edition Barware Gift Set

Courtesy Clos19 and Max Poglia

So much attention is paid to glassware for your home bar, but the actual tools you use get the special treatment here as well. Clos19 has collaborated with luxury lifestyle goods brand Poglia on a barware set. This handcrafted corkscrew and pocket knife are made from reclaimed materials, and come in a leather travel case if you’d like to bring them with you on the go. Also included is a wax candle that you can use to seal letters.

To buy: $442; clos19.com

Design Within Reach Møller Trolley

Courtesy Design Within Reach

This simple and classic bar cart made by the Danish firm firm J.L. Møllers Møbelfabrik for Design Within Reach. There are no frills or unnecessary accoutrements here, but the solid walnut frame of this cart provides a great opportunity to showcase your barware and spirits collection in an uncluttered way that allows its intrinsic beauty to shine.

To buy: $1,995; dwr.com

French Kitchen Marble Mortar and Pestle

Courtesy Crate & Barrel

This stunning and simplistic white-marble mortar and pestle set is ideal for anything that may need crushing, muddling, or the like (basil or mint, for example) while making a flavorful and nuanced craft cocktail. 

To buy: $30; crateandbarrel.com

Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon Double Old-Fashioned Glasses (Set of Four)

Courtesy Williams Sonoma 

The perfect set for the discerning Old Fashioned drinker, these gold rimmed cocktail glasses feature the colorful illustration of the timeless Chiang Mai Dragon pattern from iconic design house Schumacher.

To buy: $61; williams-sonoma.com

Gold-Rimmed Drinkware Set

Courtesy West Elm

Nothing exudes elegance quite like a gold-rimmed glass. This beautiful set from West Elm includes four double Old Fashioned glasses, an ice bucket, a pair of ice tongs, and one metal rack. Has bar cart organization ever looked quite so stylish?

To buy: $64; westelm.com