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8 tips for tending your home bar 

Go classic with a wooden muddler with a scored head by Oeno, $7, or a sleek stainless steel version by RSVP, $9.99 at Martin Wine Cellar.

Go classic with a wooden muddler with a scored head by Oeno, $7, or a sleek stainless steel version by RSVP, $9.99 at Martin Wine Cellar.

1.) Allow a pound of ice, three drinks, three glasses and three napkins for each guest at a two-hour cocktail party.

2.) Start your bar with basics needed for the beverages you and your guests drink most often and those you know how to make; add others gradually.

3.) Batch drinks — bloody marys, margaritas, punches (find recipes here) — are more efficient to serve at a party than making singles for each guest. A themed drink also can add to the ambience and cement the theme of the party.

4.) Hard-frozen solid ice cubes are best for cocktails as they melt slower, not diluting the drink.

5.)Vermouth is a wine and must be refrigerated and consumed within a short time.

6.) Select liquor you like, regardless of the label.

7.) Make your own simple syrup by adding one part water and two parts sugar to a saucepan, heating it until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool before putting it in a bottle.

8.) Don't forget about guests who don't drink alcohol. Plan for festive-looking drinks served in cocktail glassware, such as whipping fresh berries, a splash of lemon and ice in a blender and serving with a fruit garnish or mixing cranberry juice with simple syrup and a little seltzer over crushed ice with a three-cherry garnish.

Click here for a checklist on what you should include in your home bar.

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How to set up a home bar (slideshow)
How to set up a home bar (slideshow) How to set up a home bar (slideshow) How to set up a home bar (slideshow) How to set up a home bar (slideshow) How to set up a home bar (slideshow) How to set up a home bar (slideshow) How to set up a home bar (slideshow)

How to set up a home bar (slideshow)

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