The pandemic has encouraged parties to shift from fancy bars and restaurants to our homes. The space where we are most comfortable, has now become a spot to relax with close friends and family. Impress your guests with an elegant bar space, crystal barware, and fabulous food paired with mature whisky, rum or wine. While entertaining at home can be a stressful time, having a set of glassware for each type of drink, decanters and a bar fully stocked with a variety of spirits, makes the job much easier. Read on to know more about entertaining at home with ease, with ideas on how to jazz up your home bar, and pair drinks with the ideal food.
Dress up your bar
While home is a place where you want to casually hang out with friends and be comfortable, yet a relaxed ambience can be beautifully decorated as well. Dress up your space with tips and tricks from renowned interior designers. Sejal Shah, Founder and Principal Designer of Reflections in Mumbai suggests the use of glass and mirror to lend the area the illusion of extra space. While designing a bar, Shah also plans out spaces where the water sink, bottles, glasses, wine chiller and refrigerators can be stored. For a sleeker look, the interior designer prefers glass door refrigerators to show off the collection of bottles.
If you’re looking for simple ways to spruce up your bar at home, Nikhil Agrawal, Founder & Architect, Design Atelier, has some great ideas. “One of the easiest ways to spruce up a bar is to add some new seating,” said Agrawal. Seating, with the addition of colourful cushions in a variety of prints and patterns can also make a space look new without much effort. For those who are more adventurous and want to give their bar a new vibe, can try adding neon signs. This trend adds colour and can be customised with ease. Pick a colour that matches your décor, like pink, purple or classic yellow, and have your family name or a phrase like “Cheers,” designed in the shape of the light to add oomph to your bar.
Agarwal also stresses on the importance of lighting in a bar. Install lights that can be brightened and dimmed according to the mood. If dance parties are a regular feature at your home, invest in classic disco style lights. Another great way to change the décor of your bar is to remodel the countertops. Make use of exciting materials like backlit onyx or pale quartz to contrast with the rest of the space. Some essentials for a bar would be a small storage refrigerator, ice chillers, wine chillers, some storage space for crockery as well.
Set the table
For a night of free-flowing conversation, perfectly blended cocktails, and delicious fare, set the stage with care. Stock up on a couple of elements and you can have a five-star table arrangement. Sparkle your crystalware till it shines, arrange long-stemmed tuberoses in glass decanters or select roses in gradient shades of pink, from soft baby pink to intense magenta and place them in a vase. Interflora, Flower Lab and Champs Fleur create amazing floral arrangements for those who want hassle-free blooms. Surround them with candles of varying heights, grab statement Chandni soy candles from RAD Living or choose from Misa Candle’s classic black holders and floral scents.
Let your tableware be simple, with white self-patterned dishes, and gold accented cutlery. Drape a simple translucent tablecloth or a single embroidered runner across the length of the table. Ritu Kumar Home creates wonderful Indian printed runners, or for a more contemporary look check out Dandelion or Ellementry’s table linen. As your guests start to arrive place a stainless-steel ice bucket in the limelight.
When you’re hosting a larger group, a must-have is a complete set of barware. Look to barware manufacturer Christofle for a gorgeous silver-plated Graphik collection, which includes a champagne bucket, wine cooler, ice bucket, shaker and jigger.
Serve exquisite expressions of whisky in glassware that befits it. Those who love a modern twist to their whisky glasses will adore Tom Dixon’s faded black finish tumblers. Fans of more vintage designs can check out crystal expert Baccarat’s Louxor bar set.
For wine lovers, LSA International’s colourful Bubble Balloon glasses are a great buy. While entertaining whisky aficionados, go the whole nine yards and invest in heavy bottomed decanters. Villeroy & Boch’s timeless designs and Vista Alegre’s quirky Atlas and Poker decanters are great options for first-time buyers. Glam up your bar space with a bar trolley, perfect for serving drinks, and storing everyone’s favourite blend in one place.
Match made in heaven
A carefully blended whisky needs to be paired with carefully selected food. Grazing platters, charcuterie and cheese boards, and finger food are great matches with a smooth drink. Brie dripping in wild honey, or raclette served with potatoes complement notes of a mature whisky. For comprehensive grazing platters, turn to I’M Wholesome, a gourmet kitchen offering customised options according to your needs and décor. Eleftheria cheese also does mouth-watering burrata boards, with fromage blanc, burratina and nodini.
Those undecided about what to pair their cocktails with can try a traditional charcuterie board. Think slices of cold cuts, meat, crisp herbaceous crackers, pretzels, stuffed olives, roasted walnuts, almonds, dried or fresh figs, grapes, honey, jams, cream cheese spreads, pieces of dark chocolate and of course, a mix of hard and soft cheese such as gouda, camembert, chèvre and more. A cheese platter can be easily assembled at home with fresh cheeses from your local creamery.
With this guide to an ideal evening, say cheers to creating unforgettable memories, right at home, with a dram of your favourite spirit in hand!