One of the joys of adulthood is entertaining friends in your home. But whether you’re hosting an old school dinner party, a Game of Thrones watch party, or a holiday bash, nearly every event has one thing in common: alcohol.
A well-stocked home bar is a great way to solidify your status as an official “grown-up” (and it’s a status symbol even we millennials can afford!). If you want to have a top-notch bar in your home, consider adding these items to your wedding registry.
1. A Cocktail Shaker
If martinis or daiquiris are a favorite in your home, you already know how important it is to have a good cocktail shaker. A quality shaker is a necessity for a perfectly mixed drink (and no, sticking two plastic cups together doesn’t really achieve the same effect).
Additionally, a cocktail shaker can look quite nice on display in your home bar. When registering for bar essentials, consider the color scheme of your kitchen (or den, or wherever you keep your bar). There are shakers in almost every color these days—black, silver, copper, even holographic rainbow—so it’s easy to find one that matches your decor.
2. Fine Glassware
Now that you’re about to be married, it’s time to stop drinking cocktails out of red Solo cups. A nice set of glasses will instantly class up your bar, give your next party an extra touch of sophistication, and even reduce your carbon footprint (those red Solo cups are not recyclable).
Not sure what kind of glassware you should register for? Think about the type of drinks you enjoy most often. Are you and your sweetheart craft beer buffs? Some shaker pints or pilsner glasses might be best for you. Are you wine connoisseurs? A set of long-stemmed glasses might help you enjoy the vino even more. Are you all about mixed drinks? There are highballs, coupes—just pick your poison (or ask for them all)!
3. A Tea Towel (or Two)
Anyone who’s ever manned a bar before knows that mixing up cocktails is a messy job. You’re shaking, stirring, pouring over ice…and before you know it, your countertop is covered in a sticky, liquor-y puddle! If you want to keep your bar (and your kitchen) looking nice and neat, you’re going to need a few tea towels to mop up any spills.
4. A Corkscrew and Church Key
Look, we’ve all tried those bottle-opening “hacks.” We’ve used the counter’s edge to pop open a bottle of beer. We’ve stuck our wine in a sneaker and banged it against the wall, trying to dislodge the cork. These tricks were fun in the good ol’ college days, but they don’t belong anywhere near your bar. If you don’t already have a quality corkscrew or a church key (aka bottle opener), make sure that you add them to your registry—stat!
5. A Wine Decanter
In the same way that a cocktail shaker improves your martinis, a wine decanter will absolutely change the way you feel about wine. If it’s not your favorite drink, aerating might win you over; if you already love wine, it will absolutely blow your mind! Letting a wine “breathe” in a decanter or aerator will release some of the aromas and flavors, enhancing the experience for you and your guests.
A wine decanter is also a great way to dress up your bar. Many of them are elegant pieces of glassware in unique, artistic designs, which can help add a little class to your dinner party. If you’re looking for something that combines art, science, and delicious wine, you absolutely have to add a decanter to your registry.
6. A Book of Cocktail Recipes
There’s a reason that bartenders have to go to school to master their craft: there are a lot of cocktails out there! Learning the intricacies of every last drink takes time, practice, and dedication. But if you want a little help in the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with consulting a recipe book. Flip through some of the cocktail guides in your local bookstore (trust me, there will be plenty to choose from), find one that seems up your alley and toss it onto your registry. Before you know it, you’ll be making mixed drinks like the best of them.
7. The Bar Cart
After you get all these amazing bar essentials, you’re going to need a place to put them. Enter the bar cart: a beautiful piece of home decor that also stores all your liquor! You can find these classy carts at any home goods store these days, so finding one that suits your home decor should be a breeze.
With all these items, you can easily create the ultimate home bar, perfect for the couple who loves to entertain. Just remember to invite your wedding guests over, so they can have a drink and enjoy your new bar, too!