Home Bar Menu

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Home Bar Menu

“Classy dive bar :-)” Reviewed October 13, 2016 I hate giving a good review in fear of this spot becoming too popular. Bottom line the staff are hella cool, the beer is ice cold and the food is epic and far from your average bar food. Helpful? Thank BOOYAA714 Report

Home Bar Menu

One of the challenges that we had with our previous shelving was that it was so dark and heavy that it overpowered both the room and our liquor collection. This time, we needed shelving which not only accommodated hundreds of bottles and books, but also provided a solid, yet unobtrusive, backdrop. We added three large Remi shelves behind the bar and two small Remi Bookcases opposite them, flanking the Paloma. The antique brass and black metal shelves brought a Hollywood Regency-meets-industrial layer to the room, as did the Turner Bar Stools, and the Morela Glass Pendant Light. Completing the mid-century vibe was a Gia chair in stunning teal.

Home Bar Menu

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Making great drinks at home is fun, cheaper than going out, and easier than you might think. I’ve distilled twenty years of home-bartending experience along with the advice of some of the country’s best professional bartenders to create my book “Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics),” a pocket-sized Cocktails 101 guide. This companion website expands beyond the content of the book with additional recipes and tips, product reviews, and more.

Home Bar Menu

If you’ve been following these posts—our path to the perfect home bar—you’ve no doubt caught the overriding theme. We’ve taken the main work efforts—painting, build-out, and now, furnishing—and crafted three corresponding cocktails—the Top Coat, Rusty Nail, and Screwdriver—replete with a DIY liqueur for each. We thought it all quite clever. That is, until we realized the fundamental flaw with our Screwdriver concept, but we’ll get to that later.

Home Bar Menu

Well before we kicked off the construction, we had made careful measurements and worked through the Crate and Barrel catalog to find just the right pieces. The centerpiece of the room would be the Maxine Walnut Standing Home Bar. The Maxine perfectly complemented our existing vintage mid-century modern pieces elsewhere in the house. To add a bit of visual interest while still matching the tone of the Maxine, we paired it with the Palmona I Reclaimed Wood Sideboard. Both instantly felt like they had always been part of the room.

Home Bar Menu

Now, about that big problem with the Screwdriver. When we created the Top Coat, it was to complement our painting post. The Rusty Nail went with the woodworking. And the Screwdriver…well, when it came to the furniture, we never needed a screwdriver. Crate delivered it all and set it all up exactly where we wanted it. No assembly needed. If Screwdrivers were involved at all, they were the ones we were drinking as we enjoyed the beauty of our perfect home bar.

Home Bar Menu

All drinks using this template were called “Cocktail” for years and years. It would’ve been “Rum Cocktail” or “Brandy Cocktail” or “Whiskey Cocktail.” As the 19th century marched along and all kinds of new drinks emerged with unique identifying names (Martinez, Manhattan, Martini), people came to ask for this original version as the “Old Fashioned” cocktail. The bar at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky helped standardize this name and recipe – specifying bourbon as the preferred spirit. As the century turned and Prohibition restricted access to “the good stuff,” people took to adding all kinds of adulterants to make the drink less awful: muddled oranges, cherries, lemons – even pineapple and mint on occasion. A drowning in seltzer was the final disgrace. And wouldn’t you know it, that formula stuck all the way through the next turn of the century, when people got their hands on copies of old 19th-century recipe books that called for the original, simple style of spirit, sugar, water (as ice) and bitters – with just a little hit of orange oil that perfectly unifies the caramel and vanilla of the bourbon with the holiday spices of the bitters.

Home Bar Menu

All along, our goal was to build up layers which both complemented and contrasted each other. We picked Blue .03 for the walls chiefly based on how it complemented the Gia chair. The wainscoting was to provide a neutral backdrop for both the Gia and the other furniture pieces. The crown molding allowed us to layer tones and finishes of white—eggshell White .01 and semi-gloss White .02. Metal and reclaimed wood were used alongside rich fabrics. As we have no one, single style, neither would the bar. Actually, let me take that back; it would have a single style—us.

One of the key things about our house prior to building out the bar was that we have no television downstairs. Where many people might have a large flatscreen in the living room, we have a turntable and all the records we’ve each collected over the years (not an enviable collection, mind you, but ours all the same). It was in no small part due to this that our friends at Crate asked us to design drinks for the media event launching The Listening Room in conjunction with Capitol Records.

In the end, did we build the prefect bar? Absolutely. Except for that issue with the Screwdriver. There’s a small issue with the Screwdriver—it’s not a good drink. Vodka and orange juice may be just the thing if you want to get blitzed on OJ, but beyond that, it has nothing to offer. So, if we were going to serve up a Screwdriver, it had to be an improved Screwdriver and one that continued with our theme of DIY liqueurs. The orange liqueur we make here is fundamentally the same as the blue curaçao we made for our Top Coat in Part One of this series.

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